Wheeling, Illinois, High School District 214 partnered with 950 industry partners to start the Career Pathways Program.

District 214 offers students opportunities to explore potential career pathways and areas of interest beyond the traditional classroom. This helps strengthen their commitment to a future career or eliminates that career from consideration — both incredibly valuable experiences for a student still in high school.

District 214 offers intensive coursework through centralized District-level programs in aviation, education and medical science, allowing students to do hands-on work in professional environments. Students can start at any point during their high school career; with pathways lasting two, three or four years long. The first year comprises an orientation course, including general career information and an overview of the career pathway as an introduction to the field. Classes become increasingly advanced each year and generally culminate in opportunities to receive early college credit, an industry certification, and/or opportunities to participate in a workplace learning experience.  District 214 offers 40 industry certifications in several industries, including construction, culinary arts, information technology, manufacturing, personal fitness and automotive services.

District 214's Career Pathways Program aligns with dual credit classes.  These classes are taught either by a qualified District 214 instructor or by a college professor, typically at District 214 schools. In some cases, classes are offered on the college campus.  Dual credit courses provide students with college-level experiences in both core and career areas, preparation for post-secondary success, and opportunities to earn early college credit, which reduces the cost and time for earning a post-secondary degree.  District 214 offers more than 80 dual credit courses through partnerships with several colleges and universities.  

Additional enrichment opportunities include summer seminars offered via the Talent Development Program (TDP), participation in the Illinois Energy Efficient Vehicle Competition and robotics.

Students also have the opportunity to hear critical feedback on their work from industry professionals at annual District events, including showcases focused on entrepreneurship, mobile app development and computer-aided design (CAD).

In Spring 2018, The Daily Herald published a 16-week series highlighting the program and student experiences.


Source: High School District 214

More information: Barb Kain 
Admin. Asst. to the Assoc. Supt.
                                 for Teaching and Learning
                             barbara.kain@d214.org (847) 718-7672