Adult Career Pathways Resources

  • Clear Filters

ABE-Workforce Partnerships for Adult Career Pathways Programming – Webinar Recording

Building relationships with WorkForce Center partners is crucial to successful adult career pathway programming. Hear about successes in the field from workforce and ABE professionals, and get what you need to take the next steps in your locality.

Adult Career Pathway Project Flow Chart – Example 1

This simple flow chart helps all partners in the adult career pathway project understand the steps from recruitment through employment placement.

Adult Career Pathway Project Flow Chart – Example 2

This more complex model flow chart helps all partners in the adult career pathway project understand the steps from ABE and the partner community and technical college that are planning the integrated college course to successful participant completion.

Adult Career Pathways Course Design Guidelines and Template

This document is intended to guide a systematic process of designing and documenting courses within an adult career pathway program (or for stand-alone courses related to preparation for a particular career).

Adult Career Pathways Curriculum Review Rubric

The rubric can be used by an ABE program to review/evaluate its own adult career pathways (ACP) course curricula and/or to review ACP curricula from other sources for potential use. It also provides a useful guideline for best practices in ACP course curriculum design.

Adult Career Pathways Glossary

Confused about Adult Career Pathways and transitions terminology? You're not alone! Check out this handy ACP glossary.

Articulate Your Learning Objectives

A simple 2-page guide with advice on articulating clear and learner-centered course objectives. Links within the document include a list of action verbs that is extremely helpful in defining what kind of learning and demonstration of that learning we expect upon completion of a lesson, unit or course.

Assessment – Example

This example of course objectives and the assessments used to measure them comes from a job preparation course for personal care assistant jobs.  Note the variety of assessment methods used and how each method matches the objective.

Backward Design

A useful 3-page summary of the what and why of backward design as an effective approach to designing a course, with a focus on the learning rather than the teaching.

Budgeting for ACP Course Development

This 4-page document outlines the steps required to design a quality adult career pathway (ACP) course, approaches to time estimation for the project, and guidelines for including course design in ACP grant proposals.

Budgeting Guidelines for ACP Course Development

This document is intended to give those budgeting for curriculum development projects some guidance in the tasks, time, and accompanying compensation involved in this critical and complex work.

Building and Sustaining Effective Collaborations

This 7-page research brief summarizes findings from 24 studies and reports conducted around the country over 15 years regarding what makes collaborations succeed (and fail), and then describes the key strategies that have shown to be effective in sustaining collaborations over time.

Building Partnerships: A Growing Role for Program Leaders

In this webinar recording, several ABE leaders in the field share their strategies, successes and challenges in building employer relationships and other partnerships to design and delivery quality adult career pathway programming. (1 hour and 10 minutes)

Building Strategic Partnerships Online Course

This online, self-directed course is intended for adult education program administrators interested in building new and strengthening existing partnerships essential for successful development and implementation of Adult Career Pathways programs and systems. (1 hour and 30 minutes)

Building Strong Enrollments – Guidelines & Examples plus Worksheet

A 7-step process that guides ABE programs and their partners to go beyond existing student populations and generic program flyers to instead be focused and strategic in building enrollments for adult career pathway programs.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Career Program Advisory Committee Handbook

This handbook was developed to guide CTE career programs in how to build and sustain a strong and active advisory committee. It can be a helpful resource for ABE in two ways – for use in your own collaboration with employers, and for tapping into your CTE partner's existing advisory committee employer relationships.

Career Pathways Brochure – Example

This informational brochure is especially useful as a communication piece with potential referral sources – i.e., agency staff working with target populations who need program specifics in order to determine whether participants are eligible, etc.

Career Pathways Checklist

This user-friendly 10-page checklist is designed to help determine the extent to which a newly developed or existing ACP program meets the requirements for career pathways as outlined in WIOA.

Career Pathways Toolkit: An Enhanced Guide and Workbook for System Development

Organized around six key elements of career pathways, each section includes resources and writable worksheets to help state and local ACP teams with implementation.  (Downloadable PDF available online)

Career Pathways Toolkit: Element Four – Identify Funding Needs and Sources

Element Four of the Toolkit provides useful guidance and tools to identify the costs associated with career pathway system and program development and operations; identify sources of funding available from partner agencies and related public and private resources and secure funding; and develop long-term sustainability plans with state or local partners.

Career Pathways Toolkit: Element One – Build Cross-Agency Partnerships & Clarify Roles

Element One of the Toolkit provides useful guidance and tools to engage cross-agency partners and employers; establish a shared vision, mission, goals and strategies; define the roles and responsibilities of all partners; and develop a work plan and/or memorandum or understanding for the partnership.

