What are Career Pathways?
The driving force behind the Career Pathways program is that every student personalizes his/her career and educational plan beyond high school. Some students believe that learning ends with high school graduation. This attitude and belief system typically result in a low-paying, unfulfilling job, which in turn can impact the individual’s entire well-being. Helping students recognize that they have direct control over the career path they choose is the challenge of Career Pathways.
A career path is a broad spectrum of careers that share similar characteristics and for which employment requirements call for common interests, strengths, and competencies. The U.S. Department of Education has identified sixteen (16) Career Clusters that were designed to help students focus on an area of interest and possible career path. Pennridge School District’s Pathways Program combines the clusters to create five broader and more flexible paths for student exploration and instruction. The five Pathways used by the Pennridge School District are as follows:
- Arts & Communication
- Finance, Business, & Information Technology
- Engineering, Industry, & Manufacturing
- Human & Family Services
- Science & Health
It is recommended that students select a Career Pathway during course selection of their 8th-grade year. Students will then be able to examine specific careers and post-high school educational programs related to their Pathway. In addition, elective course recommendations and service learning options will be available to assist parents and students in making course selections that will be most beneficial to their academic and career goals. This information will help students see a connection between what they learn within the classroom and the skills they need for success in their adult lives and the work world.
*The "Undeclared Pathway" is intended for students who are still exploring possible career options. We encourage students to enroll in a variety of elective classes to gain broad exposure to various types of career areas.
Why are Career Pathways so Important?
They help high school students (and even some middle school students) gain secondary and postsecondary education, training, and support services while they acquire marketable skills, industry-recognized credentials, and eventually good jobs. Career pathway systems combine rigorous academic courses with hands-on workplace experience using the latest technologies.
- To assist each student in determining a Career Pathway based on interest and ability.
- To provide a variety of course offerings that will prepare students for education/training beyond high school to meet individual career goals.
- To produce students who are responsible citizens, effective communicators, cooperative workers, and skilled problem-solvers.
What do you want to be when you grow up? The Career Pathways Program has been designed to help Pennridge School District students answer this most important question. Students begin their journey by exploring personal skills, interests, and aptitudes through career assessments which supply them with ideas about how one of the five Career Pathways might “best fit” their personality. Then, as they progress through high school, they discover a multitude of career experiences like site visits, meet & greets, guest speakers, job shadows, and mentorships.
Students are encouraged to choose electives based on their interest in or curiosity about a particular Career Pathway. The Career Pathway Coordinator and guidance department will also help to guide you in your course selection.