Career Pathways



Career Pathways supports students in visually mapping a career path, which enhances their future success. We perceive our students as future leaders, capable of developing solutions to the world’s most vexing problems. Participation helps instill self-confidence in students as well as a sense of possibility through connecting students to mentors in their community.

In terms of future success, relating academics to real-world applications and careers reduces the likelihood that these students will fall behind academically or give up on school altogether and drop out. Furthermore, connecting these students to each other creates an achievement cohort that lessens the chance that students will be susceptible to the phenomenon of underperforming to meet peer group expectations. In short, Career Pathways makes learning and academic achievement “cool”.

Through connecting students to real-life skills and professional mentors, Career Pathways fosters engagement, motivation, empowerment, self-confidence, leadership, critical thinking, teamwork, and exploration.


  1. To show students the relevancy of the current curriculum to potential short-term jobs and long-term careers
  2. To provide students with real-life skills
  3. To connect students to their future so that they will continue to invest in their own learning
  4. To foster a love for life-long learning in students
  5. To empower students
  6. To provide students with project-based and inquiry-based learning experiences, placing a premium on critical thinking and creativity
  7. To provide students with meaningful mentorships from the professional community
  8. To have the students present their learned knowledge to the community at the conclusion of the program


Currently, Career Pathways programs are planned for the following schools and grade levels:

  • Columbine Elementary: 4th and 5th Grade
  • Pioneer Elementary: 5th Grade
  • Emerald Elementary: 4th and 5th Grade

If you are interested in implementing Career Pathways at your school, please visit the “For Schools” tab above or contact Impact on Education’s Program Manager Jen Biegen.




Career Pathways classes are based on the needs and desires of the school. The different example classes listed below can be used as a reference tool in order to decide what class themes will best fit your school or your student.

The number of Career Pathways classes at your school will depend on the number of students participating in the program. Because we want to give our students an accessible experience, we strive to provide small classes focused on hands-on learning opportunities. Typically, there are no more than 12 students per class.

All classes have a defined end goal for the students, which may include a product or a skill that students can demonstrate to the community at the celebration at the end of the program. Previous end goals have included each student creating their own app, a farmers market with products the students grew and bundled themselves, and CPR certification from the Red Cross.

Examples of previous Career Pathways classes and associated learning subjects include the following:

  1. Technology
    • Coding languages
    • Website Design
    • Sketch-Up
    • Building your own apps
    • Graphic Design
    • Logo Design
  2. Leadership and Business
    • Peer Mediation
    • Starting your own business
    • Human rights
    • Design thinking
    • Being a multicultural leader
    • Leadership styles
    • Identify leadership opportunities in school
  3. WildCat TV
    • Filming
    • Interviewing
    • Video editing
    • Green screen training
    • Creating news segments
  4. Agriculture
    • Soils
    • Water resources
    • Sustainable animal husbandry
    • Sustainable systems of growing food
    • Trees
    • Benefits of “pests”
    • Bee keeping
    • Permaculture
    • Planting
    • Conducting a Farmer’s Market
    • Natural resources
    • Building an energy bike
  5. Food and Nutrition
    • How food affects your body
    • Processed foods
    • Portion sizes
    • Careers in nutrition
    • Macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins)
    • Reading food labels
  6. Leadership and Public Service
    • Being a fireman
    • Being a police officer
    • Teamwork and communication
    • Peer mediation
    • Managing finances in a business
    • Being an assistant to the mayor
    • Identify leadership opportunities in school
  7. Translation and Interpretation
    • Difference between interpreting and translating
    • Verbal and written translation
    • Consecutive, simultaneous, sight and summarization translation modes
    • Body language
    • Cultural responsiveness
    • Procedures interpreters must follow
    • Use of interpretation headsets
  8. Bike Mechanics
    • Bike safety
    • Different parts of a bike
    • Building a bike from scratch
    • Installing shifters
    • Repairing bikes
    • Wheel truing
  9. Health
    • Babysitting
    • CPR with adults, children, and infants
    • First Aid
    • Choking protocols
    • Cardiac arrest versus heart attack
    • Medical emergencies (e.g., stroke, seizures)
    • Environmental emergencies (e.g., allergic reactions, overheating, hypothermia, bee stings)
    • Being an EMT
  10. Art and Culture
    • Technical theater careers
    • Music performance
    • African dance
    • Event planning
  11. Energy
    • Sources of energy
    • Energy assessments
    • Careers in energy
    • Energy efficiency and conservation


Lead Facilitators

Lead Facilitators

Each class is facilitated by a lead teacher or, in some cases, multiple teachers. The lead teacher or teachers will be the point of contact for the class.

