Pathway: Pathways for Utilities

Through Pathways to a Technical Future (Pathways), we strive to provide opportunities for students to achieve knowledge, practical skills, expertise, and literacies that will equip them to be successful in the emerging STEM workforce through experiences directly tied to academic requirements.

To accomplish this goal, the Pathways program is built upon a guiding spectrum that correlates “Open Source” learning with business fundamentals and educational strategies. “Open Source” is an emerging education practice that allows students to capitalize on the scope and power of the Internet to create and manage their own learning experiences and produce interactive material that is available online to everyone. 

An Introduction to Pathways to a Technical Future {Click for video transcript}

The Pathways to a Technical Future program was funded in part by an APPA DEED grant.

Pathways Talking Points

The Pathways Program is a framework for connecting curriculum and careers through a progression of processes designed in the makers’ mentality utilizing open education resources focused on public power and energy related workforce skills. The Pathways project is funded in part by the DEED program through the American Public Power Association.

Through Pathways to a Technical Future (Pathways), we strive to provide opportunities for students to achieve knowledge, practical skills, expertise, and literacies that will equip them to be successful in the emerging STEM workforce through experiences directly tied to academic requirements. (STEM - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, considered as a group of academic or career fields.)

Built around three fundamental principles for teachers. 1) “I Don’t Know” are the three most important words a teacher can say - IF followed up by “But let’s find out.” 2) You are not the smartest person in the room (nor do you have to be to be an effective teacher). 3) Teachers are no longer the givers of knowledge but the givers of opportunity.

The Pathways program establishes a method by which teachers can provide opportunities for student development through innovation. Information is at our fingertips and can be accessed in seconds. It is open and can be shared freely. Taking advantage of established “open source” movements, advances in innovation tools, and utilizing local business resources (such as public power utilities), educators can facilitate a holistic approach to teaching. Thus, providing opportunities for students to develop 21st century skills – creativity and innovation; critical thinking and problem solving; communication and collaboration; information, media, and technology; life and career skills.

The Pathways program integrates local business and education through technology and student-led activities. It provides connections between knowledge and application and will lead students to innovative ideas and solutions.

The Pathways project consists of three key components. 1) Educational resources built upon the pathways framework delivered through a robust learning object repository. 2) Enhanced professional development workshops for teachers and students. 3) A STEM Connections Lab that provides opportunities for students to engage in technical skill development through the Pathways framework and innovative technologies.

The Pathways Framework
1) The Foundation of Knowledge - A platform from which all future success is built

Essential Skills (Workforce):
Critical Thinking, Team Players, Basic Tech Skills, Learning Skills, Self-Motivation, Minds on Task, Soft Skills, Competency, Dependability

Core Content (Educational):
Standards, Required Curriculum, The 3 R’s, Text Books / Resource Materials, Instructional Learning

2) Physical / Analog Domain - Continuously variable physical quantity

Human Performance (Workforce):
Quality Control / Pride, Ethics, Fitness for Duty, Trade Skills, Questioning Attitude, Affinity for Safety, 2-Minute Drill

Discovery Learning (Educational):
Field Trips, Project Based, Experiential Learning, Explore Information & Concepts, Learn by Doing

3) Digital World - Through a binary nature

Communication (Workforce):
Create Media, Use Media (social, web, video), Research, Document Creation / Manipulation, Task Lifecycle, Articulate Ideas (Design), Self Reliance with Tech, Digital Citizenship

Sharing Information (Educational):
Media Creation, Digital Presentations, Writing Papers, Research Tools, Social Learning, Digital Citizenship

4) Logic Universe - The science of reasoning

Standard Operating Procedures (Workforce):
Increases Reliability, Improves Efficiency, Ensures Safety, Demands Compliance, Minimizes Human Performance Errors

Scientific Process (Educational):
Controlled Variables, Known Procedures vs. Known Outcomes, Repeatable Process = Repeatable Results, Minimize Human Performance Errors, Questioning Attitude, Lab Procedures

5) Data Matrix - Something from which another originates

Informed Decisions (Workforce):
Determines Essential Operations, Allows Preventative Maintenance, Provides Pro-Active Actions, Facts not Feelings, Sustainability Triple Bottom Line, Public Service

Evaluation (Educational):
Validation, Process Feedback, Verifying Hypothesis, Measuring Knowledge, Project Assessment

6) Innovation - The IMPLEMENTATION of new IDEAS!

Process Improvement (Workforce):
New Gadgets & Tools, Social Innovation, Personal Contributions & Value, Improved Bottom Line, New Opportunities / Markets, Improved Customer Service

Applying Learned Knowledge (Educational):
Ah Ha, Cross Curricular Integration, Creative Task Success, Social Innovation, Real World Connections 

A guide to help you implement Pathways in your community

A logo for the Pathways program

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