Florida has adopted the Career Clusters/Career Pathways model as an organizational tool that can help educators prepare the state's citizens for jobs in the U.S. economy. In addition to the 16 nationally recognized career clusters, Florida has implemented a Career Cluster focus on energy (for a total of 17 clusters). National development teams identified knowledge and skill statements for each of the national 16 Career Clusters, as well as 79 Career Pathways that lead, through education and training, into employment sectors. This system is fully crosswalked with occupational descriptions and tools developed by the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Career Clusters/Pathways model offers a framework that is suitable both for middle and high school students and for adults. To ensure effective implementation of Career Clusters, Florida has adopted a state policy that supports Career Clusters and has integrated them into the state plan.
The 17 Career Clusters and corresponding Career Pathways that Florida has adopted are shown in the following table.
|AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND NATURAL RESOURCES
The production, processing, marketing, distribution, financing, and development of agricultural commodities and resources including food, fiber, wood products, natural resources, horticulture, and other plant and animal products/resources.
|Food Products and Processing Systems • Plant Systems • Animal Systems • Power, Structural and Technical Systems • Natural Resources Systems • Environmental Service Systems • Agribusiness Systems|
|ARCHITECTURE AND CONSTRUCTION
Careers in designing, planning, managing, building and maintaining the built environment.
|Design/Pre-Construction • Construction • Maintenance/Operations|
|ARTS, A/V TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
Designing, producing, exhibiting, performing, writing, and publishing multimedia content including visual and performing arts and design, journalism, and entertainment services.
|Audio and Video Technology and Film • Printing Technology • Visual Arts • Performing Arts • Journalism and Broadcasting • Telecommunications|
|BUSINESS MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION
Careers in planning, organizing, directing and evaluating business functions essential to efficient and productive business operations.
|General Management • Business Information Management • Human Resources Management • Operations Management • Administrative Support|
|EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Planning, managing and providing education and training services, and related learning support services.
|Administration and Administrative Support • Professional Support Services • Teaching/Training|
Planning, services for financial and investment planning, banking, insurance, and business financial management.
|Securities and Investments • Business Finance • Accounting • Insurance • Banking Services|
|GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
Planning and performing government functions at the local, state and federal levels, including governance, national security, foreign service, planning, revenue and taxation, and regulations.
|Governance • National Security • Foreign Service • Planning • Revenue and Taxation • Regulation • Public Management and Administration|
Planning, managing, and providing therapeutic services, diagnostic services, health informatics, support services, and biotechnology research and development.
|Therapeutic Services • Diagnostic Services • Health Informatics • Support Services • Biotechnology • Research and Development|
|HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM
Hospitality and Tourism encompasses the management, marketing and operations of restaurants and other food services, lodging, attractions, recreation events and travel related services.
|Restaurants and Food/Beverage Services • Lodging • Travel and Tourism • Recreation, Amusements and Attractions|
Preparing individuals for employment in career pathways that relate to families and human needs such as counseling and mental health services, family and community services, personal care, and consumer services.
|Early Childhood Development and Services • Counseling and Mental Health Services • Family and Community Services • Personal Care Services • Consumer Services|
Building linkages in IT occupations for entry level, technical, and professional careers related to the design, development, support and management of hardware, software, multimedia and systems integration services.
|Network Systems • Information Support and Services • Web and Digital Communications • Programming and Software Development|
|LAW, PUBLIC SAFETY, CORRECTIONS AND SECURITY
Planning, managing, and providing legal, public safety, protective services and homeland security, including professional and technical support services.
|Correction Services • Emergency and Fire Management Services • Security and Protective Services • Law Enforcement Services • Legal Services|
Planning, managing and performing the processing of materials into intermediate or final products and related professional and technical support activities such as production planning and control, maintenance and manufacturing/process engineering.
|Production • Manufacturing Production Process Development • Maintenance, Installation and Repair • Quality Assurance • Logistics and Inventory Control • Health, Safety and Environmental Assurance|
Planning, managing, and performing marketing activities to reach organizational objectives.
|Marketing Management • Professional Sales • Merchandising • Marketing Communications • Marketing Research|
|SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICS
Planning, managing, and providing scientific research and professional and technical services (e.g., physical science, social science, engineering) including laboratory and testing services, and research and development services.
|Engineering and Technology • Science and Math|
|TRANSPORTATION, DISTRIBUTION AND LOGISTICS
Planning, management, and movement of people, materials, and goods by road, pipeline, air, rail and water and related professional and technical support services such as transportation infrastructure planning and management, logistics services, mobile equipment and facility maintenance.
|Transportation Operations • Logistics Planning and Management Services • Warehousing and Distribution Center Operations • Facility and Mobile Equipment Maintenance • Transportation Systems/Infrastructure • Planning, Management and Regulation • Health, Safety and Environmental Management • Sales and Service|
Design, generation, distribution, and service of energy sources including alternative energies.
