Reflecting the changing work world, the career pathways
focus adds to current state and federal education reforms as one of the
most important planning tools for high school students. From the moment
students enter high school, it is important that they realize they are
preparing themselves to compete and succeed in a global economy.
Students must understand the relevance of what they are learning today
to what they will do tomorrow in the work world. Career pathways are
tools to help them get where they want to go.
The Puyallup School District has adopted
the Pierce County recommendations for five basic career pathways. Each
pathway is a cluster of occupations or careers that are grouped together
because people in them share similar interests and strengths. The
career pathways are:
- Arts and Communications
- Business and Marketing
- Engineering and Technology
- Health and Human Services
- Science and Natural Resources
Along with an emphasis on a strong academic
program, the pathways give students the opportunity to explore specific
career-related classes and activities.
Beginning in kindergarten, students
experience a variety of career-related activities designed to expand
their awareness of future options. In eighth grade, students make
tentative career pathway selections using self-assessment and career
interest surveys. As students learn about their options, or as their
interests and plans change, they may choose to change pathways.
pathways help students focus on an area of interest. The chosen career
pathway provides a structure for all students to develop a career plan,
regardless of their desired level of education. This focused plan helps
students select school courses, activities, and part-time employment.
Students can see the relevance in their selected courses, thereby making
school more meaningful for them.
With the high cost of post-secondary
education, it has become even more important to help students avoid
wasting time and money at the post-secondary level. Experiences in the
high school career pathway can help students decide whether they are
really well-suited for a particular choice.
Since each career pathway includes a variety of options and choices, they are applicable for all
students, whether they plan to go on to four-year colleges, community
or technical colleges, or directly into apprenticeships or work. In
addition to providing a basis for career awareness and exploration, all
career pathways share the basic educational learning requirements and
core competencies students need to be successful in any career.
Career Pathways Honors
Seniors who have completed a sequence of courses in their pathway program may be recognized as a Pathway Completer and receive a Certificate of Achievement.
Students who earn a "B" or better in each of their pathway courses earn the distinction of Pathway Honors and the student will receive a Pathway Honor cord to be worn at graduation.