Supporting Pathways

Sixth-grade math teachers discuss their lessons during a team planning session.

What is the resource?

Education First, a national policy and strategy advising group for education leaders, recently conducted a nationwide landscape scan of pathways intermediaries with support from Ascendium and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Their research resulted in a full report, an executive summary, an action guide for stakeholders and a literature review synthesizing previous research.

Why it matters

For young people to achieve their goals, they need education and career readiness support that, taken together, will eventually allow them to access a good job and the lives they envision for themselves. However, the transitions between education and employment are often rocky, and more coordination and focus on equity is needed in order to smooth those transitions. This is where national intermediary organizations can play a vital role.

Intermediary organizations sit at the center of an education and employment ecosystem, brokering partnerships and coordinating activities between K12 schools, postsecondary institutions and employers to increase equitable access to opportunities and paths to upward mobility for Black, Latino/a/x and young people experiencing poverty.

What’s inside?

On Education First’s Building Stronger Pathways web page, you can find multiple resources designed to help you understand the critical role pathways intermediaries play in ensuring that all students have access to career-connected learning and that sector partners can smoothly coordinate their work. Resources include an action guide with detailed recommendations for stakeholders on how to build stronger pathways systems, a literature review on existing pathways intermediaries, and a framework on race, inclusion, diversity, and equity that shaped the research, analysis, and writing for the resources. Finally, you can also access the full report containing all of the findings and recommendations derived from the research, as well as perspectives from the people closest to this work–intermediary leaders and students.

Education First’s research can help funders, policymakers, employers, postsecondary institutions, and K-12 educators better understand the role of pathways intermediaries and identify ways they can access the benefits of stronger and more equitable systems of pathways.

Building Stronger Pathways