Blogs

5/2/2017
Section

The Commonwealth has embarked on a high level, ambitious effort to increase the career readiness of many of its students, both in high school and adult settings.  Under the guidance of the Workforce Skills Cabinet, and with the active involvement of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office for College, Career and Technical Education, the state has launched an initiative to scale up “High Quality College and Career Pathways” (HQCCPs) across the state.  Its motives are two-fold:  to support better outcomes for our students, and to address the needs of employers and the workforce, especially related to existing “skill gaps” where employers cannot find qualified applicants for current and upcoming openings.  Generally, this effort is seen as critical to maintaining the state’s competitive position in the country, and even globally.

A significant driver of the HQCP work is the grant funding the state received from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) through the “New Skills for Youth” project.  Massachusetts is proud to be one of ten states that advanced to the implementation phase of this work in January, having been among 24 states (plus D.C.) that received planning grants in spring 2016.  This national project is designed to scale up access to career pathways around the country.  In Massachusetts, the NSFY effort is multi-faceted, and has been designed to significantly increase the number of HQCCP(s) that are available to students.  One of the core components of this new work is Career Advising, and a strategy to address this is described below.

The NSFY work is underway and will continue through 2019.  Current efforts include:

  • The development of a set of six minimum characteristics needed for HQCP(s) in our schools: 1) career advising, 2) work-based learning, 3) integration of academic and technical instruction, 4) secondary-postsecondary linkages, 5) credential attainment, and 6) alignment with the labor market.
  • The improvement of ESE’s data collection methods so that student participation in these activities can be tracked, analyzed, and increased.
  • The creation of a significant new training effort about career advising, to be offered to counselors and other educators that offer career advisement to students, to be integrated into any new career pathways that are being designated as HQCCPs, and more generally to be offered to all students whether in a career pathway or not.

The career advisement training program envisioned by the state’s NSFY initiative will be developed in partnership with Massachussetts School Counselors Association, and with the input of a wide range of experts.  New curricula and other materials needed by students for authentic career awareness, exploration and immersion, and for more informed decision-making about college and career choices, will be developed in FY18.  The envisioned training program for counselors will be launched late in FY18 or in FY19.  Stay tuned from more information about this exciting project.

Other Blog Posts

1/12/2016
Section

This year, the online Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan (WBLP) adds a new feature - an option  for tracking the Career/Vocational Technical Education (CVTE) competencies.

The Work-Based Learning Plan (WBLP) is a tool used in summer jobs, internships, cooperative education experiences and other work experiences. The WBLP is a user-...

11/14/2015
Section

Through Connecting Activities, ESE has recently published a new Primer and related materials about Labor Market Information (LMI).  The Primer can be found here:  CDE Page of ESE website with LMI Primer These materials provide a strong introduction to the important topic of LMI, and are...

3/4/2015
Section

Recently, the importance of better career preparation for students in high school has been the subject of national attention due to a new report by the Council of Chief State School Officers[1] titled:...

10/10/2014
Section

“Success after High School” is the over-arching goal of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE).  Making sure that our students are ready for both college and careers is at the heart of our work.  Connecting Activities (CA) drives the career readiness part of the college and career readiness agenda and is one of the leading...

7/24/2014
Section

The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, through its Connecting Activities initiative, has just developed a new training video for worksite supervisors about use of the “MA Work-Based Learning Plan" (The Plan or WBLP). The video is meant to help the many dedicated employees across the state who guide student interns through work...

7/18/2014
Section

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) created a task force in 2011 to address the question of how to expand the extent of career development education in our districts, recognizing that students need more support in this arena.  The Task Force for the Integration of College and Career Readiness (ICCR Task Force) issued its...

7/14/2014
Section

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has published a guide and glossary about Career Development Education (CDE), to help school staff and other educators develop high quality experiences for students that help them plan for their futures, and to support thier efforts to scale up what they offer so that all students can benefit...