Building Criteria and Metrics for High Quality Career

Building Criteria and Metrics for
High Quality Career Pathways:
An Adult Education Perspective
A Presentation on the Alliance for Quality Career
Marcie Foster, Policy Analyst, CLASP
March 27, 2013
CLASP: Policy Solutions that Work
for Low-Income People
• CLASP develops and advocates for policies that improve the
lives of low-income people.
• Our Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success,
launched in 2010, advocates for policies, investments, and
political will that help increase the number of income adults
and out-of-school youth who earn postsecondary credentials.
• CLASP managed the Shifting Gears initiative and provided
technical assistance to the six partner states. Shifting Gears
supported state-level inter-agency teams to build pathways to
postsecondary credentials for low-skilled adults in the
Career Pathway—The Basic Idea
(borrowed from the Wisconsin Technical College System and Dept. of Workforce Development)
Industry With Jobs
High School or Less
For workers:
• Predictable path to job advancement and
higher wages
• More employer support; easier access to
• More security
Low Skill
For employers:
• Larger pool of qualified workers
• Better pipeline to fill skilled jobs from within
• Higher retention, employee loyalty
Alliance Career Pathways Model
Multiple entry points
(Customizable based on
labor market needs and
target population)
Skills and Work
(Customizable based
on labor market needs
and target population)
Basic Skills Instruction:
Adult Basic Education,
English as a Second
Two-Year Degree
Programs and
Basic Skills
Basic Career Readiness
Basic occupational
Quality Work
occupational skills
Quality Work
High occupational
Quality Work
Family-supporting employment and further
educational opportunities
Academic Skills
and Credentials
Multiple exit points at successively higher levels of education and employment
Supportive Services and Navigation Assistance
Employer Engagement
Appropriate Assessment of Skills and Needs
Career Pathway Programs and
Systems – Working Definitions
• CAREER PATHWAYS are comprehensive sequences of education
and training - with multiple entry and exit points, and support
services and navigation assistance.
• CAREER PATHWAY PROGRAMS are the building blocks of career
pathways - with learner centered education, participant assessment,
support services, and quality work experiences.
• CAREER PATHWAY SYSTEMS are the partnerships, policies, and
cultural changes that support career pathways and programs - at
both the local/regional level and the state level. Includes: shared
vision, leadership, demand driven employer engagement, alignment
of policies, use of data, etc.
Philanthropic Support for
Career Pathways
• Seeded innovations and took to scale promising practices through
large-scale, multi-site initiatives supporting career pathways and
related strategies:
o Bridges to Opportunity (Ford Foundation)
o NGA Pathways to Advancement (Lumina Foundation)
o Breaking Through (Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, North Carolina
GlaxoSmithKline Foundation, Ford Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation, and Walmart Foundation)
o Shifting Gears (Joyce Foundation)
• New efforts to scale promising Washington State’s I-BEST career
pathway bridge practices through Accelerating Opportunity (Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation, Joyce Foundation, W.K. Kellogg
Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and Open Society Foundations)
Recent Federal Support for Career
• Grants
• Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HHS, 2010)
• Workforce Innovation Fund and TAACCCT (round II) grants (DOL,
summer/fall 2012)
• Advancing Career and Technical Education in State and Local Career
Pathway Systems (ED, 2013)
• Guidance and TA
Policy to Performance (OVAE, 2010-2012)
Integrated Education and Training Program Memorandum (ED, 2010)
Federal Career Pathways Institute (DOL, ED, HHS, 2010-2011)
Joint letter of commitment to promote career pathways (DOL, ED, HHS,
April 2012)
• Evaluation
• ISIS evaluation of career pathway programs (HHS, launched in late 2007;
10 year initiative)
Looking Forward
• Spring 2013: WIF “Pay for Success” model
• TAACCCT rounds III (April 2013) and IV
• President supporting a Community
College to Career Fund
• Pathways Back to Work Fund (tent.)
 All indications are that the federal
government will continue to support and
promote career pathways.
State Support for Career Pathways
• At least 11 states have significant career pathway
efforts aimed at adults or out of school youth.
– AR, CA, FL, KY, IL, MA, OH, OR, VA, WA, WI
• At least 13 states have significant career pathway
bridge initiatives.
– IL, IN, KY, KS, LA, MD, MN, NC, OH, OR, VA,
• Hundreds of local, career-focused basic skills
bridge programs, according to 2010 Workforce
Strategy Center bridge survey. Little uniformity.
Career Pathways: The State of the Field
+ Experimentation in adult education with “transition”
programs and bridge programs.
+ Significant experimentation at the local and state level.
+ Early promising evidence of student success, credential
attainment, and positive labor market outcomes.
+ Increasing interest in scaling, yet confusing array of
guidance on best practices and policies.
+ Urgency to build new programs and systems because of
labor market needs and economic imperative for
= A need to develop evidence-based understanding of
high quality career pathway systems and programs
to move the field forward and ensure quality.
The Alliance for Quality Career
• Funded by the Joyce Foundation and the James
Irvine Foundation
• The goal of AQCP is to develop a framework that
defines high-quality career pathway systems and
programs and includes:
– Quality criteria and indicators
– A shared set of performance metrics for
measuring and managing their success
• CLASP is the lead and facilitator
Alliance for Quality Career Pathways
• 10 Alliance States: Arkansas, California,
Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota,
Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
• National Advisory Group of ~15 national
organizations and experts including WSC,
JFF, NSC, CORD, CEWD, Working Poor
Families Project, Abt Associates, ConnectEd,
and CTE and adult education state directors.
The Alliance for Quality Career
Pathways (cont.)
• The Alliance will produce a customizable
framework and self-assessment tool that
can be used to:
– Enhance quality of existing career pathway efforts;
– Fast track and improve new career pathway efforts;
– Inform evaluation(s) of career pathway efforts.
AQCP Timeline
Release Beta Version
(Spring 2013)
Version 1.0
• Beta testing among
Alliance States.
• Feedback from
policymakers, and others.
• Disseminated to
• Feedback from
policymakers, and others.
Guiding Principles For Career Pathways
(both state and local/regional systems)
PRINCIPLE 1: Adopt and articulate a shared vision.
PRINCIPLE 2: Demonstrate leadership and commitment to institutionalizing
career pathways.
PRINCIPLE 3: Ensure that career pathways are demand-driven, focused on
sectors/occupations, and deeply engage employers.
PRINCIPLE 4: Align policies, measures, and funding.
PRINCIPLE 5: Use and promote data and continuous improvement strategies.
PRINCIPLE 6: Enhance the capacity of partners to implement the shared vision.
Anticipated Uses of the Alliance
• State and local career pathway partners:
– Use the Alliance’s shared vision and definitions of career pathways and
systems to develop and improve state and local/regional career
pathway efforts.
– Include multiple types of career pathways in states and communities
under the Alliance’s inclusive “umbrella” vision.
– Use the evidence-based, expert practitioner reviewed criteria and
indicators to improve career pathway efforts.
– Use the Alliance’s set of shared performance metrics to measure and
manage career pathway success.
– May be able to use the Alliance’s shared metrics for federal
performance waivers.
• Foundations can use the framework to provide capacity building
and TA to help grantees build quality systems and programs
• Federal agency staff are interested the framework
Career Pathways Funding Toolkit
• Newly released this
week! Visit
• State and program
administrators can use
to identify funding
opportunities across 10
federal programs to
support career
pathways elements.
Thank you! (Keep in touch.)
Contact Us:
Marcie Foster
[email protected]
Visit the Alliance Website:
Sign up to receive a bi-annual newsletter regarding the progress on
AQCP and other relevant career pathways news.

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