How Do I Make a Connection between School & Career?

Career Pathways

A career pathway is an effective way to help students see the application of academic knowledge and make meaningful connections between education and a variety of career options. Career pathways include career preparation recommendations for coursework that prepares students to:

  • enter directly into the workforce;
  • continue education focused on the associate degree; and/or
  • pursue baccalaureate degrees and beyond.

Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs prepare students for high skill, high demand technical careers to be competitive in the job market. Rigorous programs of study emphasize skills and Career Preparation in Office, Accounting, Health, Early Childhood and applied STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) technologies. Programs are intended to lead to an associate’s degree or a certificate in a specific career field, and ultimately to high wage, high skill employment or advanced education. 

Career and Workforce Solutions Center (CWSC)

Students seeking Career information or Career Planning assistance should visit the CWSC. 

Career Counselors and Work Experience/Internship staff are available to provide information and offer a wide variety of interest assessment opportunities.  The Center also provides resume and job preparation services and sponsors Job Fairs.

The CWSC is also the home for the College of the Desert Job Hub which allows students seeking employment to match to industry openings. 

Business and Industry 

California Education Code requires advisory committees for specific CTE programs receiving funding from the federal Carl D. Perkins Act. Business and industry partners representing automotive, business, construction, agriculture, public safety, health education, and more are active leaders in providing input on programs and curriculum and serve as a liaison between educators and the broader employment community. Advisory members conduct a variety of activities, such as providing speakers for CTE classes, hosting workplace field trips, serving as mentors, and providing internships and/or employment.

Moreover, members strategize on what areas of improvement are needed in career and technical education to maintain California’s competitive edge in the global marketplace. For more information on advisory committee membership, please call the CTE Transitions Office at (760) 674-7627.

High School/Regional Occupational Program (ROP) Articulation

Articulation is the process of developing formal, written agreements that identify High School and CTE ROP courses (or sequence of courses) that align with and are recognized by postsecondary institutions. Ideally, it includes a seamless transition of course work where academic standards are designed, reviewed, and implemented to eliminate the duplication of skills and student learning outcomes. The primary goal is to avoid duplication of coursework required of students as they move through our educational system and to speed the completion of a certificate or degree from a postsecondary institution. This increases secondary retention, eliminates duplication, reduces the cost of education, and increases the likelihood of attendance at the postsecondary level. Articulation is student-focused and effective if college-discipline instructors and secondary CTE teachers collaborate and develop curriculum to best prepare students for success in their career.

At College of the Desert, the agreements provide an opportunity whereby students earn college units or placement credit for approved coursework. The assessment component of articulation ensures that outcomes for students are similar to those that would have been attained had the course been taken at the community college. This enables the student to progress to the next level of instruction.