NASHVILLE — Tennessee has been nationally recognized by the college and career pathways initiative, Launch: Equitable and Accelerated Pathways for All, for delivering nearly a decade of strategic investments in high-demand, high-wage opportunities for students through the state’s nation-leading Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways work and high-impact, cross-sector partnerships that align K-12, postsecondary, and workforce systems.
This month, the department is celebrating Innovative School Models and National Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month to highlight how Tennessee is reimagining the classroom for middle and high school students, while also amplifying the role CTE has in preparing students for postsecondary success.
“I am incredibly proud that Tennessee was awarded a grant for our ongoing pathways work and is being celebrated by Launch on a national scale,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn.
“Through historic commitments to CTE programming, effective alignment with Tennessee’s workforce needs, and important relationships with local, district, and nonprofit partners, Tennessee remains focused on strategic investments to support our students and future workforce.”
Tennessee’s innovative approach to providing students with early career and postsecondary development opportunities has been spotlighted by Launch, which aims to:
• Drive a national agenda for college and career pathways.
• Work with state and local partnerships to advance equitable growth and scaling of pathways by tackling entrenched inequalities in education and workforce systems.
• Advance pathways policies and strategies that that help achieve greater scale and sustainability.
• Seed and grow next-generation models that will transform career pathways systems and dismantle entrenched barriers that perpetuate inequalities in economic advancement.
The Launch Network includes two cohorts of states across the nation — the Impact Cohort and the Innovation Cohort.
While the Innovation Cohort is designing new pilot pathways, Tennessee is a member of the Impact Cohort, selected for the state’s strong pathway foundations and enabling conditions that have built connections between K-12 schools, postsecondary institutions, and employers.
Additionally, the department received $100,000 to continue participating in a range of customized supports to strengthen pathways work. At the conclusion of this two-year initiative, the Impact Cohort site teams will develop a state-specific Sustainability Plan with clear next steps for improving and scaling equitable college and career pathways across their states.
“Tennessee’s fast-improving education landscape is the result of dedicated educators and statewide investments in the development and implementation of programs of study and career pathways aligned with locally identified high-skill, high-wage, and in-demand occupations,” said Rep. Mark White, Chairman, Tennessee House Education Administration Committee.
“I am proud to advocate for supporting students in their job-ready skills development.”