What is it?
Multiple pathways are defined as a variety of structured academic opportunities for students to achieve their goal for high school graduation and postsecondary success. Each pathway is defined by its programming and is accessed by each student based on the individual student’s academic interest and unique needs. Examples include CTE Programs, credit recovery and acceleration, Concurrent Enrollment, and flexible scheduling as well as different school options such as Alternative Education Campuses and online schools.
Developing multiple pathways requires creating programs, schools or systems that are tailored to address the major factors contributing to student drop-outs.For example, a district may discover through their needs assessment that a majority of their drop-outs are over-age and under-credit, indicating a need for strong credit recovery options.Other factors may include student’s working, which would suggest the need for flexible scheduling and evening classes.Students who are disengaged may be attracted back through CTE programs or other real-world learning opportunities.Offering support for special populations such as pregnant or parenting teens, homeless students or students who have been incarcerated is also important.
In addition to these targeted program offerings, it is important to look at the school structure and typologies of the various options.Research has shown that small learning communities and real-world learning are often key factors in re-engaging students. Nationally a majority of recovered drop-outs are re-enrolled in alternative education schools or online schools.Alternative education schools often have innovative pedagogies, small learning environments, and real-world learning connections.
Different options and multiple pathways may include:
- Career and Technical Education Programs
- Credit recovery and acceleration
- Concurrent enrollment programs like the Colorado ASCENT program*
- Different school options including alternative education campuses and online schools*
- Flexible scheduling