The leading objective in the Careers2Communities (C2C) Program is to build math awareness throughout New Mexico. For years, the average mathematics score of eighth-grade students in New Mexico has trailed the national average. Add on the additional learning loss challenges due to the global pandemic and the need to introduce innovative approaches to make significant progress is crucial.
The C2C Program, funded by The Expanding Access to Well-Rounded Courses Demonstration Grant, seeks to resolve this challenge and more with a series of well-rounded courses to support math learning in New Mexico. As part of the program, all New Mexico schools have free access to Pathway2CareersTM Curriculum, an online curricula and assessment for 8th Grade Math, Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II.. Pathway2Careers bridges the gap between traditional math outcomes and over 400 real, high-value careers in New Mexico. When students can connect math learning to tangible, well-paying careers, we expand the potential trajectory for students.
The curriculum works alongside resources to explore detailed information about local school districts, labor markets and career clusters, students are able to make informed decisions about a career path that best suits them. These important data sets include area-specific information that highlights median wages and annual job openings.
The program seeks to resolve the equity gap by infusing opportunities for all students to learn about viable career paths. This is particularly important for the rural students in New Mexico as noted in a recent article from The Hechinger Report. The report showed that rural and small-town students are not pursuing a career in math or science at the same rate as students in urban or suburban areas even though careers requiring STEM skills are projected to grow by 8 percent by 2029. When all students can learn critical math skills by seeing how math is applied to meaningful, everyday tasks used in a variety of careers, we can begin to close the learning gaps across the state.
In addition to providing Pathway2Careers to all schools in New Mexico at no-cost, the C2C Program includes several other projects including the establishment of a Community Voices network. By curating stories of local business professionals, we demonstrate real-life examples of all backgrounds and the diverse paths taken to reach their career. Building a library of stories will allow students to connect with a plethora of careers and see the potential by exploring a variety of professions.
Learn more about the state awarded grant and explore the ways NS4ed is supporting career readiness in New Mexico.