Improving the Economic Prospects of Low-Income Individuals through Career Pathways Programs: The Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education Evaluation

Published: April 17, 2014
Self-Sufficiency, Welfare & Employment
Career Pathways Research Portfolio | Learn more about this project, Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE), 2007-2018 | Learn more about this project

There is longstanding interest among policy makers and program operators in finding ways to increase the skill levels of low-income individuals, improve their enrollment in and completion of post-secondary education, and improve their economic prospects. The career pathways approach is gaining steady acceptance as a promising strategy to address these challenges and improve post-secondary education and training for low-income and low-skilled adults.

This brief focuses on the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education project; a major national effort to evaluate the effectiveness of nine career pathways programs using an experimental design. It summarizes the framework used to describe the career pathways approach and the theory of change that guides the evaluation. It then describes the nine programs in the evaluation, and concludes with the study’s research questions and data sources. Later reports and briefs will present findings from the evaluation and will be posted on the project website (

Last Reviewed: April 29, 2019