Office of College, Career and Technical Education

Innovation Pathways

Innovation Pathways are designed to give students coursework and experience in a specific high-demand industry, such as information technology, engineering, healthcare, life sciences and advanced manufacturing.

Innovation Pathways are designed to create strong partnerships with employers in order to expose students to career options and help them develop knowledge and skills related to their chosen field of study before they graduate high school.

Organizations that have received the Innovation Pathways designation.

To learn more about Innovation Pathways, review the Innovation Pathway Criteria .

Presentation on Innovation Pathway Designation Process and Criteria

Please check this page regularly for updates. If you are seeking additional information on the designation process, please email .

Innovation Pathway Designation Process and Timeline — AY2021–2022

for Fall 2022 Enrollment

The Commonwealth is again offering its local education agencies and institutions of higher education the opportunity to obtain formal designation for Innovation Pathways. There is a separate opportunity for grant funding. Designed collaboratively by the EOE, DESE, and DHE, pathway designation will entail a two-step process ("Part A" and "Part B"), as follows:

  • Mid-April 2021 — Innovation Pathways Part A Application and separate Planning Grant Application posted
  • June 2, 2021Applicant Open Workshop for Part A applicants (1 hour 45 minutes)

  • June 24, 2021 — Innovation Pathway Planning Grant Application due
    • Planning Grant applicants are expected to pursue designation in AY2020–2021
    • Planning Grant Award Notifications projected for mid-July

  • June – July 2021
    • Two web-based information sessions (60 minutes), T.B.D.
    • 1:1 Intake sessions with prospective applicants

  • August and September 2021 — Technical assistance for Part A applicants
    • Two dates, T.B.D. — Web-based "Office Hours"
    • 1:1 Supports, on-demand

  • September 17, 2021 — Intent to Apply Due — Mandatory for any applicants who did not submit Planning Grant Applications

  • October 29, 2021Part A Application due — Applications must be submitted electronically

  • Mid-October – Mid-November 2021 — Part A Application review by staff

  • Mid-November 2021Part A NotificationsSuccessful applicants will be invited to submit Part B

  • Mid-November 2021 through January 2022 — Staff conduct Part B information sessions, provide technical assistance

  • February 10, 2022Part B Application Due

  • February – March 2022 — Part B Application review by staff and Applicant Interviews

  • Late March 2022
    • Part B Application summaries and recommendations are reviewed by the DESE Commissioner
    • Designations conferred in late March 2022

Last Updated: July 26, 2021

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.