We have said more than once that Porterville is way out front of other school districts with its Pathways program, but now the state has put in its two cents in — actually a lot more than two cents — by awarding PUSD a grant to assist other districts in establishing their own Pathways program.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so Porterville Unified and all those involved with the Pathways Program should be flattered by the district being awarded a Linked Learning Pilot Program grant that will have Porterville Unified serve as a mentor district for Tulare and Kings counties, as well as six other areas on how to implement a Pathways program. Last week representatives from San Bernardino were in town to view the district’s highly successful program.

Pathways is a program established by the district in 2009 as a career-themed learning concept where students can focus on a career path. Today, nine career paths are offered, including finance, health, multimedia, science, engineering, performing arts, mass communication, law and justice, and agricultural.

The concept is students can apply real life learning now to help them on a career path. Each of the schools in the PUSD have at least one Pathway program.

PUSD has engaged the community in the program, with several businesspeople serving as mentors or advisors. Those community members assist the school in giving the students a feel for what they will face should they select a certain career.

The grant by the state is just the latest accolade the district has received. Several districts, some from as far away as Napa, have visited Porterville to see how successful the program can be and to learn as much from Porterville Unified because it is setting the standard for Linked Learning. Also, the district has received several awards for its program.

Porterville is benefitting from the Pathways program and soon other towns may see the same benefits thanks to the pioneering work Porterville Unified has done.

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