The major challenge for all California Career Pathway Grant recipients centers on building a sustainable regional infrastructure that builds new avenues for regional collaborations.
The Challenge OC Pathways
is a California Career Pathways Trust (CCPT) grant led by the Orange County Department of Education and Saddleback Community College. Our consortium partners include 14 school districts, 4 regional occupational programs, 9 community colleges and multiple intermediaries, such as workforce investment boards (WIBs) and non-governmental organizations. The challenge we face is shared by all CCPT recipients: How can we build a sustainable regional infrastructure that will ensure our long term ability to prepare students for careers in a world where change is the only constant? The metrics of success framed by the California Department of Education's grant data points and the Doing What Matters Leading Indicators and Momentum points underscore the fact that the breadth and depth of traditional models for regional collaborations are obsolete.
The Consortium held a showcase event titled “Equipping students for success in the global innovation economy”. The showcase was built around a theme captured in a quote by author Tony Wagner who writes “We live in an innovation economy…What matters most in our increasingly innovation driven economy is not what you know, but what you can do with what you know.” The showcase was intended to educate regional stakeholders about the mission and vision of OC Pathways by highlighting student work and success stories with the overarching goal of cultivating relationships vital to a dynamic regional collaborative. A priority was to engage business partners as we move forward on major efforts to align pathway curricula and expand work-based learning experiences.
Data and Outcomes
The data needed to indicate success of the long term regional collaborative will emerge over the next few years. On an immediate level, the success of the showcase is based on attendance figures, especially the number of business and government leaders. Highlights of several year one accomplishments indicate that we are on the right track.
- More than 8,600 high school students participated in OC Pathways programs across six industry sectors
- More than 12,500 community college students were enrolled in OC Pathways industry sectors during the project’s first year, earning more than 600 certificates and 85 degrees.
- We launched 48 new high school and 19 new community college pathway programs.
- 13% increase in articulation agreements.
Attendance expectations were exceeded with over 340 attendees. Through extensive outreach over 100 business and government leaders participated in the event. The showcase consisted of two major elements: exhibitions by 100 % of our educational institutions and a presentation program led by Al Mijares, Orange County Department of Education Superintendent, and Todd Burnett, President of Saddleback College. Highlights included an inspirational presentation by astronaut Leland Melvin combined with the premiere of 3 student success videos followed by a question and answer with the student ”stars” of those videos. Attendees subsequently networked with teachers and students. The heightened awareness about OC Pathways sets the stage for a major campaign to build the regional collaborative. http://www.ocpathways.com/