An Innovation Pathway is an early career program for students that gives them experience in a specific high-demand industry through college coursework and internships with local employers. ODI was awarded NSF funding in 2021 to design, develop, test, and institutionalize an innovation pathway focused on data. Working with a team of high school and community college educators and industry and community partners, ODI will develop a guidebook to help teachers work with students developing data-rich Civics projects to meet state Civics requirements and develop/pilot a Visualization+Data Course and a Python+Data course to complete the IPDC. Working with teacher leaders/facilitators from the development sites, five school systems/high schools (designated as “field test sites”) will participate in professional development during Years 2 and 3. They will integrate the Civics+Data module in Year 2 and the Visualization+Data course in Year 3 and commit to implement the Python+Data course in the year following the end date of this project.
This innovation pathway will create a bridge to Massachusetts’ post-secondary data analytics programs—in both community colleges preparing students for middle skilled jobs on data teams across industry sectors and universities preparing students to become data scientists in STEM-centric workplaces of the future, particularly in careers at the human-technology frontier.