In the education reform landscape, pathways—in the form of career academies, theme-based high schools, or small learning communities—have been around for some time. However, all too often, a few innovative teachers or a visionary principal have created these opportunities in spite of the system, rather than because of it. Without broad buy-in to sustain these efforts, when these founders disappear, their innovations do as well.

Two students in the background in science class

ConnectED takes a different course to developing pathways.

We are committed to partnering with community leaders to design and implement comprehensive systems of high quality college and career pathways designed to maximize the potential for student success. The three key principles that guide our approach are:

Be college and career-ready, not one or the other.

We focus sharply on what students need to know and be able to do to achieve lasting success in both college and career, not just one or the other. This “graduate profile” then drives the development of pathways designed to produce those outcomes.

Engage the entire community to create great learning environments.

We aim to improve not just how students learn, but also how teachers teach, how schools better support learning and teaching, and how the community provides opportunities for learning and practice. With an interdisciplinary, experiential approach, we connect teachers and students to industry professionals who help create authentic projects, assess student work, and work side-by-side with students through job shadowing, mentoring, and internship experiences.

Create flexible pathways, with an emphasis on high-quality.

While there are different ways to implement a Linked Learning approach by district or region, each pathway must embody a comprehensive, multi-year program of study that combines college-preparatory academics, challenging career and technical education, a range of work-based learning experiences, and integrated student supports. ConnectED works diligently to clearly define the essential elements of high quality pathways.

Learn more about our Phases of Work.