Northeastern Technical College

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Personal Pathways to Success

Get a smart start on your college career!

Through Personal Pathways to Success, Northeastern Technical College has partnered with Chesterfield County School District, Marlboro County School District and Dillon County School District 3 and 4 to provide high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to make substantial progress toward their college education while completing high school. Talk to your high school guidance counselor about your Individual Graduation Plan.

Overview of Legislation and Curriculum Changes

South Carolina high school students face many challenges as they prepare for a world far different from that of their parents. With rapid advances in technology and global competition, jobs of the future will require greater levels of knowledge, advanced skills and more flexibility than ever before.

Eighty-five percent of today's jobs require education or training after high school, but projections indicate that only 60 percent of South Carolina ninth graders will pursue advanced education or training. In addition, many employees lack the knowledge and skills needed for the advanced technical jobs required within the state.

For students to be successful in this global and highly technical economy, high schools must provide a curriculum that is challenging and relevant. They must also offer a sequence of rigorous courses that will both present a clear pathway to college study and the workforce, and adequately prepare students for life in the 21st century.

The Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA) of 2005 was designed to implement changes in the South Carolina educational system by developing a more focused curriculum organized around a career cluster system. Under this system, which has been named "Personal Pathways to Success," schools must offer students educational and career choices as well as information about career and educational opportunities.

At the core of this legislation is the concept of individualized planning as the key to rewarding, productive futures for all students. Personal Pathways to Success, embraced by business, industry and community organizations, establishes a new framework for curriculum and career planning to aid students and their parents in this planning process. This framework provides students with strong academics and the flexibility to choose coursework and job training opportunities aligned with their goals and abilities.

Elements of the Curriculum Framework

Curriculum Framework: a means of organizing curriculum at the high school and college levels. A comprehensive curriculum framework includes the following elements:

  • Schools of Study
  • Clusters of Study
  • Majors
  • Individual Graduation Plan (IGP)

Schools of Study: broad program divisions within a high school curriculum that relate to various professions and academic areas of study.

Clusters of Study: the basic building blocks for the construction of a curriculum. Clusters of study provide a way to organize and tailor coursework and learning experiences to students' career interests. Clusters of study are designed to provide a seamless transition from high school to college and/or the workforce. A career cluster is a grouping of occupations related to an industry or profession.

Majors (Areas of Academic Focus): smaller curriculum units within a cluster of study. A major consists of at least four elective units of study related to specific professions in that cluster. Majors allow students to focus on an area of interest that will prepare them for successful entry into college majors and/or the workplace.

Individual Graduation Plan (IGP): an educational plan that is comprised of:

  1. The state high school graduation requirements and/or college entrance requirements; course recommendations for successful completion of a major that aligns to post-secondary education and the workplace.
  2. The purpose of the IGP is to help students and their parents plan for and explore educational and professional possibilities.
Career Clusters

South Carolina organizes its curriculum around 16 national clusters of study as developed by the United States Department of Education (USDE):

Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
The production, processing, marketing, distribution, financing, and development of agricultural commodities and resources including food, fiber, wood products, natural resources, horticulture, and other plant and animal products/resources.

Architecture & Construction
Careers in designing, planning, managing, building and maintaining the built environment.

Arts, A/V Technology & Communications
Designing, producing, exhibiting, performing, writing, and publishing multimedia content including visual and performing arts and design, journalism, and entertainment services.

Business Management & Administration
Careers in planning, organizing, directing and evaluating business functions essential to efficient and productive business operations.

Education & Training
Planning, managing and providing education and training services, and related learning support services such as administration, teaching/training, administrative support, and professional support services.

Planning and related services for financial and investment planning, banking, insurance, and business financial management.

Government & Public Administration
Planning and executing government functions at the local, state and federal levels, including governance, national security, foreign service, planning, revenue and taxation, and regulations.

Health Science
Planning, managing, and providing therapeutic services, diagnostic services, health informatics, support services, and biotechnology research and development.

Hospitality & Tourism
Preparing individuals for employment in career pathways that relate to families and human needs such as restaurant and food/beverage services, lodging, travel and tourism, recreation, amusement and attractions.

Human Services
Preparing individuals for employment in career pathways that relate to families and human needs such as counseling and mental health services, family and community services, personal care, and consumer services.

Information Technology
Building linkages in IT occupations for entry level, technical, and professional careers related to the design, development, support and management of hardware, software, multimedia and systems integration services.

Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security
Planning, managing, and providing legal, public safety, protective services and homeland security, including professional and technical support services.

Planning, managing and performing the processing of materials into intermediate or final products and related professional and technical support activities such as production planning and control, maintenance and manufacturing/process engineering.

Planning, managing, and performing marketing activities to reach organizational objectives such as brand management, professional sales, merchandising, marketing communications and market research.

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
Planning, managing, and providing scientific research and professional and technical services (e.g., physical science, social science, engineering) including laboratory and testing services, and research and development services.

Transportation, Distribution & Logistics
The planning, management, and movement of people, materials, and goods by road, pipeline, air, rail and water and related professional and technical support services such as transportation infrastructure planning and management, logistics services, mobile equipment and facility maintenance.

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