Career Pathways Toolkit: Element One – Build Cross-Agency Partnerships and Clarify Roles

Element One of the Toolkit provides useful guidance and tools to engage cross-agency partners and employers; establish a shared vision, mission, goals and strategies; define the roles and responsibilities of all partners; and develop a work plan and/or memorandum or understanding for the partnership.

Career Pathways Toolkit: Element Three – Design Education & Training Programs

Element Three of the Toolkit provides useful guidance and tools to ensure that career pathway courses promote the competencies required in the target career; utilize accelerated, contextualized learning strategies; provide flexible delivery methods; and integrate comprehensive support services.

Career Pathways Toolkit: Element Three – Design Education and Training Programs

Element Three of the Toolkit provides useful guidance and tools to identify target populations, choose recruitment strategies, provide flexible delivery models, and more.

Career Pathways Toolkit: Element Two – Identify Industry Sectors and Engage Employers

Element Two of the Toolkit provides useful guidance and tools to identify industry sectors; conduct labor market analysis; clarify role of employers in program development and operations; and sustain and expand business partnerships.

Course Design Cycle

Provides a very useful graphic and brief explanation of a 5-stage course design process. Stages include: course learning outcomes, assessment, learning activities, alignment and syllabus, and analysis and action.

Designing Contextualized Instruction – Online Course

This 2.5-hour, self-paced course features three modules: (1) Understanding Contextualized Instruction (and the supporting research); (2) Building Contextualized Lessons; and (3) Overcoming Development Challenges.

Developing Effective Bridge Programs – Online Course

This 2.5-hour, self-paced course features three modules: (1) Understanding Bridge Programs; (2) Laying the Foundation; and (3) Developing the Curriculum.

Employability Measures Chart

A useful one-page chart that assists a case manager or ABE staff person to assess a participant’s employability based on eleven factors – transportation, education, stability of housing, and more.

Employer Engagement Toolkit: From Placement to Partners

Use the entire toolkit as a package or select individual exercises, checklists, planning guides, or resources that are most relevant to you. Includes an assessment of current employer relationships; provides strategies for new employer outreach; and provides tools that connect employers directly to your ACP program.

Engaging Employers – Setting SMART Goals and Action Steps

This template, useful in any adult career pathways (ACP) program development work, guides a step-by-step process to define a goal appropriate for one’s own context for engaging employers in an ACP in new ways.

Engaging Employers in Adult Career Pathways – Making It Happen

This activity, used in an ACP Program Development cohort of program managers, guides a process of identifying potential roles for employers in adult career pathway (ACP) programs; assessing employer partnerships currently in place; seeing opportunities for expanding employer partnerships; and communicating effectively with employers.

Engaging Employers in Adult Career Pathways – Webinar Recording

Hear from Minnesota ABE professionals and their employer partners about ways they collaborate, their challenges and successes. Understand the role of Career and Technical Education advisory committees and how ABE can get involved and connect with those employers. Gain strategies for effective employer outreach in your own context.

Engaging Employers in Adult Career Pathways Online Course

This 2-hour, self-paced course helps adult education instructors and program administrators understand how to identify, engage, and sustain engagement of appropriate employers in the development of career pathways programs.

Engaging Employers to Support Adult Career Pathways Programs

This 10-page issue brief offers practical strategies on engaging employers and building business-education partnerships to support ACP programs, and highlights promising examples from adult education providers in three states.

Enrollment Spreadsheets

These two spreadsheet templates with examples are helpful tools for meeting enrollment goals through shared effort of all adult career pathways (ACP) partner organizations, and for creating an enrollment plan that factors in realistic persistence/attrition rates at each step of the pathway program.

Funding Career Pathways

This resource is a federal funding toolkit for state and local/regional career pathway partnerships. The toolkit aims to help partnerships understand key components and tasks involved in developing, implementing, and maintaining career pathway programs; and identify how federal resources can support these key components and tasks.

Guide for MN Adult Basic Education Representatives to Local Workforce Development Boards

A brief, 7-page informal guide to the role of ABE representative to your local workforce development board. Sections include: how ABE fits in the work of LWDBs; roles and responsibilities of the ABE rep to the LWDB; strategies for effectively representing all ABE consortia in your locality; roles ABE reps take on their LWDBs; and more.

Healthcare ACP Promo Flyer – Example

An excellent example of a promotional flyer with key “benefit messages” to attract target participants; nice photos; a graphic explanation of the career pathways available; and clear next steps for anyone interested.

