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This glossary of career pathways-related terms has been developed by the Pathways Marketing & Communications Committee. The glossary is designed for use by Oregon educators, administrators, and practitioners to assist in developing Career Pathways that provide education and career options for students and meet the workforce needs of employers. As a tool, this glossary attempts to forge a common language of terms and definitions used among Oregon educational institutions, workforce agencies, industries and other partners.  It will be periodically updated based on input from users and readers. Please contact Mimi Maduro at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with feedback or updates to the glossary for future editions.

Career Pathways Glossary A-Z

Career Pathways Acronym List

  A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y |


A

Accelerated Options/Accelerated college credit:  A range of program models and options that allow students to gain college credit while in high school. Accelerated options programs are recognized locally by a variety of names. Accelerated options also include Advance Placement courses and the International Baccalaureate program.

Adult Basic Skills (ABS):  Refers to pre-college instruction divisions in Oregon community colleges that provide non-credit course instruction and remediation in adult basic education (reading, writing, math), General Education Development (GED), and English as a Second Language (ESL). May also be referred to as ABE (Adult Basic Education).

Adult High School Diploma: An option for adult students to complete the high school diploma requirements within an Oregon community college. Students may enroll in high school completion classes, earn high school credits for college classes, and/or receive credit for some life experiences.

Articulation: A process of coordinating policies and practices among sectors of the education system to produce a seamless flow of students from one level to another in order to eliminate loss of credit, delays and unnecessary duplication of effort. Educational articulation refers to interrelationships of curriculum, standards, and proficiencies across levels (e.g. elementary, secondary, postsecondary) and across segments (e.g. community colleges and public or private four-year institutions), as well as to movement of students between segments.

Articulation Agreement:  An agreement between educational institutions to provide seamless articulation of credits, courses, credentials, certificates, and/or degrees. These agreements may enhance the transition of students from one level or sector to another, potentially shortening the amount of time required to complete a program of study.

AAOT (Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer) Degree:  The Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree was the first statewide degree designed to ease the transfer of students from Oregon community colleges and Oregon University System (OUS) institutions. It guarantees that any student who holds a degree that conforms to the guidelines and who transfers to any institution in the Oregon University System will have met the lower-division general education requirements of that institution's baccalaureate degree programs. Course, class standing, or GPA requirements for specific majors, departments or schools are not necessarily satisfied by an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree. Students transferring under this agreement will have junior standing for registration purposes. 

AAS (Associate of Applied Science) Degree: A two-year degree offered by Oregon community colleges in a wide range of occupational areas. In addition to occupational and technical courses, students also complete a core of general education coursework in communication/writing, computation/math, and human relations.

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B

Block Transfer:  An agreement between an Oregon community college and a baccalaureate institution to accept a specified set of courses (which may include Career and Technical Education courses) for transfer towards a four-year degree.

Bridge Programs: Postsecondary programs designed to prepare academically under-prepared and under-served populations to enter credit-based academic courses, s, often by teaching remedial or basic skills in the context of occupational skills.

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C

Career Clusters: A group of occupations and broad industries based on commonalities used by high schools and community colleges to develop Career Pathways and other Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and strategies. Career Clusters have been developed nationally by the National Tech Prep Network /National Center for Career and Technical Education. The Oregon Skill Sets are Oregon's version of National Career Clusters. See Oregon Skill Sets.

Career Information System (CIS): Oregon's career information delivery system (CIDS). CIS provides a comprehensive and state-based resource to help Oregonians of all ages become aware of work and educational options, connect education and work, and make successful career decisions and transitions throughout their lifetime. Oregon CIS is a consortium organization administered by the University of Oregon. CIS software and materials are used in schools, colleges, workforce agencies, and private businesses to support the career development of their students, clients, and employees. Web link: http://oregoncis.uoregon.edu/webcis

Career Ladder: A set of occupations that are linked together by common or complementary skills. These linkages provide workers with opportunities to advance and expand recruitment opportunities for employers.

