The Path Forward on Pathways: What We Heard

May 5th, 2016

Category: Postsecondary Success



Readers of this blog might recall the Rodel Foundation and the United Way of Delaware recently co-hosted a community conversation about Delaware Pathways and its still-under-development strategic plan.

The event was a resounding success. From the Wilmington Public Library, community members and leaders from various nonprofit organizations weighed in on the present state of college and career readiness for Delaware students—and where they’d like to see it go in the future.

Here’s just a small sample of the feedback we heard:

  • Attendees emphasized the importance of keeping students and families as the focus of our work, and engaging current students and recent graduates in our feedback process.
  • They discussed the importance of aligning our K-12 system, our institutions of higher education, and our employers to help create meaningful academic and work experiences for our students.
  • We talked about how important it is to start career exploration early with students, as early as middle school, with activities like guest speakers, visits to workplaces, and internships.
  • Guests emphasized clear communications with parents and students about the benefits of Career and Technical Education (CTE), program availability, and opportunities available through these programs of study.
  • They also stressed the importance of quality implementation in order for this work to be successful.

One great way to spread the word about Delaware Pathways is with our new infographic that depicts the student experience throughout middle school and high school. Check it out below, or download the full pdf here.


We also heard a lot of great questions about the draft strategic plan and implementation. As we move forward, we will work to:

  • More explicitly address the opportunities Delaware Pathways creates for all students, including students with disabilities and at-risk students, and the supports available throughout their experience.
  • Make recommendations for how community-based organizations and Delaware Pathways can more seamlessly work together to provide the most meaningful opportunities for students, and connect directly with educators and employers implementing programs of study.
  • Better define how we will measure success in the short- and long-term, and use those measures to continuously improve our implementation.
  • More clearly communicate the benefits of Delaware Pathways programs of study to parents and students, while making it clear how this work aligns with other state programs which aim to prepare students for college and career success.

Couldn’t join us last week? No problem. Read through the full strategic plan or provide additional feedback at Share it with any friends or colleagues who might also be interested in weighing in. The Delaware Pathways team is keeping track of all of this feedback for consideration as we look to finalize our strategic plan this summer.

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Jenna Ahner



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