Since 2013, ConnectED, in partnership with NAF and the United Way of Southeastern Michigan, has supported a transformational approach to preparing students for college and career in Detroit. This work has been dynamic, complex, and collaborative. It has incorporated all levels of linked learning, from professional development, to coaching; instructional design, to work-based learning.

The work in Detroit was created as a partnership. It has thrived because of the connection between partners: between ConnectED and organizational partners, between district and community leaders, between coaches and school sites, and between students and teachers. In many ways, it has become a model for what site-based teams can accomplish in developing and sustaining high-quality pathways.

An initial cohort of five pathways in 2013 has grown today to 27 pathways in 14 high schools. Twelve of these pathways are close to achieving Linked Learning Silver certification (the level of pathway quality that research shows produces significant improvement in student outcomes), with many more applying in the coming year.

This fall, the Detroit Public Schools Community District will assume primary responsibility for leading and supporting pathways. While ConnectED will continue to be available to support this work as needed, we are delighted for the district and everyone who will benefit from their leadership. We have always firmly believed that for pathways to succeed in Detroit, they must be led by the district and the community it serves.

We are honored to have helped lead and support such important work over these past six years—work that we truly believe will contribute to long-lasting change for pathway students, teachers, and the broader community. To our many partners, especially United Way and NAF, coaches and colleagues, we want to simply say thank you. Many young people in Detroit have been helped by your fine work.