How Do Intermediary Organizations Support Stronger Pathways Systems?

As they picture their future, students in the United States aspire for lives where they can thrive, including a career with a good job. However, there are disparities in how easy it is for students of color, students who are experiencing poverty, and students who attend school in rural communities to access educational opportunities that propel them to a job with the potential for upward economic mobility. Employers, policymakers, K12 system leaders, postsecondary providers, and funders stand to benefit from coordinating across sectors to address pain points in their own systems and create a smoother and more equitable experience for all students.Pathways intermediaries—organizations that knit K12, postsecondary, and workforce systems together—play a crucial role in ensuring that all students have access to career-connected learning and that sector partners can smoothly coordinate their work. By understanding the capacities that intermediaries bring to the pathways ecosystem and the underlying conditions that enable their work, pathways partners can create a stronger, more equitable system for everyone.Grounded in the perspective of intermediary leaders serving racially, socioeconomically, and geographically diverse communities, this research will provide stakeholders with a deep understanding of the role and capacities of pathways intermediaries as well as the environmental conditions that enable their success. It provides actionable implications for each stakeholder group to more deeply support pathways intermediaries in building an equitable system of pathways for all.

Download the Report and Resources

This report and collection of resources was authored and produced by Education First, a national, mission-driven strategy and policy organization with unique and deep expertise in education improvement.  CivicLab’s Dakota Pawlicki was one of many experts asked to contribute to this collection.

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