2008 - 2009

Work began for the creation of the Wisconsin Career Pathways Website led by the Wisconsin Technical College System and supported by a Carl Perkins WTCS reserve grant. A cross-functional interagency team was formed, an Executive Team selected, the mission defined and audiences defined.

The mission of the Wisconsin Career Pathways Website Project is to partner with educational organizations, government, and business & industry to develop a feasibility analysis report with recommendations to create a statewide Career Pathways Website to be accessed by Wisconsin citizens in the pursuit of career planning and pathway sharing.

Career Clusters® Institute Blog Series: All on Board the Engine Driving Wisconsin’s Career Pathways Initiative

With more than 420 school districts in Wisconsin, each governed by a separate school board, how does a state get everyone involved in moving forward with developing Programs of Study? Answer: By building a dynamic, data-driven website at www.WICareerPathways.org. The site integrates the development of secondary-to-postsecondary Programs of Study with students’ Plans of Study within the framework of Wisconsin’s Career Clusters®. Supported by the Wisconsin Technical College System through Perkins funding, a large inclusive cross-functional project team kicked off the initiative in 2008 and came up with a multi-phased plan. Fox Valley Technical College took the lead on behalf of all 16 WTCS technical colleges to design and develop the website.

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Our first step included arranging occupations and postsecondary programs by clusters and pathways. Each cluster has its own webpage containing a brief description and links to the pathways within the cluster. Each pathway is presented on a separate webpage. We built a web-based interactive tool that moves developers through a step-by-step process to create a visual depiction of a Program of Study. Users can also access Wisconsin’s program-of study implementation guide and search and view a repository of published programs of study.

During the second phase, a website to help middle and high school students explore colleges and careers was developed. By setting up an account at www.WICareerPathways/Students, students are driven to the Student Interest Survey for Career Clusters®. After completing the survey, students land in a secure portal called MiLocker. Here, a customized summary, named MiClusters, lists the 16 Career Clusters® in rank order based on survey results. From the MiClusters listing, students can explore the 16 Career Clusters® and drill down into career pathways. From the career pathways webpages, students can explore:

  • Majors/programs of Wisconsin's higher education sectors.
  • An ample amount of specific career information.
  • Programs of study from their high schools.

With one easy click, students can turn a Program of Study created by their high school into their personal Plan of Study, which they can edit to reflect their personal path and save in MiLocker. School counselors can guide students as they use the student site, assist in creating an online Plan of Study, and share the student site during student/parent conferences.

In the third phase, we turned our attention to the needs of middle and high school counselors. Counselors can log in to a secure portal to access school-wide and individual student website activity. The best-ever feature is that counselors can view what students have in their MiLocker profile, including Plans of Study.

The advantage of a web-based resource is that it allows for ongoing development. What’s next? We are expanding the site to include features for business and industry to connect with students. Stay tuned!