Communications Toolkit: Postsecondary Pathways and The Shifting American Economy

Navigating pathways through high school, higher education and training, and into the workforce can be overwhelming for students and families. Families need to be engaged early and often to ensure they have the resources and support they need to make informed decisions. But as the economy has shifted—including dramatic changes induced by the pandemic—many school and district leaders report lacking the concrete resources they need to communicate with families about shifts in the labor market and the different pathways students can pursue to find success in today’s economic reality. 

Education Strategy Group (ESG) has released a new toolkit to help districts, schools, and other leaders who support a student’s educational journey effectively communicate with families about today’s economy and the different paths to success. These ready-to-use resources include key messages, graphics, printable materials, customizable pieces, and more from which communicators can build and execute their own contextualized communications plan. 

Key Messages and Strategy Considerations

In the toolkit, six important strategy considerations (each with relevant additional resources) ensure robust, successful communications with families. 

The Shifting American Economy: Key Messages and Strategy Considerations (PDF) 

 One-Pagers and Infographics

The following one-pagers illustrate different factors for families to consider as they support their student in making informed choices. 

Postsecondary Options for Success (PDF): A handy one-pager defining the different types of postsecondary education and training that can lead to economic opportunity for students.

Multiple Paths to Success (PDF): A visual illustration of different pathways to long-term economic success, including entry, exit, and convergence points along the way.

Sample Career Ladder (PDF): An example of how different levels of education and training can lead up a career ladder in the Information Technology Systems field.

Sample Career Lattice (PDF): An example of how different education and training routes can lead to success in the Nursing field.

Who You Know Matters (PDF): An infographic showing the importance of building networks for career exploration and success.

A Student’s Journey (InDesign): A customizable template to illustrate a student’s journey through high school and postsecondary education and training to enter a particular career.

Growing Local Career Opportunities (InDesign): A customizable template to showcase specific career fields with growing opportunity in your area.

For more, see: