Alliance for Quality Career Pathways
The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways (AQCP) is a state-driven, CLASP-led effort to identify benchmarks of high-quality career pathways and the most relevant metrics for measuring their success.
Career pathways are a “sequence of education and training services that enable students, often while they are working, to advance over time to successively higher levels of education and employment in a given industry or occupational sector.” They are spreading quickly across the country in workforce development, adult education, and community colleges. At least 10 states are engaged in statewide career pathways efforts and the federal government has endorsed the approach as a promising model to expand the number of postsecondary-educated adult workers in a state or local area.
Many resources and handbooks have been developed on how to design and develop career pathways and how to identify the key elements of a pathways approach. However, there are no existing and verified guidelines to help state and local career pathway administrators ensure that they are building a high-quality effort that is likely to yield the strongest possible student outcomes. This is the goal of the AQCP, which will be achieved through a consensus-building process driven by the most successful career pathways states over a two-year period (2012-2014).
Defining High-Quality Career Pathways
One of the primary advantages of the career pathways approach is its responsiveness to specific and dynamic local contexts—no two career pathways will ever be exactly the same. This project will honor this critical characteristic. AQCP’s purpose is to identify benchmarks that signal high-quality systems and programs, no matter the targeted industry or credentials, population of focus, or program design. The end-result of the AQCP will be a framework of benchmarks and metrics that existing career pathways programs can use to enhance quality or that new career pathways programs can use as a foundation for their effort.
Participating Alliance States
Ten states will form the core of the Alliance, meeting several times over the course of the two-year project to identify common indicators of high-quality pathways and the most appropriate metrics with which to measure student and program success. These Alliance states are: Arkansas, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin
Learn More About the Alliance
NEW! View our two new working papers:
- The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Approach: Developing Criteria and Metrics for Quality Career Pathways
- A Framework for Measuring Career Pathways Innovation
The first paper lays the foundation for the Alliance’s framework of quality criteria and shared performance metrics. The second paper presents a framework for measurement and examines important aspects to consider in developing career pathway metrics.
For more information about AQCP, please contact our CLASP project staff.
Marcie W.M. Foster
Assistant Project Director
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