Integrated Education & Training: A Career Pathways Policy & Practice

Summarizes data from a national survey of adult education providers conducted to learn more about IET models, funding mechanisms, and partnerships across the country. Considers implications for the field of Adult Basic Education.

Integrated Education & Training: A Service Model for Adult Education Across the Spectrum

This one-hour archived webinar reviews the IET definition and guidance in WIOA regulations. It goes on to explore a few of the many adult education programs that have discovered the power of IET and, through a variety of partnerships, have implemented the IET strategy to serve people across the educational functioning level spectrum.

Integrated Education & Training: Implementing Programs in Diverse Contexts

Profiles eight adult education programs around the country and their unique, context-specific approaches to integrating education and training.

Integrated Education & Training: Model Programs for Building Career Pathways for Participants at Every Skill Level

Article published by The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advancing policy solutions for low-income people.

Learning Task Formats

View examples of learning task formats, which are routine structures for activities and tasks that provide practice of lesson content. Establishing consistent learning task formats creates predictability and a foundation for success for learners. Consistent learning task formats can also simplify instructor preparation of lessons.

LINCS Career Pathways Exchange

A free information service that consolidates and distributes career pathways-related resources, events, and information from federal and state agencies and partner organizations. The Exchange streamlines information from multiple outlets to facilitate a deeper national dialogue on career pathways systems development and implementation.

Local Workforce Development Plans – Worksheet

A useful 3-page guide for finding and analyzing key information in your lengthy Local Workforce Development Plan which should inform development of adult career pathway programming.

Minnesota ABE Comprehensive Career Pathways

A 13-slide PowerPoint with embedded audio that provides useful graphics and basic orientation to the what and why of adult career pathway programming and the role of ABE in these multi-partner efforts.

Minnesota ABE Content Standards

A helpful 2-page reference document provides an overview of ABE content standards: the College & Career Readiness Standards (CCRS), Northstar Digital Literacy Standards, and Transitions Integration Framework. These standards are the guide in setting learning objectives in any adult career pathway course.

Minnesota Adult Basic Education Program Finder

This overlay map allows you to display boundaries for any or all of the following: ABE consortia, ABE transitions regions, career and technical education, Perkins consortia, school district boundaries, Minnesota State school sites, workforce centers, and workforce development areas. A helpful tool in defining ACP program needs and identifying potential partners.

Minnesota Employment & Training Flowchart

This flowchart summarizes basic federal, state and local funding streams and administrative authority related to employment and training.

Minnesota Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Template

The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to define the roles and responsibilities as mutually agreed by the parties for the operation of the One-Stop Service Delivery System in Local Workforce Development Area XX – NAME as required under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA).

Minnesota Workforce Council Association (MWCA) Roles

A one-page quick reference of MWCA’s purpose, membership, functions and structure.

Minnesota Workforce Council Association (MWCA) Website

MWCA represents the cooperative efforts of 16 area workforce councils across the state. The MWCA website is the go-to online source for regional and local workforce development board plans, WIOA resources, the Governor’s workforce development council, and much more.

Minnesota’s Workforce System

A useful 2-page overview WorkForce Centers, workforce development areas, roles of workforce development boards and elected officials, and functions of MWCA.

MN Dept. of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) – Competitive Grants

Postings include all outgoing grants and open-ended services. Each solicitation includes a brief description of work and a link to its Request for Proposal (RFP) or Request for Application (RFA). See especially Minnesota Job Skills Partnership grants.

MWCA Orientation Guide

A resource for Minnesota’s local workforce development boards, this 70-page guide provides an overview of the public workforce system, workforce development boards, information on legalities, and other useful reference material for ABE practitioners new to the workforce system and the role of regional and local workforce development boards.

National Career Pathways Network (NCPN)

NCPN is a membership organization for educators, employers and others involved in the advancement of Career Pathways, career technical education, and related education reform initiatives. NCPN assists its members in planning, implementing, evaluating, and improving secondary and postsecondary transition programs.

National College Transitions Network (NCTN)

NCTN’s purpose is to strengthen policy and practice that prepares nontraditional learners for college and careers. The NCTN website includes tools and resources, technical assistance and information on numerous professional development opportunities.

Orientation Guide for Minnesota’s Local Workforce Development Boards

A resource for Minnesota’s local workforce development boards, this 70-page guide provides an overview of the public workforce system, workforce development boards, information on legalities, and other useful reference material for ABE practitioners new to the workforce system and the role of regional and local workforce development boards.