Career Pathways:An integrated, articulated continuum of programs and services designed to prepare high school students and adults for employment and advancement in targeted industry sectors, fields and occupations.http://www.communitycollegecentral.org/careerpathways/careerpathways03272007.pdf

Additional definitions include:

A Career Pathway is a coherent, articulated sequence of rigorous academic and career courses, commencing in the ninth grade and leading to an associate's degree, and/or an industry-recognized certificate or licensure, and/or a baccalaureate degree and beyond. Career Pathway is developed, implemented, and maintained in partnership among secondary and postsecondary education, business, and employers. Career Pathways are available to all students, including adult learners, and are designed to lead to rewarding careers.http://www.league.org/league/projects/ccti/cp/characteristics.html

A Career Pathway is a framework for connecting a series of educational programs with integrated work experience and support services, thereby enabling students and workers to combine school and work and advance over time to better jobs and higher levels of education and training. The ultimate goal is for pathways to provide a seamless system of career exploration, preparation, and skill upgrades linked to academic credits and credentials, available with multiple entry and exit points spanning middle school, secondary, postsecondary, adult and workplace education. http://www.ncwe.org/publications

Career Pathways are articulated series of rigorous academic and career courses leading to an associate's degree, an industry-recognized certificate or licensure, and/or a baccalaureate degree and beyond. Career pathways include supports and tools aimed at student success, persistence, and completion. Career pathways prepare students to progress to the next level of employment and education over time. Career pathways are developed in partnership with employers and target jobs of importance in local economies. http://www.workforcestrategy.org

Career Pathway Certificate of Completion:An Oregon community college credential comprised of 12-44 credits that are wholly contained in an approved Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree/Option or an independent Certificate of Completion (45+ credits). The Career Pathway Certificate provides a state-sanctioned credential for a course of study that: 1) acknowledges a specific skill proficiency to help a student qualify for a job or enhanced employment opportunities; 2) is centered on needs of students by providing educational options; 3) provides the flexibility to achieve specific competencies within a longer term career path; and 4) meets the minimum financial aid requirements for an AAS degree.

Career Pathways as a Systemic Framework: A framework developed by the National Council for Workforce Education and the League of Innovation which advocates implementing Career Pathways as a systemic framework across the education continuum comprised of six common elements: 1) instructional and institutional transformation; 2) supports and tools that help students succeed; 3) employer involvement in all phases of the process; 4) partnership driven planning and implementations; 5) commitment to continuous improvement; 6) commitment to sustainability.

Career Pathways Transitions:Career Pathways focus on the following transition points across the education continuum: 1) secondary to postsecondary; 2) pre-college; 3) postsecondary; 4) community college to university.

Career Related Learning Experiences (CRLEs): Structured student activities in the community, the workplace, or in school that connect academic content and career-related learning to real life applications. These experiences extend, reinforce and support classroom learning. They include, but are not limited to: (1) workplace mentoring; (2) workplace simulations; (3) school-based enterprises; (4) structured work experiences; (5) cooperative work and study programs; (6) on the-job training; (7) apprenticeship programs; (8) service learning; and (9) field-based investigations.

Career Related Learning Standards (CRLS): A demonstration of knowledge and skills in personal management, problem solving, teamwork, communication, career development, and employment foundations.

Career and Technical Education (CTE): Formerly known as Professional Technical Education (PTE). Organized educational activities offering a sequence of courses that provide individuals with coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards, relevant technical knowledge, skills needed to prepare for further education, and careers in current or emerging professions as well as technical skill proficiency, an industry-recognized credential, a certificate, or an associate degree. CTE programs may include prerequisite courses (other than a remedial course) as well as competency-based applied learning that contributes to the individual's academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning and problem-solving skills, work attitudes, general employability skills, technical skills, occupation-specific skills, and knowledge of all aspects of an industry, including entrepreneurship.

Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006: Federal legislation approved in 2006 with the purpose to more fully develop the academic, career, and technical skills of secondary and postsecondary education students who elect to enroll in career and technical education programs. Perkins funds provide limited resources for the development, improvement, and operation of CTE programs.

"Chunked" Curriculum: Chunked curriculum refers to the practice of breaking degrees or certificate into smaller portions or chunks. Each chunk leads to employment and connects to the next chunk, eventually leading to completion of a state-approved professional-technical degree. The major purpose of chunking is to improve the rate of degree completion among community college students by allowing students to complete a degree non-sequentially and non-continually, leading to better wages and career advancement. Chunking is one element in a comprehensive career pathways system.

Co-Enrollment: The practice of attending more than one institution simultaneously. See also Dual Enrollment.

College Now / College Credit Now: See Accelerated Options/Accelerated credit programs.

Cooperative Work Experience (CWE): A postsecondary program that allows students who are enrolled in CTE programs to combine classroom studies with work-related experiences. Most community college Career & Technical Education programs (including some Career Pathways programs) include CWE credit requirements so students can expand their knowledge of, and experience in, an industry while earning college credit.

Credit for Prior Learning: The demonstration of knowledge and skills gained outside the traditional classroom setting for which community college academic credit is awarded.

Credit for Proficiency: State-approved policy that allows credit to be awarded when there is sufficient evidence of student demonstrated knowledge and skills that meet or exceed defined levels of performance. It may also be referred to at the postsecondary level as Credit for Professional Certification, Credit by Challenge Examination, or the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).

CTE Programs of Study / Plans of Study:  See Programs of Study.

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D

Degree Partnership Program: Oregon University System (OUS) and Oregon's community colleges frequently partner to enable students to be formally enrolled in both institutions at the same time as a way to facilitate their educational goals. These agreements are commonly referred to as 'degree partnerships', 'dual enrollment', or 'co-admission' programs. Enrolling in one of these programs enables a student to take courses at both an OUS campus and a community college during the same term, giving students additional options and opportunities to align their academic work. See also Dual enrollment.

Dual credit: Lower division collegiate transfer courses offered to high school students by an Oregon community college or Oregon University System institution with their partner high school during the regular school day. Courses are taught by a selected high school teacher, at the high school and fulfill high school graduation requirements. Selected high school teachers use the college curriculum and criteria to assist high school students to get college credit while in high school. Individual college "brand" names for their programs vary. They may or may not be the same as another college using the same name but all are intended to provide high school students with the opportunity to gain postsecondary credits. Some names are: College Credit Now, College Now, Early Collegiate Opportunity, College High, Project Advance, The Challenge Program, Col Cred, Advanced College Credit, Dual Credit and Tech Prep, The LINK Program - PSU.

Dual enrollment: Programs which encourage students to move freely between institutions through coordinated enrollment services. Dual admission programs offer eligible students the benefit of joint admission to both institutions. Students may choose to enroll concurrently by completing traditional, separate procedures at each school. See also Degree Partnership Program.


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E

Educational Plan & Profile: A process in which high school students identify personal, academic, and evolving career interests, periodically reviewing and updating their learning plan in preparation for post-high school next steps.

Employment Skills Training (EST) certificate: A credential (12-44 credits) offered through Oregon community colleges that provides flexibility for students who are seeking specific training for an occupational goal and job-entry preparation. Each pre-approved plan targets a specific occupational goal and job entry point in existing degree and certificate Career and Technical Education programs.

Employer Advisory Committees: A group of employer representatives who advise community college and/or high school Career and Technical Education programs on skill requirements, curriculum, equipment purchases, employment and work-based learning opportunities.

English as a Second Language (ESL) /English for Non-Native Learners (ENNL) /English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL): Various titles for students who are learning English in Oregon schools.

