Connecting to Careers
Early college high school programs should expose students to a variety of career opportunities including greater depth in careers relevant to their selected pathway, for example, by providing opportunities for targeted workforce and career skills development, career counseling, and elements of experiential and workplace learning.
This guiding principle dictates that ECHS programs should be designed so that students develop an awareness of their educational growth and development while understanding the manner in which their educational path is connected to career opportunities. This connection should be framed broadly, to allow students to explore career possibilities and to more generally develop foundational employability skills necessary to thrive in any work environment.
Understanding the economic environment of the geographic area which the ECHS serves provides educators valuable information about what careers are in high-demand. This allows educators to build career and college pathways and partnerships that reflect the realities of the workplace. Awareness of job demands can help early college programs link with high-demand area businesses, which are open to providing operational support for the program.
ECHS Designation Rubric
Hans Meeder, President and Founder of The National Center for College and Career Transitions (NC3T), offers specific action steps that education leaders and influencers can take to adopt a Career Connected Learning mindset.