Career Clusters are broad occupational groupings that serve as an organizing tool, categorizing common knowledge and skill sets for secondary and post-secondary education. Career Clusters use 16 broad groups of occupations and 79 pathways (sub-groups). As a tool, Career Clusters:
- blend rigorous academic/technical preparation
- provide for career development
- offer options for students to experience all aspects of a business or industry
- facilitate/assist students and educators with ongoing transitions
Programs of Study (POS) are sequences of Academic AND Career Technical Education courses to help students attain a postsecondary degree or industry-recognized certificate or credential within a career cluster/pathway. At minimum a POS must:
- Incorporate and align secondary and postsecondary education elements.
- Include academic and CTE content in a coordinated, non-duplicative progression of courses.
- Offer the opportunity, where appropriate, for secondary students to acquire postsecondary credits.
- Lead to an industry-recognized credential or certificate at the postsecondary level, or an associate or baccalaureate degree.
A career pathway is a coherent, articulated sequence of rigorous academic and career related courses (the POS), commencing in ninth grade and leading to an associate degree, and/or an industry-recognized certificate or licensure, and/or a baccalaureate and beyond. Career Pathways in K12 are realized through each district’s Academic and Career Planning process.
A career pathway...
- is developed, implemented and maintained in partnership among secondary and postsecondary education, business, and employers.
- is available to all students and designed to lead THROUGH the desired levels of education and training TO rewarding careers.