Arizona Department of Education Partners with Pipeline AZ to Launch Innovative Career Exploration Platform

Arizona Department of Education Partners with Pipeline AZ to Launch Innovative Career Exploration Platform

The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) announced it is launching My Future AZ, a new career exploration and planning platform, for students across the state. My Future AZ utilizes proven technology and infrastructure from Pipeline AZ, an Arizona career development and job skills exploration platform, to offer students comprehensive resources and support to plan for their future careers.

“By purposefully guiding students through the career exploration and planning process, we hope to better prepare them for achieving their individual vision of success post-graduation,” said Cathie Raymond, Deputy Associate Superintendent at ADE. “My Future AZ is unique in that it will serve as the statewide shared technology infrastructure to provide equitable access to career exploration for all Arizona students.”

My Future AZ will replace the previous standardized tool that was in use for the Education and Career Action Plan (ECAP), which was instituted in 2008 by the Arizona State Board of Education. The new platform will be made available free of charge to all Arizona public school districts and will provide custom dashboards for students’ career development planning.

“Career planning begins with becoming aware of and exploring the local possibilities and pathways to get there, but our research has shown that career exploration, work experiences and career pathways have not received enough emphasis within students’ career development,” said Mary Foote, Director of Pipeline AZ, an initiative of the Partnership for Economic Innovation. “My Future AZ will address this by offering an unprecedented amount of resources, support, and guidance for Arizona students at all grade levels, so they can explore career pathways early on and develop a real plan for success.”

A feature of My Future AZ is the ability to link directly to higher education institutions using the platform, as well as to Pipeline AZ, so that students can leverage the platform’s many tools throughout the life of their career journey in Arizona. Pipeline AZ also supports every public 2- and 4-year postsecondary schools in the state and is directly integrated and supports the Maricopa County Community College District. School counselors will also receive strategic support through the platform with information to further guide students through the career exploration journey.

My Future AZ is funded through the ADE Career and Technical Education unit’s Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). Further, the partnership with the Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) as well as the Arizona Business Education Council (ABEC) will allow My Future AZ to be available to middle school students in addition to high school students. Because of the collaboration between ADE, ABEC, CFA and other education systems and programs across the state, Pipeline AZ will deliver consistent and relevant career possibilities and planning earlier than ever before.

“When students have opportunities to identify their skills, interests, and strengths and understand how these can apply to meaningful career paths, they have a sense of purpose and ownership that keeps them engaged so they will be able to transition more seamlessly into the next steps required to achieve their goals in education and work beyond high school,” said Cindy Erwin, Director, College and Career Pathways at CFA. “My Future AZ will help Arizona students do just this.”

“Helping middle school students make informed decisions regarding their education as they prepare to transition into high school and beyond is critical in exciting and motivating students about their futures.  As students begin to develop their career identity, they need to be exposed to the myriad of available careers, the skills required for these careers, and how they link to education goals. My Future AZ is an important and necessary tool in connecting young students to the information they need to prepare for the careers of tomorrow,” added Debra Raeder, Vice President of Program Development at ABEC.  “ABEC, with support from the Arizona GEAR UP Grant, is excited to be a part of bringing My Future AZ to all middle school students across the State of Arizona.”

Arizona companies and organizations are encouraged to create employer profiles at pipelineaz.com to connect with job explorers and seekers as My Future AZ is rolled out to public school districts across the state.

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