Tennessee's Career Readiness Programs Offer Students Pathways to Success

Image of students in classroom

By Jasmine Estes 

In Tennessee, students feel more prepared to leave high school and enter the real world than they did ten years ago. Tennessee offers students pathways to success regardless of what course they choose to enter their career. Whether it’s programs like Tennessee Promise, their Career Clusters initiative, or their thriving College, Career &Technical Education (CTE) programs, Tennessee has made career-readiness a top priority to ensure students are prepare to excel in jobs that exist within the state.

In 2007, Tennessee took action after realizing they needed to improve the current culture of career-readiness to prepare students for college and career pathways. This forced Tennessee to think differently about what it meant to prepare kids for their future. After taking this broad vision of what it looked like to be successful in different communities, they backward mapped to implement the standards, curriculum, and programs necessary to prepare students in their state. Today, Tennessee has one of the most robust career-readiness program in the country and their work often serves as a model for other states to adapt.

A great example of this is happening in Warren County Tennessee. Influenced by their local industries, students are able to incorporate work-based learning methods and are trained on in-demand skills such as mechatronics and engineering while in the classroom. Tennessee has yielded amazing success through these programs and developed partnerships with local companies and industry leaders to continue to build out opportunities like these that will meet the needs of students across their state. 

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