Mundelein High School Academics

What are Pathways?

What are Pathways?

Career Pathways are similar to majoring in college, except that students may start their learning experience in high school.

Every student, no matter what their postsecondary plans are, can benefit by selecting and following a sequence of career related classes designed for their area of interest.

  • A Pathway is a sequence of courses within your area of interest.
  • A Pathway will connect your career interests from high school to college and/or career.
  • A Pathway is your educational road map guiding you to the high school courses and postsecondary options most relevant to your chosen career destination.
  • A Pathway will help you acquire the depth of knowledge and skill linked with specific postsecondary programs that will lead to a certificate or degree and/or career.

Why a Pathway?

Families and students note that finding a career that students are interested and passionate about is important. Learning real world skills in school is one way to accomplish this goal.

Pathways provide a blend of curriculum, real world learning, industry skills, knowledge, and qualifications that students will need to be successful postsecondary. Research also notes students and families engaged in a Pathway note they are getting a jump start on their future career.

  • Pathway students have opportunities to earn college credit in high school through our Dual Credit as related to their Pathway.
  • Pathways students historically exceed expectations. Nearly every state reports a higher graduation rate for Pathways students compared to all students.

College and Career Pathways Endorsement

Through a Pathway, students have the opportunity to earn a College and Career Pathways Endorsement. This designation recognizes that students have successfully demonstrated knowledge and skills required for success in postsecondary education and employment. Additionally, students have engaged in career exploration and development to improve students’ decision-making for subsequent education and career advancement.

What is required for a student to earn a pathway endorsement?

In order to earn a College and Career Pathway Endorsement, a student must satisfy all of the following:

  • Develop and periodically update an individualized plan for postsecondary education or training, careers, and financial aid. Included in the plan should be development of a resume and personal statement. This plan must span grades 9-12th and include an annual process for updating the plan.
  • Complete at least 2 Career Exploration Activities or one Intensive Career Exploration Experience, at least 2 Team-based Challenges, and at least 60 cumulative hours of participation in one or more Supervised Career Development Experiences.
  • Demonstrate readiness for non-remedial coursework in reading and math by high school graduation.


SchooLinks is a modern, college and career readiness platform. It helps students prepare for what comes after graduation. Students can discover their interests and strengths. They can explore colleges and careers. SchooLinks helps them create a personal plan that best reflects their post-high school goals.

Mundelein High School District 120 uses the following nationally recognized terms to help guide students through the selection of coursework and to support their decision making process in preparing for their postsecondary plans and goals.

Articulated Credit: A way to start a college technical major in high school. Students who meet eligibility requirements that are set by the institution of higher education may earn proficiency credit, which can be used to meet program course requirements only at that institution. In contrast, dual credit courses are accepted outside of the awarding institution.

Careers: Careers are occupations which usually require special training or formal education. In this document, a sample of careers related to each program of study is listed.

Career Cluster: A group of related occupations and industries that have a set of aligned foundational knowledge and skills.

There are 16 nationally recognized Career Clusters which each contain multiple Career Pathways.

Career Pathway: A multi-year program of academic and technical study that prepares students for a wide range of postsecondary options in a related career field. Career Pathways provide a context for exploring career options. Career Pathways link student learning to the knowledge and skills needed for future education and employment.

Career Technical Education (CTE): Provides students with the academic and technical skills, knowledge, and training necessary to succeed in future careers and to become lifelong learners. In total, about 12.5 million high school and college students are enrolled in CTE courses across the nation.

Certifications: Opportunities awarded to students by an independent third party verifying qualifications or competencies in a career skill area. Industry-recognized certifications are sought or accepted by employers as a recognized, preferred,

or required credentials for recruitment, screening, hiring, retention, or advancement purposes of their employees.

College & Career Pathway Endorsement: Illinois’ College and Career Pathway Endorsements (CCPE) system is a cornerstone strategy of the Postsecondary & Workforce Readiness (PWR) Act to increase the number of Illinois high school graduates prepared for postsecondary education and future careers. To earn an Endorsement on a high school transcript, a student must complete an individualized learning plan, engage in a career-focused instructional sequence (including early college credit), participate in work-based learning, and demonstrate readiness for college-level reading and math. Students earning the Endorsement will develop technical and essential employability competencies, earn in-demand credentials, and be prepared to launch rewarding careers.

College Majors: College majors are concentrations of educational study focused on a career area. College majors can lead to an associate, bachelor, masters, or doctorate degree. In this document, a sample of majors related to each program of study is listed.

Dual Credit: Dual Credit programs provide students an opportunity to earn both high school and college credit upon successful completion of a college course. All dual credit courses are college level and will be listed on an official college transcript. Mundelein High School District 120 has established several Dual Credit options for students. The college courses are transferable to higher education institutions and/or provide opportunities for specific pathway-related training and earning industry-recognized certifications. Students are encouraged to confirm how each individual course may fit his/her program of study at that institution.

College of Lake County: Also known as CLC, is the serving community college of Mundelein High School District 120.

External Experiences/Internships: Extended educational opportunities in which students engage in authentic and relevant work aligned with a Career Pathway. External experiences include the involvement and support.

Pathway Courses: Recommended sequence of courses which provide students opportunities to explore and develop skills within a specific career area. Required pathway courses are those course a student must complete in order to achieve the pathway endorsement on his/her graduation transcript.

Prerequisite Courses: A prerequisite is a specific course that must be completed before the next course in the sequence.

Related Electives: Courses which provide students additional opportunities with the specified career area of opportunities to develop skills and knowledge in a closely related career area.

The Seven Career Pathways

  • Agriculture, Food, & Natural Resources
  • Arts & Communications
  • Finance & Business Services
  • Human & Public Services
  • Health Sciences & Technology
  • Information Technology
  • Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology & Trades