Career adaptability refers to the career pathway approach of connecting progressive levels of education, training, support services, and credentials for specific occupations in a way that optimizes the progress and success of individuals with varying levels of abilities and needs. This approach helps individuals earn marketable credentials, engage in further education and employment, and achieve economic success.
K-64 can benefit a wide variety of participants including those who are younger or older, traditional or nontraditional, and on an academic or career and technical path. Career and technical education (CTE) programs of study, including those that lead to industry recognized credentials, are a critical component of career pathway systems, along with pathways serving lower- skilled adults, high school students, disconnected or “opportunity” youth, veterans, incumbent workers, and other targeted populations.
The goal of K-64 is to operationalize career adaptability by focusing on three important components:
- Well-connected and transparent education, training, support services, and credentials within specific sectors or cross-sector occupations.
- Multiple entry points that enable well-prepared students as well as targeted populations with limited education, skills, English, and work experiences to successfully enter the career pathway. Targeted populations served by career pathways may include adult education or other lower-skilled adult students; English language learners; offenders or ex-offenders; certain high school students; disconnected or “opportunity” youth; some former military personnel; un- or under-employed adults; or others.
- Multiple exit points at successively higher levels leading to self- or family-supporting employment and aligned with subsequent entry points.