Career Pathways - Digital Promise

Career Pathways

Facilitators: Krystle Basset, Juab School District and Jennifer Kabaker, Digital Promise
Essential Question: How can we give educators access to meaningful career pathways through micro-credentials?


Career Pathways

This group focused on how micro-credentials can be used to provide educators with access to career pathways. To do so, however, participants first defined career pathways as a “constellation” of opportunities that educators, from classroom teachers to principals, can access for growth both within and beyond the classroom. The concept of “constellation” was in direct response to the notion of a “ladder” or “lattice” toward leadership and opportunity, which often requires an educator to leave the classroom to access.

A series of guiding questions informed their discussion:

  • What existing models are out there?
  • How this will impact classrooms and students?
  • What barriers may exist for educators to take advantage of these pathways/micro-credentials?
  • What systems/structures are needed at the district and state level to support these pathways

Career Pathways Symposium Presentation

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The group then defined their challenge statement: Define the strategies and methods for designing a career constellation using micro-credentials that develops and supports educator growth and improves student learning.

To support the thoughtful design of career pathways at the local level, the group proposed creating a toolkit for districts and states interested in exploring career pathways through micro-credentials. This toolkit would identify the various decision points leaders must consider when designing a career pathways plan, offer case studies, and facilitate networking. Educator involvement in any career pathway implementation is particularly important in the toolkit.

The toolkit would be broken into several areas to support districts and states, including:

  • Goals and priorities – what challenges or outcomes is the district or state trying to solve for through career pathways?
  • Stakeholder involvement – how will educators be involved in the creation and implementation of the pathways?
  • Incentives and value – what value will educators receive as they progress through the pathway(s)?
  • Scope and scale – what resources will be necessary to support the pathway program as it grows?
  • Professional learning experiences – how will educators gain the skills they need to earn the micro-credentials?
  • Evaluation and iteration – what systems will be put in place to understand the impact of the pathways?
  • Sharing and communicating – how will successes and challenges be shared?

As next steps, group members hope to identify an owner for the toolkit and develop a timeline to create it, ensure coherence of the questions, build out an implementation section, and gather feedback.

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