Tackling Tech Pathway Challenges: AERA Debut Ignites Fresh Opportunities – Digital Promise

Tackling Tech Pathway Challenges: AERA Debut Ignites Fresh Opportunities

May 16, 2024 | By , and

In April, the Pathways Research and Design (Pathways) team presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, one of the largest convenings of educational researchers and institutions in the country. AERA provided us with a platform to amplify our message and an opportunity to network and build collaborative partnerships and enabled us to emphasize our commitment to figuring out how to better support Black workers and learners in the tech workforce. Our mission for attending AERA was clear: to bridge the gap between educational institutions, technology providers, and the very individuals at the heart of our endeavors—Black workers and learners in technology.

Researchers at AERA conferenceAligned with the overarching theme of AERA, Dismantling Racial Injustice and Constructing Educational Possibilities: A Call to Action, our participation bore testament to our work to advocate for alternative pathways into the tech industry. Digital Promise was among several presenters throughout the conference, however, Pathways researchers, Bria Carter, Ph.D., and Zohal Shah engaged with Career and Technical Education (CTE) participants via a roundtable session. Within this session, they networked with various CTE representatives and discussed possible future partnerships with different CTE and training providers that would help further support equitable pathways for historically and systematically excluded populations. Throughout the presentation, our team focused on key points from our upcoming report, “Supporting Black Learners and Workers in Technology Career Pathways,” including:

  • Sharing our landscape scan that highlights curated resources, policies, and partnerships that facilitate workers’ and learners’ navigation of technology career pathways.
  • Highlighting the next phase of our project which includes conducting interviews, design sessions, and focus groups with workers, learners, and non-four-year-degree credentialing program leaders.
  • Explaining the action steps that providers can take to help Black workers and learners navigate tech career pathways.

Learn more about our work and action steps in our blog post, Yes, We Still Need to Discuss Black Learners and Workers in Tech. Keep a lookout for our upcoming report, Supporting Black Learners and Workers in Technology Career Pathways, scheduled to be published this upcoming June.

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