Prototyping Alternative and Academic Career Pathways

December has been busy for our newest challenge: the Connected Pathways initiative. We are prototyping new pathways to professional careers, starting with the fastest growing industry in Washington, DC, hospitality. This project explores the connection between professional experience, skill development, and credentialing opportunities—and how the Lab might surface and visualize flexible, affordable academic and career pathways to the middle class. Current partners include: Marriott, ACE, SUNY Empire State College, New Futures, and Academy of Hope.

Design Sessions with Students & the “Studio Team “

Design research to date has documented the values, capabilities, and challenges of both high-need learners in Washington, DC and the hospitality industry, and recently the Studio Team reacted to early prototypes and helped build on them. What’s a studio team? In this case, the session gathered a mix of a dozen subject matter experts—leaders within the DC hospitality industry and postsecondary credentialing, as well as key representatives of opportunity youth and adult learner schools. The transfer of ideas and expertise across the wide range of participants highlighted mutual interests and points of connection, and by the end of the session, several promising high-level prototypes had emerged.

DC hospitality employers design education models with schools and educators.

Participants consider the design criteria for four different prototypes.

In preparation for a larger convening at the end of January, the Connected Pathways team will spend the next month advancing and exploring the elements of each potential pathway. If you would like to submit a concept or learn more about the initiative, please contact our Connected Pathways team.