Frequently Asked Questions

Students in the STEM PathwayWhat are academic and career pathways?

Academic and career pathways provide students with rigorous curricula connected with focused, hands-on, relevant learning and postsecondary and workforce readiness skills. Currently, APS has confirmed four pathways:

Which schools offer academic and career pathways?

Currently, 17 schools in APS offer academic and career pathways. By 2015, every school in APS will offer one or more pathways.

Student in the Arts and Communication PathwayWho oversees pathways development?

APS leaders work with the Community Workforce Planning Team to oversee the development and implementation of academic and career pathways.

What is the Community Workforce Planning team?

The CWPT is a public/private alliance of more than 30 community groups and organizations representing higher education, industry, economic development, workforce development and Aurora Public Schools. The CWPT has developed a Five-Year Community Workforce Plan that will be the cornerstone for the development of APS academic and career pathways. This pioneering alliance is a collaboration that aligns economic and educational initiatives to address the Colorado Paradox.

Can a student switch pathways?

Currently, Vista PEAK is the only school that offers multiple academic and career pathways so students can switch. However, many schools throughout APS will develop additional pathways in the near future. Until then, students can apply to enroll at any school that has classroom space. So if students wish to enter a different pathway offered by another school, they can use the open enrollment system to switch schools.

How are pathways different from the regular curriculum?

Academic and career pathways utilize community partnerships with local businesses, industries and higher education to offer students hands-on learning opportunities and specialized instruction from local industry and business experts. Partnerships with community experts also provide APS teachers with professional development in career-oriented instruction so they can tailor the curriculum and coursework to students’ career interests.

Student in the STEM PathwayHow do pathways help students?

Academic and career pathways offer students the opportunity to earn industry certificates, college credit and even associate’s degrees while they are still in high school. Academic and career pathways position students to compete globally for high-demand, high-skill, high-paying careers.

Will my pathways student miss out on other areas of study?

Academic and career pathways provide students with the choice to pursue extended learning in their areas of career interest. Pathways do not replace the core curriculum, so students will still receive a core academic foundation and instruction in all major subject areas.

What if my student attends a school without pathways?

Currently, students in schools without pathways will not be able to participate in pathways. However, by 2015 every school in APS will offer one or more pathways.




Quick Facts

  • Studies show that students with coursework related to career goals tend to have higher educational aspirations and higher self-esteem.
  • On average, students that set career goals are more satisfied with their education than students who are indecisive about their future careers.

Pathways in the News