It’s being done, it can be done


about pathways to adult success

Pathways to Adult Success (PAS) is a collaborative effort of over 100 K-12 educational systems, non-profits, and institutions of higher education who are both conducting cutting-edge work and seek to learn from each other on a central questions of our times—how do we provide all our students a pathway to adult success which provide formative educational and social experiences in middle and high school, building their agency, academic know-how, and well-being,  while enabling them make an informed choice, about which combinations of postsecondary schooling, training, and work experiences will launch them towards a family-supporting wage, career? PAS learning community members firmly believe that essential to this is the provision of supports and guidance along the way, rooted by the development of student agency, belonging, and connectedness.

Pathways to Adult Success learning community members have and are working to find effective solutions to all of these challenges.  Over the past years, they have shared their learning with each other and beyond through PAS annual conferences, solutions forums, design challenges, and community collaboration efforts

Why We Need to Build Better Pathways to Adult Success:
What the Data Says

Narrated by Robert Balfanz

PAS framework


The PAS Framework outlines foundational shifts in beliefs, practices, and structures to improve postsecondary outcomes and perspectives for all young people to be able to embark on a meaningful career and achieve a family-sustaining wage.


These are the next generation, post-pandemic iteration of earlier work on early warning and on-track systems, where many PAS partners played foundational roles.  Student Success Systems combine a focus on supportive relationships between all members of an educational community, with progress monitoring all students on key predictive indicators of success, including both of the ABCs—attendance, behavior, course performance and agency, belonging, and connectedness.


The pace of change in the nature of work, has accelerated rapidly in the 21st century. As a result, students and families may not be fully aware of which careers are most likely to flourish in the coming years.  Thus, more than ever middle, high school, and college students need a thoughtful series of career exposures, applications, experiences, preparations and the access to guidance informed by local and national job market information to make informed choices about the type of postsecondary schooling and/or training they will partake.


Today, high schools are no longer an endpoint of formal education. It is essential the local K-12 systems, the institutions of higher education to which the majority of their students flow, and leading local employers collaborate closely to create strong and supported pathways from K-12 schooling into and through postsecondary schooling into a career with family supporting wages.


In order to create pathways to adult success, communities need to know where and why students are falling off-track to high school graduation prepared for adult success.  They need to know how many high school graduates have access to strong pathways into and through postsecondary schooling and training.


How it’s Being Done

Initiatives at all levels and in various areas — from expanded early warning systems to revised guidance approaches to collaborations with local business, non-profits, and colleges — have yielded insights of tremendous benefit to others exploring similar initiatives. In fact, a daunting amount of online and in-print information is available! With so many resources, where to start?

How to Begin

Starting something viable/ reasonable means starting something that is doable in the short term and is likely to produce early gains that help solidify buy-in; establish strong foundations for further development; and offer opportunities to evaluate and learn from early efforts.

How to Provide Postsecondary Opportunities for All

Providing good postsecondary guidance involves helping students identify their interests and aptitudes, learn about career and academic opportunities that match those interests, and select courses they need to take in preparation.

How to Develop Collaborations/Partnerships

Collaborating with stakeholders is crucial to make sure the education students receive is relevant to the postsecondary opportunities available, and helps them to gain the skills and mindsets for lifelong success.

How to Use EWS Systems

Transition from a graduation-focused EWS to a focus on postsecondary success means taking a longer view of the mission of preK-12 schooling, so that the goal is not simply for students to acquire a high school diploma, but rather to complete high school well prepared to succeed in viable postsecondary education or career plans that will lead to adult success.

How to Work with Data Systems

A PAS data system will need access to data from multiple data systems like K-12 data systems, postsecondary data systems, department of labor data systems, and other local, state, and federal data systems that contain student information that can be used to support student success.


PAS in Action!

Explore the ways PAS partners are implementing solutions to providing pathways to adult success. These include hearing from students how the PAS initiatives directly influencing their postsecondary pathways.

EVCS to Career at Berry

Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. works with local business to maximize student opportunities. Learn more about EVSC.


The NLU Accelerate U program offers learners a rapid pathway to a full-time job. We partner with innovative local employers to build affordable academic and training pathways. Learn more about NLU.

Designing for Success

Pathways to Adult Success partners are working tirelessly to implement student success systems that are designed around agency, belonging, and connectedness to enhance the educational experience and prepare students for success in life. Learn about PAS partner initiatives.

FutureEd 23

Academy of Future Educators

The EVSC is proud to announce its newest Innovative Program, the Academy of Future Educators, in partnership with the University of Southern Indiana. The program, housed at Reitz High School, is open to junior and seniors in Evansville and the surrounding area who are interested in a career in elementary education. Visit the Academy Website.

Designing Education

A podcast hosted by Robert Balfanz, director of the Everyone Graduates Center.

Conversations with leaders in education from around the country on bold new ideas and research-based strategies for redesigning American education to more effectively engage all students and equip them for the challenges of today’s workplace and world.

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