BPS Career Pathways Working Group: Spring 2019

Overall Objective

The Boston Public Schools Career Pathways Working Group is part of a larger systematic effort to strengthen outcomes in our secondary schools. BPS is committed to the goal of college, career, and life readiness for all students and, to that end, the working group aims to articulate what career readiness looks like to ensure equity of opportunity. Specifically, the working group will explore strategies to strengthen and align career readiness opportunities in our schools, including pathway programs, work-based learning and internship opportunities. The products will take the form of a set of recommendations submitted by June 2019, which will include outlining near-term (2019-20 SY) and medium-term (2020-21 SY) implementation priorities, and ongoing work and analysis toward longer-term priorities. The components of high quality college and career pathways that will be explored by the members include:

1. Labor Market Demand

2. College and Career Planning

3. Rigorous Technical Instruction

4. Work-based Learning

5. Credential Preparation

6. Postsecondary Linkages (e.g. college, training, apprenticeships)

Through research and opportunities for stakeholder input, the working group aims to address the following questions:

  • What are the purpose, goals and intended outcomes of career pathways and/or career

  • readiness education for Boston Public School students?

  • Based on these goals and intended outcomes, what are the specific, research-based

  • career learning experiences that provide a core/ Tier 1 scope and sequence for career readiness for all students?

  • How do we create a cohesive strategy and communications about career pathways in

  • BPS, which currently include Career and Technical Education, Innovation, and Early College Pathways?

  • What district, school level and other supports and policies are needed to implement these strategies in all high schools?


Discussion Notes from the 4/30 Shah Family Foundation Event

Key Questions and Insight for the Career Pathways Working Group’s Consideration

  • What is the messaging to BPS high school students about post-secondary alternatives to 4-year colleges (e.g. going to trade schools)?

  • How do counselors, teachers, and administrators know which students should get which message about which types of post-secondary options?

  • Who are the major corporate partners to the district in terms of providing support for career pathways, either through in- after-school programming, internships, or both? What got them invested in this work and how do we leverage them to bring other corporate partners to the table?

  • How do students and families know about the existence of high school career pathway programs? How are these programs marketed to middle school students, families and educators so that they are making informed choices about their high school options?

  • How are the City of Boston’s workforce development needs (i.e. the hardest to fill positions for our biggest employers) informing the creation of new career pathway programs?

  • How can students get broad exposure to a variety of career pathways in order to inform their choices about where they want to engage in deeper exploration?


Additional Questions or Ideas?

Dr. Michelle Sylvaria, Executive Director of CTE

(857) 763-9579

msylvaria@bostonpublicschools.org