How to Bring Focus to Your Career Connected Learning Initiative

In driving the work of any career connected learning enterprise, it is essential that all the stakeholders come together to agree on some common goals and measurable outcomes so everyone can track progress.

I’m doing an exciting project in Arizona right now, and I’m learning about many different initiatives underway to improve student learning, both in K-12 and postsecondary education. I just discovered an effort called The Arizona Education Progress Meter by working with stakeholders from education and employers from all across the state.  Two organizations called Expect More Arizona and the Center for the Future of Arizona convened a couple hundred stakeholders over several months to create a common set of metrics and goals. The first of three questions that they asked were- “what do we need to need to measure? Then they asked “how do we measure it? Thirdly they asked, “what should be the goal that we set for this particular metric?”

They also set some criteria for the data they gathered – most importantly that it had to be measured annually, so they could track year by year progress.

Through this process, they identified eight indicators — quality early learning, third-grade reading, eighth-grade math, high school graduation, opportunity youth (the percent of youth who are not engaged with learning or work), post high school enrollment, attainment (completion of a postsecondary program or certification), and teacher pay.

Here’s a photo I took of the info-graphic on all the key metrics.  The info-graphic shows the measure, the current level of attainment, and the goal.


You can learn more about the measures and the specific data sources at their website.

If you are working in any sort of a community-based effort around career connected learning or career pathways, make sure to have an early discussion about how you will measure and track progress.

Hans Meeder is President of NC3T, the National Center for College and Career Transitions (  NC3T provides planning, coaching, technical assistance and tools to help community-based leadership teams plan and implement their college-career pathway systems and strengthen employer connections with education

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