With the ever changing and evolving job market, high school and college graduates often find themselves unprepared for what lay ahead. Obviously, there is not a one size fits all approach to prepare the next generation, but, there is hope.
ExcelinEd’s Pathways Matter is one of the only entities that realizes this issue, and is actively working to fix it.
So what exactly is Pathways Matter? According to their website, “Pathways Matter is a comprehensive learner-centered framework for state policies to create and sustain high-quality education to workforce pathways based in three core principles:…” ExcelinEd lists three principles that act as the foundation for the mission of Pathways Matter, “Learners take different educational journeys,” “Pathways require coordinated support from all stakeholders,” and “Policies must work together to maximize benefits for learners.”
Too often we see stories of people who are stuck at a dead end in their careers–their jobs become automated, cease to exist, or they simply get laid off and subsequently need a helping hand. Pathways Matters doesn’t just exist for those still in school, but can help those out of school as well, as evidenced by their “Learner Journeys” where they tell the story of Taylor, whose manufacturing job is eliminated due to automation after 10 years. He re-enrolled in college and earned an AAS in nursing. Not only that, he took advantage of his home state’s “last mile” scholarship to help cover tuition costs.
It is obvious that we have all taken different educational journeys to get where we are today. Many of us enrolled in post K-12 education, while some of us went to a trade school, or simply entered the workforce directly out of high school. Pathways Matter identifies and recognizes these differences and exists to help those all across the educational and workforce spectrum achieve continued success in their fields.
Currently, Pathways Matter identifies these opportunities in ten states: Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.
Traditional K-12 education is not the end all be all in education–there are different paths to take for those who want them. For ExcelinEd, Pathways Matter looks to help states build a skilled and educated workforce.