Expanded Options Program (EOP): The Expanded Options Program is a seamless education system for students enrolled in grades 11 and 12 to: Have additional options to continue or complete their education, earn concurrent high school and college credits, or gain early entry into postsecondary education. Enacted by the Oregon Legislature through SB 300 in 2005 and SB 23 in 2007.
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G

GED (General Educational Development):A high school equivalency certificate gained by successfully completing assessments in language arts, reading, social studies, science, and mathematics. Oregon community colleges offer classes to help students prepare for these tests.

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H
High-demand Occupations: Occupations having more than the median number of total (growth plus replacement) openings for statewide or a particular region

High-skill Occupations: Occupations with a minimum educational requirement of postsecondary training or higher. Also: occupations with long-term on-the-job training or related work experience as a minimum educational requirement, and postsecondary training or above as a competitive educational requirement.

High-wage Occupations: Occupations paying more than the all-industry, all-ownership median wage for statewide or a particular region.


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I

Industry clusters: Geographic concentrations of interconnected companies and institutions that have some type of systemic relationship to one another based on complementarities or similarities that, analyzed and organized, can serve as an economic development strategy to increase competitiveness and the wealth of a region. Companies and institutions in an industry cluster may include:

Suppliers of specialized inputs, machinery, services; Distribution channels and customers;

Manufacturers of complementary products;Companies related by skills, technologies or common inputs;

Related institutions such as research organizations, universities, standard-setting  organizations, training entities, and others.

Industry sectors: A term used by quantitative economic analysts to define and organize industries; it is based on data organized according to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes or North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) classification schemes. Sector information is used to develop Industry Cluster strategies. NOTE: Sectors are not clusters, but one component of clusters includes sectors.

Industry-recognized credentials: A credential (e.g., a certification, certificate, examination score) recognized by a specific industry or employer group for a designated skill, or set of skills, required to perform a specific occupation or task at the workplace.

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M

Modularized/ "chunked" curriculum:  A method of structuring and sequencing curricula within a community college to create modules, or "chunks", tied to jobs with multiple entry and exit points and multiple levels of industry-recognized credentials built into the sequencing.

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N

National Career Pathways Network: (formerly the National Tech Prep Network) A membership organization for educators and employers involved in the advancement of Tech Prep and related education reform initiatives.  http://www.cord.org/ntpn/

National Council for Workforce Education (NCWE):  An affiliate council of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) with a vision of developing and sustaining a premier workforce for the global economy.http://www.ncwe.org/

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O

Occupational Skills Training (OST) certificate:An Oregon community college credential that combines college credit and work-based training. Instruction is based on a personalized curriculum created by the skills training coordinator, worksite supervisor, and student (and sponsoring vocational consultant if funded by agency).

Oregon Labor Market Information System (OLMIS): The official market analysis system for the State of Oregon which provides economic information to employers, job seekers, students, policy makers, analysts, and others. It is designed to give users access to the Employment Department's information resources free of limitations due to time or location. Web link: www.qualityinfo.org.

Oregon Pathways Alliance: Statewide collaborative of representatives from Oregon's 17 community colleges focused on building capacity and institutionalizing Career Pathways at the community college in partnership with education, workforce and regional employer partners.

Oregon Skill Sets:  A list of academic, technical, and career related knowledge and skills that students need to know and be able to do in order to be successful in Oregon's educational and career environments. The six Oregon Skill Set career learning areas include: 1) food, agriculture, and natural resource systems; 2) arts, information, and communications; 3) business and management; 4) health services; 5) human resources; and 6) industrial and engineering systems. See also Career Clusters.

Oregon Transfer Module (OTM): A one-year community college award indicating a block of general education courses which can lead to either an AAOT degree at a community college or to a four-year degree from any public Oregon college or university. The OTM guarantees that the transfer courses will be received under the same categories as they were earned; upon transfer, the receiving institution may require additional general education coursework that is required for a major or to make up the difference between the transfer module and the institution's total general education requirements.

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P

Pathways:See Career Pathways.

