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Leading Career Pathways for High Schools

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The following is a joint press release between the Wisconsin Technical College System and Fox Valley Technical College:

The Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) is recognized as a national leader for innovative efforts to develop career pathways that provide high school students a variety of options leading to valuable education credentials and good jobs.

WTCS President Dan Clancy is sharing Wisconsin’s successful Career Pathways model for K12 students this week at the National Career Clusters Institute in Washington, DC.

Also at this week’s event, representatives from Fox Valley Technical College and Moraine Park Technical College are showing how Wisconsin’s K12 educators and students can use the Wisconsin Career Pathways website to create individualized plans for earning an education credential and improve their employment outcomes.

FVTC’s Marge Rubin, director of Articulated Programs and Jay Stulo, applications developer in the Learning Innovations department, are sharing their expertise on the model's impact at the Institute this week.  Both Rubin and Stulo have presented nationally before on this subject matter.

The WTCS Career Pathways model (also known as Rigorous Programs of Study) combines high school academic and career and technical education courses in a structured sequence. From fall 2006 though fall 2011, the WTCS collaborated with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to help develop almost 2,700 programs of study for high school students at local K12 districts across the state.

The Career Pathways model builds upon long-standing options for high school students to earn dual credit in college and high school either through successful completion of high school courses with college competencies or actual technical college courses taught by qualified high school teachers. Students also may earn technical college credits while in high school through the Youth Options program (operated through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction) and the Youth Apprenticeship program (operated through the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development).

These dual credit options and programs share a common goal of helping high school students earn college credentials more quickly – and at no cost to the students as they complete coursework that applies toward a technical college credential. In fact, over the last 10 years, 117,000 high school students earned technical college credits while still in high school including 18,636 students in 2011 alone, which is an increase of 140% compared to 2002. Dual credit opportunities have been a key part of technical college education programs for over 30 years.