The CA Strong Workforce Program (SWP) identified a need for the CA Community Colleges to build capacity within colleges to support CTE Career Pathways. LARC’s CTE Deans recognized that “If it’s not someone’s job, it’s no one’s job then nothing gets done.” As a result, the Career Pathways Partnership Program was created to provide funding to each of the community colleges in LA to employ one individual to build, revise, and align CTE classes in high schools and noncredit programs with the credit CTE classes at community colleges. While the process to employ CTE-focused workers began in the 80s, funding has not been consistent throughout the years, causing colleges to find funds on their own. Therefore, the CTE Deans have supported this project since the inception of SWP regional funding in 2017.
In 2017, the first year of SWP funding, an initial assessment was conducted that showed that 111,299 students were being served through articulated classes or dual enrollment. As of September 1, 2022, data collected for that year documented that 56,377 students were served. This project also encourages students to go on to complete a bachelor’s degree in one of the identified CTE areas.
Previously, there existed two SB 1070 Grants that provided a small amount of dollars to share best practices related to Career Pathways in the LA Region. Recognizing that these dollars would no longer exist, the LA Ring Colleges, or those outside the Los Angeles Community College District, took action to apply for regional SWP funding to not only collaborate and share best practices, but to fund one full time Career Pathway Specialists for each of the 19 colleges. The LACCD requested to join their effort, leading to participation by all 19 of the region’s community colleges.
- LA Career Finder – This tool was developed for use by teachers and counselors in high school and middle school. It allows students to explore a number of career options with the goal of increasing their awareness of potential occupations they could pursue. Training for the high school and this year middle school teachers facilitates their use of this FREE tool. Feedback from students reported that they learned about potential jobs they never knew existed and were excited to enroll in a class at the high school to begin to prepare them.
- CTE Course Connect – The digitization of the articulation process and Credit by exam process was made possible thanks to CTE Course Connect, a cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) that simplifies course articulation and credit tracking for high school students. It offers a single platform for high school and college communication, web-based course approvals, and insightful dashboards for college CTE staff. It’s a modern digital tool for college credit and career readiness through CTE articulation and credit-by-exam.
CTE Course Connect at Rio Hondo College
Explore additional projects funded through the SWP at https://losangelesrc.org/our-work/.