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Today's career pathways are designed to guide students into high wage jobs in growing industries in San Diego County. Industry partners work in collaboration with academic and Career Technical Education (CTE) educators to provide students with work-based learning, and opportunities to explore and prepare for a future career. Optimally, educators collaborate to integrate academic content into technical courses, and teaching their core academic courses with career context in order to provide a relevant education that will best prepare students for college and careers. Pathways are ideally aligned from high school to college, ensuring students identify multiple entry points to careers at each level of education as students focus on college and career readiness.

CTE courses are designed to develop tangible career skills, often providing students with college credits through articulation agreements with the local community colleges or giving students a chance to earn industry recognized certifications. Through these courses, students are also encouraged to plan their post-secondary education upon high school graduation. Work-based learning and industry connections are an integral part of CTE courses.

Core academic courses that are part of a pathway, or which work with students in a pathway, incorporate the industry theme throughout their curriculum. Students who understand the application of what they learn are more successful, and providing real world connections to careers throughout each unit encourages career exploration as well as a stronger understanding of the academic standards. With significant changes in core academic education, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS*) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) require teachers to provide more relevant content to students, while also emphasizing the practices of learning and understanding. These practices also align with the idea of essential skills in the workplace.

Maybe you are new to the idea of the modern pathway, or you have already integrated careers and academics throughout your course, embracing project-based learning and contextualization.  Perhaps you are in a position to support teachers who are doing this work at the site or district level.  No matter your role, it is the goal of the team at SDCOE to support you in finding helpful resources, best practices, and strategies as you work to build regional career pathways.

Take a look at our many resources: 


California ​​Association of ​Regional Occupation Centers and Programs (CAROCP​)​​

California Association for Career Technical Education (CACTE​)​​

Association for Career Technical Education (ACTE​)​

CA Dept. of Education


Al Love
Senior Director, College and Career Leadership


​Lena Poplin-Viramontes
Administrative Assistant