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Focus Area:
Career and College Readiness

Educators across the country are attempting to reinvent career pathways by developing learning opportunities that prepare students for careers and college. They are expanding opportunities for students to learn in the workplace through internships, apprenticeships, and job shadowing. And, with appropriate supports, they are making these opportunities accessible to any student. These shifts reflect a desire to infuse secondary schools with practical skills that students can use in the workforce, and to move away from the tracking and low rigor that has historically accompanied many vocational and technical programs. Our current work explores the practitioner experience of reimagining the high school-to-career continuum, as well as the policies needed to inform a thoughtful expansion of career-connected learning opportunities.
CRPE is actively engaged in answering the following questions:

What are the gaps in our current methods of preparing students for life after high school, especially for students with disabilities?
What does it look like for a school to reimagine the high school-to-career continuum, and what types of models are already being tested?
What state policies support secondary work-based learning and relevant career training that is high-quality and accessible to any student?

How Eight Rural Districts Came Together to Redefine Postsecondary Success in the Midst of a Pandemic

This brief explores how eight rural Colorado school districts increased youth access to internship and dual enrollment opportunities in the 2020-21 school year.

How 11 states are using emergency federal funds to make improvements in college and career access

The Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER I and II) gave states $4.25 billion in discretionary federal dollars to support K–12 schools, higher education, and workforce initiatives. These were welcome resources, coming just as the...

States and School Systems Can Act Now to Dismantle Silos Between High School, College, and Career

We interviewed K–12, state, and nonprofit leaders who have been focused on redesigning education and career pathways about how their work has changed in the last year and what their priorities are as the nation...

Help wanted: School systems must act now to support graduating seniors

COVID-19 disrupted the already tenuous system of support for students graduating high school and going on to college or career. Students from low-income households and students of color have been hit hardest. In 2020 many...

How Schools Adapt during the Pandemic Can Reshape Adolescent Learning Experiences for Generations

This brief, informed by interviews with school and system leaders in the New England region, suggests some efforts to reinvent schools before the pandemic have helped schools to navigate the current crisis.

How States Can Better Prepare Students for Life After High School

This report examines weaknesses states share in career and technical education and offers recommendations to improve career pathways for students.

How COVID-19 Is Forcing Innovation in High School-Industry Partnerships

Everything about education changed in the spring of 2020. School partnerships with industry were no different. Schools had to rethink internships, job shadows, and mentorships. But these disruptions have also forced new thinking that will...

Propelling Career and Technical Education in a Portfolio System

This post comes from the first edition of Re:portfolio, a publication with articles, news clips, and resources about the portfolio strategy. The strategy has its roots in the writings of CRPE founder Paul Hill, as...

What if High School Were Different?

I am the oldest of four children. The youngest is my brother Stephen. Regular school was never a good fit for Stephen. He is one of the smartest people I know. An avid reader. A...

Schools Lead the Way but the System Must Change: Rethinking Career and Technical Education

CRPE has identified 32 programs around the country that represent the variety of efforts being used to reinvent career and technical education.

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