Northern California Career Pathways Alliance
January 2016
Santa Rosa - August 3-5
We are postponing our Education & Economic Development Summit to October 2016!

Want to inspire students to be college & career ready?

Employers play a critical role in exploring new public-private approaches to closing the skills gap. The Northern California Career Pathways Alliance(NCCPA) now has a unique opportunity to strengthen the relationship between our business community, our education community and our future workforce. But, we need your help to ensure the initiative is successful.

Visit our
Get Involved
page on our website for more information!

Join Our Mailing List

The month of love and passion is in effect, and our heads are swimming with big ideas from the many events, workshops, and conferences.

The Linked Learning Conference was early this month in San Diego, and so many educators from around the Region came back with renewed dedication to our mission and vision of supporting Career Pathways programs and fostering economic and workforce development. Factoid: S tudents in certified pathways were 1.9 percentage points less likely to drop out of high school and 3.7 percentage points more likely to earn a high school diploma than similar students in traditional high school programs! (Warner, M., et al, 2015. Taking stock of the California Linked Learning District Initiative Sixth-year evaluation. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International)

It just goes to remind us all that this education reform works - and site visits continue to remind us that students are more engaged with their learning. They adore learning this way.

Above, educators and industry folk are passionate about their work to link learning in the School of Engineering, Innovation, and Design at Kearny High Educational Complex in San Diego.

We are continuing our work to develop an online Work-Based Learning Manual.  The 28-person committee consists of passionate representatives from all stakeholder groups including K-12 Districts, County Offices of Education,  Community Colleges and Industry in addition to participants from a number of intermediary organizations and technical assistance providers focused on Work-Based Learning.  In our initial meeting, the group was able to develop common definitions and outcomes around a number of WBL activities as well as a standardized format for the manual.  Since our first meeting, participants have been working in small groups to complete chapters for each of the WBL activities which will include downloadable and customizable documents.  Each will present those chapters to the entire committee on March 3rd and it is our hope to roll out a draft manual to all of our NCCPA partners for review by mid-March. We are loving the results thus far - stay tuned!
 NCCPA Promotional Video Competition

We offer a $500 stipend for your media department to create a two-to four-minute video highlighting pathways in our region.

Submit a link to your audition video (one your team has already created, may be on any topic) to Sarah Wilmarth at
A Note from our Director:
Communication happens naturally
when  you make things safe
When I need to reboot or analyze my actions, I revisit a book that was given to me many years ago called Managing by Values.  Recently I dusted it off and browsed through the pages and landed on a page with a text box in the middle reading: "Communication happens naturally when you make things safe."
Our work is hard!  We are in the process of trying to change systems that have existed for over 150 years and have structure that is entrenched and difficult to move.  This makes for challenging conversations about core values and core beliefs. 
I firmly believe we are all doing this work because we want to do what is good for kids.  But, the problem that exists is; we do not always have safe spaces to have strong, honest communication, which can lead to structural change.
So my question is - How do we make that happen?
I believe we, as the listeners, need to notice the moment of discomfort and stay curious.  We need to listen with our ears, our eyes, our hearts and our minds.  And to realize we don't always need an answer, or the "fix", sometimes we need to just listen, be present, and be a thought-partner in this journey.
For us to make significant changes in our systems, we have to trust one another and be open to truly hearing our partners' thoughts.
Think about how you can make "things" safe.
In collaboration for All Students' Success,


Katie Barr
Northern California Career Pathway Alliance

Mission: The NCCPA facilitates the creation of integrated educational
pathways and career success for all high school and community college
students, while fostering economic and workforce development to benefit students, employers and the community.
Announcing our Facebook Page!

The NCCPA now has 21st Century communications capabilities: a Facebook page! Please visit, post boasts of your goings on related to our work together, and "like" our page so you can get updates and news as it happens in our region. This will be our new method of communicating county-level events around the region as we phase out our blog or county updates pages on the website.

Don't forget about our Twitter account - we have renewed
 our dedication to its use. NCCPA2016 - @northbayregion