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College and Career Readiness

Additional College and Career Readiness Supports and Initiatives

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Massachusetts High Quality College and Career Pathways Initiative
The Commonwealth has launched a High Quality College and Career Pathways initiative that will serve as an overarching strategy for significantly expanding student access to high-quality career pathways.

There are two new types of pathways for this effort: Early College and Innovation. While more specific sets of characteristics define each pathway, both are anchored in the five guiding principles defined in the Massachusetts Early College Designation - Preliminary Outline of Key Elements: equitable access, guided academic pathways, enhanced student support, connection to career, and effective partnerships.


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My Career and Academic Plan (MyCAP)
Formerly called Individual Learning Plan (ILP), MyCAP is a student-directed, multi-year planning tool designed to personalize learning and increase students' understanding of the connections and relevance of what they do now to their future success. MyCAP is a process and an instrument that allows students to map academic plans, document personal/social growth, and engage in career development activities consistent with the student's unique, self-identified interests, needs, and goals for the attainment of post-secondary success. While MyCAP implementation is not required in Massachusetts, an increasing number of schools and districts across the Commonwealth are implementing MyCAP to support the college and career readiness of their students. The Department is in the process of updating the Individual Learning Plan guidance document to reflect the new MyCAP tool. The Department published a guide for implementing ILPs in fall 2014. The new guide should be available in Fall 2018.

Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document

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MEFA PATHWAYS: Your Plan for the Future
MEFA Pathways: YourPlanForTheFuture is an initiative of MEFA (the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority), in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.

MEFA Pathways: YourPlanForTheFuture allows students to create a secure personal portfolio, search for college and career information, apply to colleges and universities online and have a solid college and career plan. If you are interested in getting your school or student involved please visit MEFA Pathways: YourPlanForTheFuture


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MCAS, Educational Proficiency Plan and the Competency Determination
Students in the class of 2010 and beyond now need to either reach proficiency, or demonstrate through an Educational Proficiency Plan (EPP) that they have taken steps to get there, before earning their Competency Determination (CD) required for high school graduation.

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Alternative Education Pathways
Alternative Education is an instructional approach under the control of a school committee that is offered to "at-risk" students in a nontraditional setting. "At-risk" students may include those who are pregnant/parenting teens, truant students, and suspended or expelled students, returned dropouts, delinquent youth, or other students who are not meeting local promotional requirements. A guide to frequently asked questions on alternative education Download Word Document is available.

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Career Vocational and Technical Education (CVTE)
The Office for Career/Vocational Technical Education administers Commonwealth of Massachusetts' General Law (M.G.L.) Chapter 74 governing vocational technical education programs in public school districts. The Office also administers the federal Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 P.L. 109-270 (Perkins IV), and the federal Guidelines for Eliminating Discrimination and Denial of Services on the Basis of Race, Color, National Origin, Sex, and Handicap in Vocational Education Programs 34 CFR, Part 100, Appendix B (Civil Rights Guidelines).


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Dropout Reduction/Prevention
Dropout reduction and prevention involves Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery. The Department recognizes that dropout reduction is not about one single program or initiative. Dropout reduction is very complex and does not lend itself to easy or quick fixes. Effective dropout prevention, intervention, and recovery must be seen as an adaptable and ongoing process. Significantly reducing the number of students who drop out of school takes a combination of systemic efforts at the community, district, school, classroom, and individual student levels.

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School Counseling and College and Career Readiness
The work of school counselors is essential to meet all the Commonwealth's goals for preparing more students to be college and career ready. Part of this work includes a partnership with the Massachusetts School Counselors Association (MASCA). Among our goals is to collaborate with MASCA to support and expand the use of the Mass Model for Comprehensive School Counseling Programs in order to repurpose the role of school counselors and position them as a primary resource to lead students in college and career readiness. This partnership is designed around the Massachusetts Definition of College and Career Readiness.

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Massachusetts New Skills for Youth
Massachusetts is among 24 states and the District of Columbia that secured grants for this work through phase one of the New Skills for Youth grant opportunity. The grants are one piece of a $75 million, five-year initiative that JP Morgan Chase developed in partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers and Advance CTE. The initiative is aimed at increasing economic opportunity for young people by strengthening career-focused education starting in high school and ending with postsecondary degrees or credentials aligned with business needs.

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Last Updated: May 31, 2018
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