Presenter Tips – English Language Learner Classes

Workforce partners may not have background in effective communication strategies with English language learners. These simple tips can be sent in advance of partners from workforce or other agencies coming to present information to an ELL class. Tips include “less is more,” write it down, use visuals and props, and several more useful ideas.

Q&A on the MOU, OSO, and IFA for ABE Representatives on the LWDBs

Response to questions regarding the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), One-Stop Operator (OSO), and Infrastructure Agreement (IFA). Includes definition of key terms and clarification of various other potentially confusing aspects of these three aspects of the joint work between ABE and the workforce system.

Referral Form WFC – ABE – Example 1

Establishing effective cross-referral systems is an essential and challenging aspect of adult basic education and workforce center partnerships. Once the system is in place, a form needs to be created in consultation with front-line staff that works for everyone involved. This simple one-page form has been used successfully in Mankato.

Referral Form WFC – ABE – Example 2

Establishing effective cross-referral systems is an essential and challenging aspect of adult basic education and workforce center partnerships. Once the system is in place, a form needs to be created in consultation with front-line staff that works for everyone involved. This cross-referral form from Albert Lea, MN, contains a bit more information.

Regional and Local Workforce Development Area MN Map

A useful color-coded reference map of Minnesota’s six Regional Workforce Development Areas and the smaller Local Workforce Development Areas within each region.

Sample MOU and Infrastructure Costs Toolkit

This Sample Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) from the federal level and accompanying Cost Allocation Analyses for hypothetical local areas may be used as a reference guide or toolkit when developing your own MOU.

School Districts as Employer Partners

Hear from a school district recruitment and retention manager about the value of partnering with ABE to fill positions like school bus driver and nutrition service workers in this 7-minute video.

Strategic Governance Reference Guide

Based on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). See especially Local Plan (p. 15) for the required core elements of the LWDA plan. Also includes a helpful list of acronyms and glossary of terms.

Understanding Your Role in a Team

This 56-item team role self-assessment exercise is an easy way to determine which of 8 team roles best fits your personality and operating style. A brief description of each type follows, including typical features, strengths, and allowable weaknesses. Understanding one’s role on a team can improve functioning in complex collaborative projects.

WIOA Core Partners

This chart defines the basic purpose of Title I Adult & Dislocated Worker Program, Title I Youth Program, Title II Adult Basic Education, Title III Job Service, and Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation Services. In addition, it outlines the potential roles each can take in adult career pathway programs.

WIOA Definition of Career Pathways

A one-page easy reference that outlines the seven criteria for career pathways as described in WIOA regulations, along with further explanation of a few of the terms in the definition.

WIOA One-Stop Fact Sheet

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signed into law in 2014, is the first legislative reform of the public workforce system in 15 years. This 2-page fact sheet outlines highlights of WIOA reforms for one-stop centers (which we most often call WorkForce Centers in Minnesota) and lists the 6 WIOA core programs.

WIOA Participant Performance Outcomes

All WIOA partners now share the same performance measures, which creates a significant incentive to collaborate to serve participants. This simple visual outlines the measurable skill gains, credential outcomes and labor market outcomes defined in WIOA regulations. A useful tool for discussion between ABE and workforce partners.

WorkForce Center Contacts

Many entities are found under the WorkForce Center (WFC) or One-Stop roof. As you develop relationships at the WFC, this simple tool helps you keep track of the “ who – what – how” of it all. Record and update contact information in grids as you go along.

Workforce Center Required Partners

A useful 4-page document that will assist Adult Basic Education practitioners to understand the roles of WIOA partners and the services these partners can provide in adult career pathway programming. These 6 programs are considered “required partners” under WIOA and are usually housed within the WorkForce Center.

Workforce Collaborations Build a System of Supports for Immigrants

How can workforce development agencies and adult education programs work together to strengthen each other’s services to immigrant language learners? This 6-page fact sheet describes how community networks in three different parts of the country answered this question.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and the One-Stop Delivery System

This 47-page report provides details of WIOA Title I state formula program structure, services, allotment formulas, and performance accountability. Also provides a program overview for national grant programs, plus a brief overview of the Employment Service (ES), authorized by separate legislation but an integral part of the One-Stop system created by WIOA.

Writing a Syllabus

A brief 3-page overview with advice on best practices in writing a syllabus. A syllabus should be used in all adult career pathway courses as a way to communicate course plans and expectations to learners, and to familiarize them with the syllabus as a key document they will encounter in the post-secondary education setting.

Adult Career Pathways Glossary

Confused about Adult Career Pathways and transitions terminology? You’re not alone! See this handy ACP glossary.