Pathways to Advancement: A statewide initiative aimed at transforming Oregon's community college education model to focus on helping Oregonians attain certificates, credentials, or degrees that lead to high-demand occupations and higher wages. The Pathways to Advancement initiative is led by representatives from educational institutions (K-12, community colleges, and universities), workforce agencies, and the governor's office. It focuses on advancing student-centered and demand-driven strategies that ease transitions for all students across the educational continuum and meet the workforce needs in demand occupations for local and regional employers.

Point of Contact (POC): The identified staff person at each Oregon community college who serves as a liaison between the college, the Oregon Department of Education, and the Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development regarding curriculum and program approval.

Professional Technical Education:  See Career and Technical Education (CTE).

Program of Study (defined in Carl D. Perkins legislation): Options offered to students when planning for, and completing, future coursework for career and technical content areas that:

  Incorporate secondary education and postsecondary educational elements;

 Include coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant career and technical content in a coordinated, non-duplicative progression of courses that align secondary education with postsecondary education to adequately prepare students to succeed in postsecondary education

May include the opportunity for secondary education students to participate in dual or concurrent enrollment programs or other ways to acquire postsecondary education credits; and

Lead to an industry-recognized credential or certificate at the postsecondary level, or an associate or baccalaureate degree.

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R

Roadmaps: Visual representations that depict the coursework, competencies, skill requirements, and credentials needed for a series of related occupations in an industry sector. These graphics assist students and workers as they navigate pathways to better jobs and increased earnings.Core elements of roadmaps developed by Oregon community colleges include: 1) occupation(s); 2) competencies/skills; 3) college courses associated with certificates, degrees or credentials; 4) wages; 5) labor market data/demand; and 6) industry-recognized credential (if applicable).

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S

SB 300: See Expanded Options Program.

Statewide Certificate/Degree: An approved certificate or degree that includes the same competencies and courses across all participating Oregon community colleges. Examples include: Retail Management Statewide Certificate and the Manufacturing Engineering Technology Associate's Degree.

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T

 

Tech Prep: See Accelerated Options/Accelerated college credit.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): A federal program administered locally that provides case management and cash assistance to low-income families with minor children. It is designed to promote personal responsibility and accountability for parents. The goal of the program is to reduce the number of families living in poverty through employment services and community resources.

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W

Workforce Investment Act (WIA): The federal statute that establishes federal policy direction and appropriates federal funds for employment and training programs. These programs include training for disadvantaged youth, adults, and dislocated workers; adult education and literacy; employment services and labor market information; and rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities.

Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title IB: Workforce Investment Act (WIA) federal funding that provides services to dislocated workers, youth employment training programs, and other workforce training programs for adults. These programs help workers obtain new skills to become more employable, improve their earnings, and decrease welfare dependency.

Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title II: Workforce Investment Act (WIA) federal funding received from the U.S. Department of Education and distributed to community colleges to support adult basic skills education services including ABE, GED, high school completion, ESL, and EL/Civics.

WorkSource Oregon Centers: Also known as One-Stop Career Centers.  A statewide network that stimulates job growth by connecting businesses and workers with the resources they need to succeed. It is a network of public and private partners working together for businesses and workers to:

* Ensure businesses have a ready supply of trained workers whose skills and talents are aligned with the expectations and needs of business and industry;
* Connect businesses with the resources they need to grow their workforce and their business; and
* Provide the resources to help Oregon's unemployed and underemployed get connected with the employers that are right for them, find the jobs they're looking for, and get trained for jobs they want.

Wrap-around (student) services: Support services that are designed to ensure student success in community college programs. These may include, but are not limited to: Outreach and recruitment; referrals between programs; career development, including career assessment, advising and counseling; case management; mentoring; coaching and tutoring; conveniently scheduled, accelerated and appropriately sequenced classes; childcare; federal and state need-based financial aid; job search skills training; and job placement assistance.

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