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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

Pathways Programs Hold Their Own Despite Funding Challenges

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August 30, 2013

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Pathways Programs Hold Their Own Despite Funding Challenges

Pathways programs are holding steady or growing, despite funding challenges, reported respondents of a survey conducted by the National Center for College and Career Transitions. This view from the field is generally positive, while showing areas in which there is room for improvement.

According to teachers and administrators who work in education that emphasizes pathways to college and career, including CTE and career academies:

  • Thirty-seven percent responded that there were more students in CTE programs than three years ago, while 44 percent reported that enrollment was about the same.
  • Thirty-two percent of participants said that there were more students in career academies as compared to three years ago, while 56 percent reported about the same enrollment.
  • The majority reported that funding was down, while 14 percent reported static funding. Respondents in the West reported more funding challenges, while the Northeast seemed to be in the best funding position, relatively speaking. However, funding for pathways programs has been cut less than funding for other areas of education, according to respondents.
  • Employer engagement is strong when it comes to participating on advisory boards, sharing expertise with students and providing work-based learning opportunities, but there is room for growth in providing opportunities to teachers, sharing expertise with partner schools and serving as executive mentors. In addition, advisory group participation varies in urban and rural sites.
  • About one-third of respondents said they have engaged in an economic/workforce needs planning process in the past two years, and most respondents stated their pathways programs are aligned with postsecondary and industry.
  • Respondents predicted that CTE programs and career academies will grow over the next three years, but also expected stagnant staffing and a slight decline in funding.

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