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Unlocking Pathways Wisconsin

Career-Connected High Schools Grant Program

In January 2024, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction was awarded a multiyear grant from the U.S. Department of Education as part of its Career Pathways initiative, Unlocking Career Success. Wisconsin’s grant project, titled Unlocking Pathways Wisconsin, is intended to build capacity among secondary education, postsecondary education, and workforce development systems. The project will expand access to career-connected high school programs with the goal of increasing the proportion of students who graduate with these four keys that will unlock their career success:

  • Key 1: Career Advising Navigation
  • Key 2: Dual Enrollment
  • Key 3: Work-Based Learning
  • Key 4: Workforce Credentials

Part of the grant will involve creating a capacity-building model for 20 pilot high schools that enables them to “unlock” the state’s existing programs, resources, and partnerships connected to the Academic and Career Planning (ACP) program and the Regional Career Pathways (RCP) approach. Pilot high schools will each be matched with a mentor high school that has demonstrated success in most or all of the four keys.

In addition, grant funding will support the creation of a statewide K-12 career-readiness system by institutionalizing a state team. The team will consist of state agencies and organizations that need to coordinate and collaborate in order to address statewide barriers to dual enrollment, work-based learning, and workforce credentials.

For more information about the federal grant program, see “Raising the Bar: Unlocking Career Success.”