Advocating for Career Pathways

A couple of years ago, our department of education began to fervently push ahead for Career Pathways.
At the time, my program, Advanced Life Science: Animals and Veterinary Assisting, fell under the general heading of health careers. With the pathway they proposed, my program would only be offered as a one-year program for seniors. This was very disturbing to me since I had built my program as a two-year program. To be under the heading of health careers would essentially cut my enrollment in half, do away with my dual credit with Purdue University and prevent any certification for lack of contact hours in the field.

I began a campaign with the DOE to show how this program could benefit from a single pathway dedicated to veterinary science and how other schools would then have standards to begin their own programs. I met with several individuals at conferences, through e-mails and phone calls. I had the support of my administration and fellow teachers of this career field. On May 30, I received an e-mail from the DOE detailing the Career Pathway of Veterinary Careers I and II with detailed standards! These new standards met what I have already been teaching to and now I had a pathway that would work for my students!

I encourage anyone to continue to fight for what you know is best for your students. You can make a difference.

Kandy Smitha is an ACTE Fellow from Region II.