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Each pathway can be represented in a course sequence. Shown below is a sample course sequence (frequently called "program of study" [POS] at the secondary level) that a traditional student would follow in transitioning from secondary to postsecondary.
Multiple resources are available at both the state and federal levels. The Florida Dept. of Ed.'s Division of Career and Adult Education publishes the curriculum frameworks aligned to the Career Clusters recognized by the U.S. Dept. of Ed. (http://www.fldoe.org/workforce/dwdframe/heal_cluster_frame11.asp). The Career Cluster framework pages also contain links to Community College AS/AAS and Career Cluster Curriculum frameworks. To determine which cluster a particular program is assigned to, see the list of Secondary/PSAV CTE programs at
A particular region may not offer all 17 Career Clusters and corresponding pathways. Pathway development is contingent on the labor market in each region. Career pathways development should be connected to economic development and workforce development, and educators should have a clear understanding of the support role they play in supplying skilled workers for the region.
Use Resource 2.1 to gauge participants' level of understanding of the relationship between education and workforce development in your region.
For statistics on "living wages" for localities across the country, visit the "Living Wage Calculator" at http://www.livingwage.geog.psu.edu.
Florida's career-limited adults need a second chance in public education that enables them to enter and exit the Career Pathways system as their circumstances dictate. The solution is Adult Career Pathways, which are referred to in Florida (and henceforth in this document) as Adult Education Career Pathways (AECP). The need varies from region to region, and the partners in each region must work together to define the role of AECP in the broader communitywide Career Pathways system.
We can profile adults needing a second chance into the following groups (with overlaps between the groups):
Typical AECP programs components include the following:
The following graphic describes some of the key aspects of AECP programs.
The following graphic describes the "new basics" toward which adult education is evolving via AECP programs.
Pathway ladders are developed as information is collected on the pathways they represent (e.g., labor market data, related postsecondary courses). Each regional partnership must decide what industry sector(s) and related occupations are imperative for the region and develop the corresponding career ladders. The ladders should be updated regularly to reflect changes in partners or course requirements or other relevant changes.
In an AECP program, the academic ladder should be aligned with the career ladder of the targeted industry, as in the following illustration.
Career Pathways System
Adapted from National Center on Education and the Economy, Guide to Adult Education for Work:
Transforming Adult Education to Grow a Skilled Workforce, 2009
The 2009–2010 reporting year revealed that Florida registered more than 372,000 individuals into ABE/GED, Adult High School, and English for Speakers of Other Languages programs. It is estimated that more than 1.5 million additional adult Floridians lack a high school diploma and that more than 30,000 Floridians lack the literacy skills necessary to perform even the most basic functions. Such individuals are largely unable to retain employment beyond the entry level and many are unable to secure a job at all. By rededicating its programs to focus upon career exploration and contextual learning with emphasis upon career preparation through postsecondary education, Florida's Adult Education programs will be repositioned as a starting point to a better life for millions, not an end point where further education is not expected.
Currently, approximately 30% of Florida's adult education graduates transition into postsecondary programs. Florida seeks to significantly increase this number since more than 70% of jobs created between 2006 and 2020 will require more than a secondary education diploma. Associate degrees, professional certificates, and baccalaureate degrees are the gateway to economic independence for millions. Therefore, Florida's Adult Education Career Pathways strategic plan seeks to support individuals securing middle skill jobs where salaries range between $33,000 and $55,000. For many individuals, the use of career ladders will be necessary, whereas for other students, the opportunity to earn an associate to baccalaureate degree is a realistic possibility. Essentially, the initiative will not only provide a systemic framework that will support millions of individuals, but will also help Florida achieve its goal of attracting and retaining new businesses and growing existing businesses for a more diversified and strengthened economy. On a final note, Florida's initiative is recognized as a national model and is undergoing development simultaneously as Florida is playing a key role in architecting a national Adult Education Career Pathways model.
In Florida, AECP is a systemic framework that connects adult education programs, work, and postsecondary education. Each step in an AECP is designed to prepare the student for the next level of education and work. Each step measures skills and improves career and earning opportunities. The AECP includes both noncredit and college credit programs tied to high-growth industries, fields, or occupations that provide family-sustaining wages.
