The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Approach: Developing Criteria and Metrics for Quality Career Pathways

In this paper, CLASP provides an overview of the Alliance for Quality Career Pathways approach and describe the concept and characteristics of the framework. In Section I, we propose a comprehensive definition of the career pathways approach in our conceptual model of career pathway systems and programs. This model will serve as the foundation for the Alliance’s framework of quality criteria and shared performance metrics. This conceptual model represents the Alliance’s shared understanding of career pathway systems and programs and is informed by:

  • CLASP’s review of existing research and literature on career pathways;
  • Extensive reviews by, and conversations with, several members of partner agencies and organizations in
  • Alliance states and members of the Alliance’s National Advisory Group;
  • Communications with the researchers and project director of the Innovative Strategies for Increasing
  • Self-Sufficiency (ISIS) project; and
  • Feedback from participants at a national workforce education conference.

This conceptual model seeks to strike a balance between being deeply rooted in the reality of the current career pathway efforts and aspiring to move the field to the next level of development. CLASP and the Alliance states anticipate that the field will continue to evolve and advance as we undertake this work, as will the Alliance framework. Our conceptual model is a work in progress until the Alliance concludes its activities in 2014. In Section II, we provide a discussion of the four components of the framework for high-quality career pathways and how these components can be used for continuous improvement and performance measurement.