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Career Pathways Research and Evaluation Synthesis Career Pathways Design Study

Deena Schwartz, Julie Strawn, Maureen Sarna, Abt Global


February 1, 2018

Career pathways approaches to workforce development offer articulated education and training steps between occupations in an industry sector, combined with support services, to enable individuals to enter and exit at various levels and to advance over time to higher skills, recognized credentials, and better jobs with higher pay. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Chief Evaluation Office contracted with Abt Global to conduct the Career Pathways Design Study, to develop evaluation design options that could address critical gaps in knowledge related to the approach, implementation, and success of career pathways strategies generally, and in early care and education (ECE) specifically.

To inform thinking about evaluation design options, Abt produced reports on (1) research and evaluation relevant to career pathways approaches, (2) the implementation of existing and past career pathways initiatives, and (3) the potential for career pathways approaches in early care and education.

This report is the first of these publications and provides a high-level synthesis of career pathways research and evaluation. The primary purpose of this report is to support development of evaluation design options.