Florida's Adult Education System is responsive to the economic and educational needs of its adult learners. In order to foster economic growth for the state and provide its adult population with basic literacy, numeracy, and language skills, the Adult Education System has adopted the following strategic vision:
The goal of Florida's AECP Initiative is to improve the quality of Florida's adult education programs by incorporating a Career Pathways framework based on the nationally recognized 16 career cluster model. AECP is part of a larger system and should be developed through the partnering of local education institutions and stakeholders. Partnerships should include employers, school districts, local colleges and technical centers, and other area education providers as determined locally. Community and business partnership arrangements provide support services (childcare, transportation, case management), job shadowing, and internships.
Outcomes associated with AECP include higher rates of persistence and completion and smoother transitions from each educational level to the next and from education to employment. Improvement of adult education outcomes also results from the use of contextual teaching and the alignment of resources to strategic goals.
The specific measurable goals for Florida's AECP initiative are:
Florida's strategic vision for adult education is that adult education students will be prepared for success in postsecondary education and will develop the skills necessary to succeed in 21st century careers. The specific goals are:
Best practices for Adult Education Career Pathways suggest the following as key features of a comprehensive, fully implemented AECP system:|
|Program Design||Programs are designed to transition or "bridge" adults between basic and college-level skills, especially math, reading, and writing courses. Programs provide clear pathways for participants, regardless of their skill level at the point of entry, to advance as quickly as possible to postsecondary programs and ultimately to family-sustaining employment or advancement in their careers. Programs provide visual diagrams or "road maps" that show multiple entry and exit points and depict vertical and lateral movement within an occupation or career cluster.|
|Curriculum and Instruction||Programs ensure that curriculum covers the full range of basic and work-readiness skills needed for entry into and success in postsecondary education and training and the workplace, and use a range of resources and instructional techniques that optimize both educational gains and career and college readiness. Curriculum and coursework are aligned and articulated with academic and career advancement. Instruction provides basic skills contextualized for a specific occupation or cluster of occupations within an industry or field.|
|Professional Development||Teachers, counselors, and administrators need ongoing professional development to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to plan and implement an AECP system.|
|Student Support||Programs provide services such as tutoring, career counseling, career exploration and planning (using Florida CHOICES or its equivalent), and access to case management, child care, transportation, financial aid, and job placement.|
|Assessment||Programs use a variety of assessment tools (in addition to standardized tests used in adult education) to measure postsecondary readiness such as college placement tests, SAT, and/or ACT tests.|
|Partnerships||AECP is part of a larger system and should be developed in partnership with other local educational institutions and stakeholders. Community and business partnership arrangements provide support services (e.g., childcare, transportation, case management), job shadowing, and internships. Partnerships must include the school district, college/technical center serving the region, workforce representatives, and other area education providers as determined locally.|
|Marketing||Awareness of AECP is increased through targeted marketing of linkages between adult education, postsecondary, and the workforce. Strategies will inform adult learners of unique program offerings and disseminate best practices for adult education providers.|
|Accountability||Programs analyze student outcomes to set baseline data and goals for increasing the number and percentage of adult students who enter postsecondary education and earn degrees, certificates, and/or industry credentials. Programs document, evaluate, and improve student and program outcomes on a continuing basis.|
The following flowchart illustrates how the adult learner might flow through the AECP system:
Use Resource 2.2 to gauge participants' level of understanding of your career pathways system and education's role in economic development.
Use Resource 2.3 to determine the extent to which your AE has moved toward the "new basics."
One of the first steps in building an AECP program is to identify an employment sector and a suitable target population. This should be done in partnership with business and industry. (See sections III, "Partnership Development," and VI, "Effective Advisory Committees.") When selecting a sector to focus on, consider two main factors:
While you may identify several potential sectors, consider the one that presents the most opportunities for growth and development of career pathways. What are the possible entry points for the adult learner? After scanning the postsecondary programs available, you will be able to make a decision as to which programs could best serve AE and ESOL adult learners.
Use Resource 2.4 to determine which sectors have the most potential for growth in your region.
Once an industry sector has been targeted and occupations identified by industry, programs available to AE and ESOL learners should be identified. What postsecondary programs are available? Are those programs candidates (with possible modifications or "bridge" programs) for entry into the pathway for the targeted audience (AE and ESOL adults)?
Use Resource 2.5 to identify available programs related to the targeted industry sector.
This section has provided an introduction to Career Pathways in general and AECP specifically. AECP systems can be complex, encompassing many components.
Use Resource 2.6 to get a snapshot of career pathways in your region.