College and Career

Pathways System


Comprehensive College and Career Pathways System

for All Students

HEA assists community partners in developing Networks and Initiatives with the long-term goal of developing a strong and aligned talent pipeline for our community.

Reaching Higher

Reaching Higher is a program for 7th- and 8th-grade students and parents designed to provide information and support about college and career pathways. The program intends to motivate middle school students from minority, low-income, and first-generation populations to pursue a post-secondary degree or certificate during and/or following high school. It also helps students and parents consider how to pay for higher education. It creates awareness of the opportunities, such as 21st Century Scholars, Dual Credit, and Early College High School, to make post-secondary education more attainable and affordable.

Reaching Higher

Career Quest

A two-day event to raise awareness about local career pathways for middle-school students. Businesses representing advanced manufacturing, construction and trades, healthcare, and information technology provide hands-on experiences that help students understand what jobs look and feel like. Curriculum has been designed by school counselors to prepare the students in the classroom prior to the event, and pre- and post- surveys will be taken to track the success of the program. Elkhart County has identified Career Quest as another way to introduce students to career opportunities as they are making decisions about their future careers.

Manufacturing Day

Manufacturing Day is a national event designed to teach youth about modern manufacturing careers. On this day, educators and business owners provide industry tours for middle school students in local manufacturing companies. This event gives students experience and knowledge about careers in manufacturing. They also build connections with companies in their own community. Elkhart County educators have expanded the Manufacturing Day site visits into a seven-lesson curriculum, building connections between career pathways and education.

Industry-Infused Project-Based Learning

Industry-Infused Project-Based Learning

Industry-Infused Project-Based Learning (PBL) is an innovative educational model designed to engage students in investigating and solving complex real-world challenges. Our PBL model centers on authentic challenges from businesses and industry in our community. PBL engages teachers, employees, and students in a joint learning process that results in problem-solving skills, improved productivity, and a clear understanding of career pathways.

Early College High School

Our Early High School Pilot programs allow students to earn post-secondary credits while in high school. This rigorous academic and career-oriented education includes individualized support and post-secondary credentials at no cost to students. Academic rigor combined with the opportunity to save time and money is a powerful motivator for students to work hard and meet serious intellectual challenges. This model has proven effective for students from low-income and minority communities.

Youth Apprenticeship Program

Youth Apprenticeship Program

CareerWise Colorado was identified as the model for Elkhart County after researching models in Germany and Switzerland, where this type of apprenticeship has been part of the education system for decades.

HEA’s Model of Change

Child and Family

HEA builds the capacity of the adults that interact with children.

Early Learning

With a strong foundation, young people are able to become lifelong learners.

Student Pathways

Developing a strong and aligned talent pipeline for our community.

Adult Pathways

Building pathways to high-demand careers and higher earning potential.