College and Career Readiness
Launching the High Quality College and Career Pathways Initiative
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is embarking on a new chapter in college and career readiness for its students, launching a "High Quality College and Career Pathways" (HQCCP) initiative this summer. Conceived as an overarching strategy for significantly expanding student access to high-quality career pathways with a focus on underserved populations, particularly in STEM fields, HQCCP is the outgrowth of a number of recent complementary bodies of work that began several years ago in Massachusetts under the leadership of the Massachusetts Workforce Skills Cabinet (WSC).
There are two new types of HQCCPs: "Early College Pathways," which are overseen by the Early College Joint Committee via a joint resolution of the BESE and BHE, and "Innovation Career Pathways," which will be overseen by ESE, supported by the WSC. While more specific sets of characteristics define each pathway, both are guided by a common vision and demonstrate fidelity to 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.
The Commonwealth is preparing to offer its local education agencies and institutions of higher education the opportunity to obtain formal designation for these two types of pathways. Designed collaboratively by the EOE, DESE, and DHE, pathway designation will entail a two-step process, which will initiate in mid-July, on a date that will be announced soon; preliminary application materials will be available on the ESE website and these submissions will be due in late September. Information sessions on the Innovation Pathways designation criteria and process will be conducted via webinar on Tuesday July 25, 10:30 – 12 pm and Monday, July 31, 10:30 am – 12 pm; and on the Early College Pathways designation criteria and process on Wednesday, August 2, 10:30 am – 12 pm and Monday, August 14, 1:00 – 2:30 pm. Potential applicants and other interested parties are encouraged to participate and will have the opportunity to ask questions. (To register, please follow the links.) In the meantime, we encourage you to review the final Early College Designation Criteria, the Innovation Career Pathways Designation Criteria, and a presentation that illustrates the similarities and differences between Early College and Innovation Career Pathways, on the Office for College, Career, and Technical Education homepage.