Learning for Careers provides a comprehensive account of the Pathways to Prosperity Network, a national project that offers urgently needed career pathways for young Americans who do not have a four-year college degree. It takes as its starting point the influential 2011 Pathways to Prosperity report, which challenged the prevailing idea that the core mission of high schools was to prepare all students for college. In response, the Pathways Network was founded in 2012 to promote cooperative arrangements between educational and business institutions in order to fashion pathways for young people to acquire twenty-first-century skills and achieve professional success.
This book traces the evolution of the Pathways Network over the past five years, focusing on the efforts of a diverse set of states and regions to build systems that span high school and the first two years of postsecondary education. States such as Delaware and Tennessee have been highly effective in establishing systems designed to equip students with credentials valued in the contemporary labor market. At the same time, the authors acknowledge the technical, political, and cultural challenges in redesigning career-focused education to produce satisfactory outcomes for young people throughout the country.
Learning for Careers offers a way forward for the millions of young people and employers that face a rapidly evolving and ever more competitive globalized workplace. This book will be essential reading for all who have a stake in educational and economic opportunity in the United States.
Nancy Hoffman is vice president and senior advisor at JFF. Robert B. Schwartz is the Francis Keppel Professor of Practice of Educational Policy and Administration at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Nancy Hoffman is a senior advisor at Jobs for the Future, and a cofounder of the Pathways to Prosperity Network.