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Introduction and Definitions

Leyden District 212 uses the following nationally recognized terms to help guide students through the selection of coursework and to support their decision-making in preparation for their postsecondary goals.

Career Cluster: Group of occupations and industries that have a set of foundational knowledge and skills in common. There are 16 nationally recognized career clusters which each contain multiple career pathways.

Career Pathway: Multi-year program of academic and technical study that prepares students for a full range of postsecondary options within each career cluster. Career pathways provide a context for exploring career options at all levels of education. Career pathways link student learning to the knowledge and skills needed for future education and employment.

Program of Study: Sequence of courses and experiences which include academic, career and technical education content. Programs of study include opportunities to earn college credit and industry-recognized credentials or certificates and gain external career experiences while in high school. Programs of study may also lead to a student earning a college degree.

Pathway Courses: Recommended sequence of courses which provide students opportunities to explore and develop skills within a specific career area.

Related Electives: Courses which provide students additional opportunities within the specialized career area or opportunities to develop skills and knowledge in a closely related career area.

External Experiences: Extended educational opportunities in which students engage in authentic and relevant work aligned with a career pathway. External experiences include the involvement and support of industry partners and provide students opportunities for career exploration and/or advanced career skill development.

Career Related Activities: Opportunities for student career exploration and skill development which may include the involvement of industry partners. These opportunities are generally less formal than external experiences in the areas of career exploration and/or career skill development. 

Industry Credentials: Credentials awarded to students by an independent third party verifying qualifications or competencies in a career skill area. Industry-recognized certifications are sought or accepted by employers as a recognized, preferred, or required credentials for recruitment, screening, hiring, retention or advancement purposes of their employees.

College Majors: College majors are concentrations of educational study focused on a career area. College majors can lead to an associate, bachelor, master, or doctorate degree. 

Careers: Careers are occupations which usually require special training or formal education. 

Capstone: A capstone course signifies the end of a career path or the highest level course within a discipline.