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What Does a Pathway Look Like?


A pathway integrates rigorous academic instruction with a demanding technical curriculum and field-based learning designed to make students college and career ready.  All pathways are set in the context of one of California’s 15 major industry sectors, such as business and finance, building and environmental design, biomedical and health sciences, engineering, information technology, manufacturing, or arts, media, and entertainment, and many others.

This demanding technical component delivers concrete knowledge and skills with an emphasis on real-world applications, bringing their academic and technical learning to life. The focus is on preparing youth for high-skill, high-wage employment through courses in cutting-edge areas of study such as biotechnology, green building and design, and animation.

Integrating technical and academic content allows students (and teachers) to explore connections in depth—and ultimately deepens student understanding and makes learning more exciting and relevant.  The instruction students receive in a pathway is designed to connect them to post-secondary education options so students have a clear direction after high school.

Students in pathways are expected to take a multi-year sequence of courses that begins with a foundation course in 9th or 10th grade, and adds increasingly advanced and challenging content in upper-level courses as they progress through high school. This technical core often culminates in a capstone senior project that demonstrates mastery in their chosen area of study—and in some cases, leads to industry recognized certifications for students. In addition, all CTE courses should align with state content standards, and stay current with the latest industry developments and trends.

Used by permission from ConnectEd - The California Center for College and Career.