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Career Pathways Questions

Hello Career Pathways and Program Management group colleagues,

I have been thinking about career pathways, and have a number of questions that I could use your help in answering.  Most of my questions don’t have “right” answers, but rather are trying to get at a picture of what is happening in career pathways implementation in programs across the U.S. I plan to post one or two questions a week in this discussion thread for several weeks. If you have questions that you would like to add to the discussion thread, please do. I hope that you and many other members of the Career Pathways and Program Management groups will respond to these questions.  Many of us here are eager to learn from your experience. Here's my first question:

  1. What career pathways practices are working well, and for what populations and levels of students? For example, what career pathways practices work well for ABE students, ESL/ESOL/students, community college students who are in credit-bearing courses, or workplace basic skills or English language learning classes? Although I would be interested in research that addresses this question, I am especially interested in on-the-ground descriptions based on practitioners' experiences in implementing career pathways in their adult basic skills or community college programs.

Thanks for your reply.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Program Management group

djrosen123@gmail.com

Comments

Pat Thomas's picture

For our part there is no difference in who does well in which career by their background.  Our guide as to who can participate in a training is determined by their literacy level.  Some career trainings require less literacy and some a higher literacy.   An example is out CNA training...........in this training we want to see a 230 or 235 CASAS.   Without that level of literacy we "set the learner up for failure."   I would suggest that literacy levels tied to the literacy content of the training gives you the best indicator........rather than their background.  

David J. Rosen's picture

Thanks Pat. I understand from the recent LINCS Career Pathways webinar that you and your colleagues participated in, and your session that I attended at the recent ProLiteracy conference, that your context is rural Minnesota.

Everyone: although I suspect that literacy level may be a good predictor of career pathways success in urban areas, too, I would like to hear about this from urban (and other rural) career pathways programs. What is your experience? For your program, how important is literacy level  (reading, reading and writing?) in predicting learners' success in your career pathways program?

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Program Management group

djrosen123@gmail.com

Cyn Hatch's picture

Pat and David (and others),

We just launched our Career Readiness (contextualized ESL program) this Fall as part of our Part-Time Redesign for resident ESL students in Northern Virginia. The Career Readiness ESL classes are designed to provide the bridge between ESL and NOVA Workforce's Credential programs in IT and Healthcare.

Like Pat suggested, our students need a certain level of literacy in order to be successful in contextualized English. We set this entry point at our High-Beginning level (CEFR: B1). At this level, students can choose to remain in ESL classes and transition into NVCC's credit program, or if their goal is to improve their English for work or workforce training, then they can take Career Readiness classes and transition to the Workforce Credential program for Healthcare at Accuplacer score 300+ and College ESL 3 (CEFR: C1 approx.).

For NOVA Workforce's ACLI program, an interest or prior work/training experience in the career sector is valuable, but the determining factor is English language level.

Cyn Hatch

Michael Cruse's picture

Hi, Cyn -

Thanks for sharing your perspective from Northern VA.  I'm wondering, again in your perspective, if your IT and Healthcare credentials look differently at which domains: reading, writing, speaking and listening, are most important for their respective fields?  For example, if you have a student with the required level in reading, speaking and listening for the IT credential, but see a weakness in their writing, is that be something that you can remediate in the ACLI program, or do you need them to have comparable abilities across all four domains before progressing?

Thanks,

Mike Cruse

Career Pathways Moderator

michaelcruse74@gmail.com

Michael Cruse's picture

Hi, Cyn -

Thanks for sharing your perspective from Northern VA.  I'm wondering, again in your perspective, if your IT and Healthcare credentials look differently at which domains: reading, writing, speaking and listening, are most important for their respective fields?  For example, if you have a student with the required level in reading, speaking and listening for the IT credential, but see a weakness in their writing, is that be something that you can remediate in the ACLI program, or do you need them to have comparable abilities across all four domains before progressing?

Thanks,

Mike Cruse

Career Pathways Moderator

michaelcruse74@gmail.com

David J. Rosen's picture

Career Pathways and Program Management colleagues,

Here's another question about Career Pathways. I hope we have some good answers in our Career Pathways and Program Management communities.

2. Software developers know that initial versions of programs, even after beta testing, will need to be upgraded. That’s why, over the years, we see versions 1.2, 2.3, 3.4, etc. The more people who use the software the more the designers discover that improvements are needed. Similarly, we have some early versions of Career Pathways programming, and I am wondering what are the “bugs,” the improvements needed, or other changes that you, as career pathways practitioners– e.g. teachers, navigators, program managers, and state administrators -- are discovering. These might be policy improvements, practice improvements, the need for better use of technology, or improvements needed in other areas of career pathways. 

What do you think?

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Program Management group

djrosen123@gmail.com

David J. Rosen's picture

Colleagues,

I hope  we will have some replies to the second Career Pathways question that I posted on November 15th regarding the improvements needed, or other changes that you, as career pathways practitioners – e.g. teachers, navigators, program managers, and state administrators -- are discovering. These might be policy improvements, practice improvements, the need for better use of technology, or improvements needed in other areas of career pathways.  What do you think?

And here's a new question:

3.  What do career pathways program designers need to consider for these particular populations: English language learners, people with disabilities, dislocated workers, and other particular populations?

Thanks!

David J. Rosen

djrosen123@gmail.com

David J. Rosen's picture

Hello LINCS Career Pathways and Program Management Colleagues,

I hope 2018 is off to a good start for you.

Here's another question in this Career Pathways Questions discussion thread:

Since career pathways often require “navigators” (case managers), what are you finding as navigator best practices?

It's not too late, of course,  to answer any of the other questions I have posed in this discussion thread. I am interested in how you are seeing things, and I hope others here are too.

David J. Rosen

djrosen123@gmail.com

 

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