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Glossary of Terms

ADVANCED COLLEGE AND CAREER PATHWAYS Students take advanced and technical courses within 14 career cluster pathway options that provide them with knowledge and skills to take industry certification/licensure exams prior to or immediately upon high school graduation. 

APPRENTICESHIP/INDUSTRY CERTIFICATIONS Achieving an industry certification allows high school students to acquire and practice not only industry-related skills, but also some of the most critical college and career-readiness skills, such as critical thinking, focusing, and the ability to prioritize. An industry certification is an asset that students can bring to potential employers and prospective colleges.

CAREER EXPLORATION Career exploration activities are introductory and usually short-term. They provide participants with an opportunity to learn about industries and employers that may be unfamiliar with. Models include worksite tours, job shadowing, simulations, and informational interviews with employers. 

CAREER INVESTIGATION Providing students an opportunity to learn about high-demand occupations that align with their interests and aptitudes allows them to select pathways and classes early on that could lead to rewarding careers. 

CAREER PREPARATION Career Preparation activities provide participants with extended opportunities to increase their knowledge of a field and gain employability skills and some entry-level technical knowledge or skills. Models include internships, pre-apprenticeships, cooperative learning, and service learning. 

CAREER TRAINING Career Training activities engage participants as paid employees to gain specific skills, in conjunction with classroom or lab instruction, in a specific industry or occupation. Models include apprenticeships, on-the-job training, and transitional jobs.

COLLEGIATE ACADEMIES Early College High Schools put students on college campuses where they can earn an associate degree tuition free.

EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS Employability skills are general skills that are necessary for success in the labor market at all employment levels and in all sectors. These skills have a number of names—soft skills, workforce readiness skills, career readiness skills, professional skills, or personal and social skills. Examples of employability skills include communication, problem-solving, and leadership.

GO CENTERS GO Centers aspire to help students see pathways to careers and college. They are physical spaces in schools and other locations, equipped with computers and overseen by school staff. Students visit the GO Centers to research career opportunities, college options and financial aid. Students are assisted by mentors from higher education institutions and from the community.  

GOLD SEAL PROGRAMS AND SCHOOLS OF CHOICE Instead of asking students what career they want to pursue, the Gold Seal Programs and Schools of Choice at elementary, middle, and high schools ask “What kinds of problems do you want to help solve and what experience do you need in order to prepare yourself?” Gold Seal Programs/Schools of Choice match their answers with rigorous hands-on learning and opportunities for internships, certificates and college hours.  They include everything from advanced academics to engineering, aviation technology to culinary arts, health science to audio/video production, and more. Opportunities for employer partnerships often align with the special interests of these schools and their students.

GUEST SPEAKERS Empower your employees to share their industry/career info in classrooms, GO Centers, via video Conference, and in professional development meetings, adding relevance to our curriculum.

HIGH-DEMAND INDUSTRIES High-demand industries are industries that: have a substantial current or potential impact (including through jobs that lead to economic self-sufficiency and opportunities for advancement) on the state, regional, or local economy and that contribute to the growth or stability of other supporting businesses or to the growth of other industry sectors; or currently have or are projected to have a number of open positions (including positions that lead to economic self-sufficiency and opportunities for advancement) great enough to have a significant impact on the state, regional, or local economy. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) refers to these as "in-demand industries".

INDUSTRY SCHOOL VISITS Encourage your employees to bring technical and general business acumen and information to campuses, directly impacting students’ awareness of skills needed for job success.

INTERNSHIPS/PRACTICUMS (PAID AND UNPAID)  Internships are year-long work experiences. Internships and practicums offer an opportunity while choosing a career to gain work-based experience in a particular role, organization, or industry sector.

JOB SHADOWING Job Shadowing provides the student the opportunity to experience the workplace, understand the various roles and duties of a particular occupation, learn about the business, connect with a working adult, and observe work in progress.

"LEGACY” VITAL LINK (RISING 7TH GRADERS) Vital Link has been in operation for over twenty years and is a free summer program offered to currently enrolled Fort Worth ISD 6th-grade students who will be entering the 7th grade in the fall. It is a weeklong, half-day unpaid internship program designed to demonstrate the connection between what is learned in the classroom and what is needed for success in the workplace. It is based on the principle that students can be motivated to achieve in school if they understand the “link” between academics and job skills.

MENTORING Mentoring is a proven approach to drive rich learning and development for both mentees and mentors. Mentoring programs require thoughtful planning and sustained commitment to guiding participants through the mentoring process while continually improving the program. Typical mentor responsibilities include helping students to increase their confidence and self-esteem by listening to them and working with them to devise appropriate strategies to achieve their goals.