In supportive learning communities, students meet technical and academic standards and college entrance requirements through real-world applications, integrated project-/problem-based instruction, authentic assessments, and work-based learning.
Evidence for Student Outcomes/ Certification Criteria
(How will you know that the action step has been (a) completed (b) been a success?)
(List specific actions needed to meet Quality Indicator)
This tool is intended to help pathway and academy design teams develop draft program outcomes. The six program outcome categories included in this tool encompass most of the areas typically covered by school- and district-level ESLRs. By using these categories as a framework for developing program outcomes, most pathway and academy teams can ensure that their work aligns with top-level learning expectations.
The “Big Six” Program Outcomes Categories
These categories represent broad areas of learning expectations that are commonly identified by districts and schools. While final outcome lists may be pared down to include fewer items, pathways and academies are encouraged to consider each of these areas as they develop program outcomes.
“Students will demonstrate skills associated with practicing law such as client interviewing, alternative dispute resolution, and advocacy in a variety of legal settings.”
Comments/Our draft outcomes…
Using technology as a tool to solve problems
Communicating using a variety of technological tools
“Students will use current technological tools (such as CAD software) to solve engineering challenges and communicate solutions.”
(Questions? See “Troubleshooting Outcomes” on next page)
Unclear on the meaning of “program outcomes”
Consider the ConnectEd definition: “Student learning outcomes are the skills, knowledge, and abilities that students have attained as a result of their educational experiences.”
District or school doesn’t have ESLRs
No problem—that is what this tool is for. Use the Big Six categories as your framework.
We already have outcomes, but our list don’t cover some of these six areas
If you see a real need, revise your existing program outcomes. If you feel that your existing outcomes can essentially “cover” each of these areas, then focus your efforts on the implementation end of things.
No problem. Many programs wind up combining areas, such as technology and career readiness. If you have fewer than four outcomes you might be combining a bit too much, causing the outcomes to be very general or global. If you have more than eight it is difficult to maintain focus and measure the outcomes. Four to seven seems to be the “sweet spot” for most programs.
We have more than one outcome that fit within the same category
No problem—in fact, that may be entirely appropriate for your program. As was mentioned above, try to keep the total number of outcomes to a manageable few.
Unclear on who should draft our academy outcomes
Ideally, involve a pathway or academy design team that includes important stakeholders such as staff, students, parents, and employer partners. If you’re beyond that stage and your program is already operating, figure out which team can get a draft set of outcomes started and how you can get feedback and buy-in from other stakeholders.
Not sure how to craft specific outcome language
Some programs use an intensive “unpacking” process that involves reviewing relevant state CTE standards for their career themes. With that overview in mind, they craft statements that encompass the most essential skills and knowledge from their career path. Be sure to pay particular attention to the verbs used in your outcomes statements and focus them on high-level cognitive skills (demonstrate, apply, evaluate, create, etc.).
We have program outcomes but we’re unclear on what to do next
First, figure out specifically what these outcomes look like at each grade level. Next, figure out how students will learn these things and how they will demonstrate proficiency. This typically involves course and project-level work.
Don’t know how to measure outcomes
Determine what the outcomes look like at each grade level and how courses and WBL experiences can contribute to the outcomes, then begin developing experiences (such as projects and performance assessments) and tools (such as rubrics and portfolios) to aid in outcome measurement
Some programs create individual learning plan tools that track student attainment of key outcome performance measures. For example, for the technology outcome in an engineering program, 10th graders may need to achieve a passing score on a computer-aided design project. The project’s assessment not only contributes to the student’s course grade, but it also meets the 10th grade technology outcome benchmark which is required for students seeking a special pathway designation on their diploma.
Pathway Development Continuum & Sample Coaching Support