Lead teacher responsibilities include:

      1. Write curriculum for the class and provide it to the school and Impact on Education
      2. Determine an outcome for the class and inform both the school and Impact on Education what the outcome will be

Lead teachers are compensated with a stipend to complete all lead responsibilities, including attending all classes and the celebration. If you are interested in becoming a lead facilitator, please email Impact on Education Program Manager Jen Biegen.




At the end of each Career Pathways program semester, there is a celebration for all of our students’ accomplishments. Parents, district employees, educators, guest speakers, and any other relevant community members are invited to the event.

The celebration acts as a showcase where each class has a booth or table. Students can showcase any materials or products from the class as well as demonstrate any learned skills. Each class prepares a trifold presentation board, where students show what they have learned in the class. Certificates will be distributed on this day by lead teachers and all students will receive a sticker in their Career Pathways passport.

Field Trips

Field trips act as important opportunities for students to see how what they are learning in their Career Pathways classes can directly transfer to a future career. Impact on Education highly encourages that each class arranges a relevant field trip. Past class field trips include:

  • Agriculture: Mt. Flower Goat Dairy to learn about sustainable animal husbandry
  • Leadership and Public Service: Lafayette City Hall to experience city leadership and role play various city leadership scenarios
  • Technology: Google offices in Boulder to see where a career in software engineering can lead

Guest Speakers

Career Pathways guest speakers are relevant professionals who serve as mentors for the students. During a visit, students are encouraged to ask questions and envision themselves in professional positions. Guest speakers have come from a variety of professions including assistant mayor, fire chief, beekeeper, software engineer, emergency medical technician, court interpreter, district attorney, and many more. If you are interested in volunteering as a guest speaker for a Career Pathways program, please contact Impact on Education Program Manager Jen Biegen.


For Schools

Career Pathways at your school

If you are interested in bringing a Career Pathways program to your school, Impact on Education is here to help! Please read the information found on this page. Then, contact Impact on Education Program Manager Jen Biegen to start the process of starting Career Pathways at your school.

Below, you will find steps to implementing Career Pathways, necessary roles and responsibilities, and other miscellaneous information.


Important steps to implementing Career Pathways at your school

      1. Choose areas of interest for classes
        • Poll students to see interest areas
        • Choose interest areas based on knowledge of your students and school
      2. Determine the number of classes that will be needed at your school in order to keep small class sizes
      3. Decide on the timing of your program
        • How many sessions per academic year?
        • When will the session(s) occur? Fall? Spring?
        • How many weeks? 8 weeks is the average
        • How many times will the program run per week? Twice a week is what has typically been done
        • How long will each class run for?
        • When will the class start? After-school?
      4. Inform parents and teachers about the Career Pathways Program
      5. Poll parents, teachers, and other community members on if they have expertise in the interest areas desired
      6. Decide on dates for the Career Pathways program classes and for the celebration at the end of the program
      7. Arrange transportation for students if applicable
      8. Appoint school coordinator
      9. Organize classrooms for Career Pathways
      10. Hold a celebration for students


Necessary Roles and Responsibilities

There are several roles and responsibilities associated with the Career Pathways program that are required for each school. These roles are those of Impact on Education, your school, and a Career Pathways School Coordinator who works extensively with the school to ensure the success of the program.

School Coordinator

Your school will be required to appoint a School Coordinator for your Career Pathways program. They will act as the head of the program within your school and the primary contact between Impact and Education and your school.

The following are some of the responsibilities for the School Coordinator:

      • Commitment to the Career Pathways program
      • Communicate the school’s needs throughout the program to Impact on Education
      • Set/agree on dates for the program
      • If providing the program with potential leads, share their contact information with Impact on Education
      • Assign class spaces to lead facilitators
      • Ensure the school has the necessary materials and capabilities for specific classes
      • Coordinate any field trips with the school and any relevant personnel
      • Attend all Career Pathways related meetings at your school
      • Attend all Career Pathways class days at your school
      • Teaching a class period if a lead is absent and a substitute cannot be found in time for class
      • Help leads with any behavioral concerns as needed
      • Communicate parental or school concerns to Impact on Education
      • Be available to answer any lead questions
      • Secure a large room within the school for the Final Celebration
      • Attend the Final Celebration


For Parents

Class Schedules

Each lead facilitator of a Career Pathways class is required to submit a class schedule to Impact on Education that includes lesson schedules and descriptions, field trip details and times, and guest speaker appearances. Parents are encouraged to look through the curriculum to discover all of their student’s hands-on class activities. Below, each class that has received curriculum will contain a link to a Google doc. That document will contain the class schedule as well as information on each day of class. The currently available curriculum for the Spring 2018 session is as follows: