The course pathway toward the degree or certificate, beginning in high school, is a coherent sequence of courses and does not require repetition of the same learning outcomes. Where learning outcomes can be established as being identical, college credit may be awarded for the course(s). Therefore, College Career Pathways is a combined secondary and post-secondary education program designed to prepare students for tomorrow’s highly competitive careers. College Career Pathways programs provide a foundation of the career skills needed for current and emerging careers. In addition, the program links business, industry, secondary and post-secondary schools to prepare students to eventually enter the workforce.
In some schools, students begin career exploration in elementary school and most have taken part in a career awareness activity by the time they reach high school. The College Career Pathways program begins for high school students in their sophomore year. Students in the ninth grade apply to the program by submitting a special application available through their school counselor; courses are part of their school requirements and are taken at their high school.
Up to 18 college credits may be earned by the end of the senior year of high school. Students will have the option of matriculation into an associate degree program at MCC during their senior year of high school.
Who Benefits from College Career Pathways?
Students are the real winners! They gain academic and technical skills preparing them for employment and continuing education. They develop the competence and confidence to cope with a rapidly changing society and workplace. Students and their parents benefit by saving time and money in college programs. Time saved with College Career Pathways credits allows students to concentrate on a lighter load of classes, and to take more advanced classes that will enhance their employability or to work part-time while pursuing their degree.
High schools encourage students to graduate with clearer goals. Teachers and counselors witness higher morale, better attitudes and improved student performance when students find satisfaction in and see the relevance of their high school classes to future plans.
Participating colleges receive prepared, focused students and spend less time and money on remedial courses.
Employers win by obtaining a better-educated worker. Technical education and training become more available and highly valued. Employers also win through the opportunity to provide input and influence curriculum in the schools.
Communities and states are able to eliminate unnecessary program duplication, use tax dollars more effectively and develop the human resources of each region more fully. Connecticut certainly wins by developing a world-class workforce that can outwork, outproduce and outsmart the competition.
Today’s job market demands a highly skilled and highly trained workforce. Increasingly, new jobs being created are technical in nature and require at least one or more years of post-secondary education. It is estimated that over 50 percent of all new jobs fall into this category.
In addition to being able to enter the job market more easily, participants in the College Career Pathways program are also provided the advantage of higher earnings. National studies support the fact that people entering the workforce with an associate degree earn over 50 percent more than people with only a high school degree.
Director of Cooperative Education
Manchester Community College
Great Path, M.S. #8
Manchester, CT 06045-1046