WASHINGTON (Jan. 17, 2020) – Delaware Career Pathways, an innovative approach to career-oriented high-school coursework, helps align the labor needs of employers with the curriculum and instruction in secondary education, and demonstrates that education, business and government can work together to improve student outcomes while preparing students for meaningful careers in high-growth professions.

In the fourth installation in a series on civil society, Larry Nagengast, a veteran journalist who has written primarily about education and government issues in Delaware since 1972, discusses how Pathways participants earn both professional certifications and college credits, making themselves both college- and career-ready by the time they receive their diplomas.

He describes how in only five years, Delaware has established 25 distinct Pathways, each one leading to a career in a well-paying, high-growth profession. In the next six years, Delaware is on track to have one-half of its public high school students enrolled in Pathways curriculums.

Nagengast finds that Pathways requires businesses to rethink their traditional training and recruitment models. Establishing a pipeline of career-ready employees starts well before college—in high school and even at the middle-school level.

R Street Director of Civil Society, Education and Work Andy Smarick said, “In total, Nagengast’s paper demonstrates that even if civil society plans to replace the government as the lead actor in a reform project, an array of policies—funding streams, regulations, statutes, licenses—may need to be adjusted.”

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