Learner-Centered Education in Action: A Deep Dive into Colorado's Path4ward Program

In its efforts to blur the lines between our secondary and postsecondary systems, Colorado has incentivized schools and districts to extend and expand work-based learning, postsecondary, and career exploration opportunities to high school students throughout the state.

Among the nine programs structured around postsecondary and/or career and workforce readiness, Path4Ward stands out for its learner-centered approach. Established in 2021 as a five-year pilot, the program recognizes that some students seek to finish high school early and aims to prevent them from getting disengaged and slipping through the cracks during a critical time in their lives.

With over 200 students served, the facilitators have identified challenges such as students facing upfront costs before receiving their funds and a lack of capacity for school districts to effectively implement the program, despite interest.