The goal of Career Pathways is to help our kids live up to their promise, and find dignity and fulfillment in their lives after high school. Through partnerships with parents and the community, students discover their interests, understand the opportunities available to them, and get ready for a pathway that helps them find dignity and fulfillment in life.
Unlike similar initiatives in other school districts, Career Pathways starts in Kindergarten. We believe when students are engaged in what they’re interested in from the first day of school—when they see the relevance of their learning—they can start to shape their hopes and aspirations.
We want students to leave school with clear ideas for possible next steps.They should see that completing high school isn’t the end of a journey, just the start of a new one.
Career Pathways aligns with a number of the goals in Edmonton Public Schools’ strategic plan, including:
It’s about more than just preparing students for the world of work. It’s about developing confident, well-rounded citizens who contribute to their community.
Career Pathways prepares students for life after school, and supports Alberta Education’s Vision of an Educated Albertan, which sees every student becoming “an engaged thinker and ethical citizen with an entrepreneurial spirit.”
Launched in the fall of 2014, Career Pathways is being rolled out over the next five years. Pilot programs will allow our school district to test new ways to connect student activities to learning outcomes.
As of February 2015, a new pilot program called Entrepreneurial Adventure is in place at the elementary level. Junior high schools are preparing for the new Career and Technology Foundations (CTF) curriculum, starting in September 2015. High school programs like the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) and work experience have been in place for years. These now fall under the Career Pathways umbrella and will be enhanced and expanded to meet the needs of more students.
The Entrepreneurial Adventure program is being piloted in Grades 3 and 4. Currently running in 12 schools, Entrepreneurial Adventure matches students and their teachers with business mentors from BMO Bank of Montreal, and is supported by the Learning Partnership, a not-for-profit organization that supports public education in Canada.
Students choose a charity they’d like to support and, working with their business mentor, develop a business enterprise to raise money for that charity. Throughout the program, student activities are connected to the curriculum.
The Learning Partnership has more information about Entrepreneurial Adventure, including examples of how the program worked in other school districts.
CTF allows students to explore their interests and passions, while developing skills and competencies, and making connections to career choices by exploring different occupational areas. Connections between the community and the school create hands-on learning experiences for students.
Alberta Education has more information about Career and Technology Foundations.
Edmonton Public Schools held a Career Pathways symposium on October 30, 2014. This event brought together 300 attendees including students, parents, teachers, members of the business community, not-for-profit groups, post-secondary institutions, government and community organizations.
Discussions at the symposium resulted in over 1,500 pages of stakeholder feedback that the District is using to fine-tune the Career Pathways model. This feedback has been summarized in the Career Pathways Stakeholder Feedback Report.
On July 9, 2015, an Information Report was presented to the Board of Trustees outlining how the stakeholder feedback has been incorporated into the Career Pathways model so far.