The Career Pathways Planner: A Guide for Adult Education State Leaders to Promote Local Career Pathways Systems

The Career Pathways Planner offers a framework for adult education state leaders to use in supporting local adult education providers in the development of a local/regional career pathways systems.

Hope Cotner
Judith A. Alamprese
Chrys Limardo
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD)
Abt Associates
Manhattan Strategy Group
Publication Year
Resource Type
Number of Pages

The Planner identifies key issues for adult education state leaders to consider as they refine their approaches to career pathways to facilitate scalability and sustainability at the local level. The report also includes examples from across the country to highlight ways in which states are leveraging career pathways to support lower-skilled adults. The Planner is organized into five sections to help adult education state leaders guide local career pathways design and implementation. The sections address areas of career pathways local systems development that the Moving Pathways Forward project team found were instrumental in enabling adult education state leaders to establish a foundation for local adult education career pathways services. These sections include Assessing the Status of Local Career Pathways Systems; Communicating Career Pathways; Supporting Partnerships; Designing Intake Processes, Instruction, and Transition Services; and Promoting Continuous Improvement.

The Planner also includes tools (see appendices) designed to assist adult education state leaders in establishing customized local and/or regional career pathways systems. Each tool – six in total – are able to be adapted by the user. The first appendix, the Illustrative Framework for Career Pathways Local System, provides a broad landscape of a career pathways system. The second appendix, the Adult Education Provider Career Pathways Survey, helps state leaders identify current career pathways activities underway at the local level and facilitate reflection on key barriers that must be addressed. Once completed, the Adult Education Provider Survey Summary Worksheet (Appendix 3) and Adult Education Provider Survey Summary of Practices Forms (Appendix 4) help leaders identify specific activities underway in their state and determine gaps in career pathways services. The fifth appendix, Marketing Materials Review Forms, provides a tool for examining  recruitment material to determine messaging consistency and identify gaps in marketed information. The final appendix, Partnership Work Plan, examines the goals, activities, timelines, and expected outcomes of developing new and existing partnerships.

Benefits and Uses

The Planner offers practical strategies for addressing some of the most critical aspects of local career pathways system development. The Planner is intended to provide state leaders with direction and resources that result in strong career pathways systems for supporting adults’ education and employment success.

The appendices in the report can be used by adult education state leaders to develop effective and efficient career pathways systems. Each appendix is designed so that adult education leaders can document their current career pathways goals and develop an implementation strategy unique to their state. Once completed, the appendices will provide state leaders with the full scope of their career pathways systems; determine gaps in their services; and facilitate strategic thinking in order to establish actionable strategies for the road ahead.   

Resource Notice

This site includes links to information created by other public and private organizations. These links are provided for the user’s convenience. The U.S. Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this non-ED information. The inclusion of these links is not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse views expressed, or products or services offered, on these non-ED sites.

Please note that privacy policies on non-ED sites may differ from ED’s privacy policy. When you visit, no personal information is collected unless you choose to provide that information to us. We do not give, share, sell, or transfer any personal information to a third party. We recommend that you read the privacy policy of non-ED websites that you visit. We invite you to read our privacy policy.