SREB Launches Technical Assistance for State Career Pathway Systems
Leaders from 16 states convene to advance postsecondary credential attainment


Teams from 16 states come together later this week at the Southern Regional Education Board’s annual State Leaders’ Forum to collaborate on strengthening career pathways that bridge the gap between high schools, community and technical colleges, and high-paying jobs.
Legislators, secondary and postsecondary education agency leaders, industry representatives and guest speakers are meeting October 29-30 at the Omni Hotel in Jacksonville, Florida.

Drawing on examples of best practices and policies for career pathway implementation, state teams will work with each other and expert consultants to create action plans focused on using career pathways to increase credential attainment among young adults by at least 25 percent over the next 10 years.
At the forum, SREB will launch three levels of technical assistance support for states, based on the recommendations in Credentials for All: An Imperative for SREB States and Community Colleges in the South: Strengthening Readiness and Pathways, the final reports of SREB commissions on career and technical education and community colleges.
States may opt to receive technical assistance to create a comprehensive action plan addressing all career pathways in the state, to design and pilot a career pathway in a critical industry sector for the state, or to design and pilot a career pathway in a single region.
Breakout sessions at the forum will help state teams:

  • Examine college- and career-readiness academic, technical and workplace standards
  • Accelerate student transitions from high school to community college certificate, credential and degree programs and the workplace
  • Involve employers in building pathways, setting standards and providing work-based learning experiences for young adults
  • Design state accountability systems that reward high schools and community colleges for achieving career pathway-related outcomes

“Between 50 and 60 percent of young adults in the SREB region hold no credible postsecondary credential. Our challenge to states is to help at least 25 percent more young adults acquire a certificate, credential or degree by age 25 over the coming decade,” said SREB senior vice president Gene Bottoms. “SREB is committed to helping states build structured career pathways blended with strong academic studies that help more students successfully transition from high school to community colleges and from community colleges to the workplace and beyond.”

SREB is also developing a set of online tools and resources for states seeking to strengthen their career pathway systems.

The 16 states sending teams to the SREB State Leaders’ Forum are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

SREB is working with organizations like the Council of Chief State School Officers to advance rigorous, relevant career pathways across the 16-state SREB region and the nation.