Wisconsin Technical College System:
Contacts: Annette Severson,
Wisconsin Technical College System: Lauded nationally for Career Pathways model
MADISON – The Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) is recognized as a national leader for innovative efforts to develop career pathways that provide high school students a variety of options leading to valuable education credentials and good jobs.
WTCS President Dan Clancy will share Wisconsin’s successful Career Pathways model for K12 students next week at the National Career Clusters Institute in Washington, DC. “We are pleased our colleagues across the country want to learn about Wisconsin’s advances in serving students and helping employers get the skilled workers they need,” Clancy said.
Also at next week’s event, representatives from Fox Valley Technical College and Moraine Park Technical College will show how Wisconsin’s K12 educators and students can use the Wisconsin Career Pathways website (https://www.wicareerpathways.org) to create individualized plans for earning an education credential and improve their employment outcomes.
The WTCS Career Pathways model (also known as Rigorous Programs of Study) combines high school academic and career and technical education courses in a structured sequence. From fall 2006 though fall 2011, the WTCS collaboratedwith the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to help develop almost 2,700 programs of study for high school students at local K12 districts across the state.
The Career Pathways model builds upon long-standing options for high school students to earn dual credit in college and high school either through successful completion of high school courseswith college competencies or actual technical college courses taught by qualified high school teachers. Students also may earn technical college credits while in high school through the Youth Options program (operated through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction) and the Youth Apprenticeship program (operated through the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development).
These dual credit options and programs share a common goal of helping high school students earn college credentials more quickly – and at no cost to the students – as they complete coursework that applies toward a technical college credential. In fact, over the last 10 years, 117,000 high school students earned technical college credits while still in high school including 18,636 students in 2011 alone,which is an increase of 140 percent compared to 2002. WTCS Associate Vice President for Instruction Annette Severson noted, “Dual credit opportunities have been a key part of technical college education programs for over 30 years.” Severson added, “Increasing student participation reflects how students and parents value a cost-effective jumpstart on earning a college credential that will lead to employment.”
Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges offer more than 300 programs, awarding two-year associate degrees, one- and two-year technical diplomas and short-term technical diplomas. In addition, the System is the major provider of customized training and technical assistance to Wisconsin’s business and industry community. More than half of all adults in Wisconsin have accessed the technical colleges for education and training. The technical colleges have been making futures for 100 years. Learn more at witechcolleges.org.