Step 1: Engage

Team Composition & Functions


Teams are expected to have at least five members who will work together over the three year project period to develop and prepare to implement their programmatic solution.  We anticipate that entrants will need to address a number of issues as part of the design process, including but not limited to:

  • Curriculum Development/Alignment,
  • Credential Attainment,
  • Academic/Wrap-Around Supports,
  • Work-Based Learning,
  • Job Placement/Advancement and Corresponding Supports,
  • Recruitment/Retention,
  • Cultural Competency, and
  • Funding/Sustainability.

While teams have the flexibility to identify the best-qualified individuals and organizations to creatively address these issues, strong entrants will be comprised of members who have diverse perspectives (including student and employer voices) on how to design, implement and sustain innovative programmatic solutions that consider key design features.

As an example, a team could have the following members:

  • Program Administrator – who oversees adult education and/or career training programs in the community where the team would like to implement their solution
  • Educator(s) – a teacher, faculty member, or another type of educator from an adult education program and/or postsecondary institution who understands how adults learn best and possesses  (or has access to individuals with) the authority to make decisions about programming and credentialing
  • Employer(s) – from the industry sector(s) that is the focus of the programmatic solution, with an interest in hiring or advancing the careers of the target student population
  • Prospective or Former Adult Student – to contribute “student voice” from the perspective of the target student population
  • Community Organization and/or Government Agency – to assist with wrap around supports for students as well as community engagement and outreach
  • Representative(s) of COABE and/or NASDAE – to assist with scaling and sustainability issues
  • IEL Community School – to target the parents of youth who are currently enrolled in these schools and provide after-hours classroom and teaching space

Minds That Move Us Infographic

However, there are many other combinations of team members that would be strong, and we encourage entrants to think innovatively on how to bring diverse perspectives, skill sets, and capacity to the design table!

Over the three years of the project, teams are expected to:

  1. Maintain their membership and capacity to design and implement the programmatic solution.
  2. Attend Design Camp, where they will fine-tune their original idea based on feedback from SME’s.
  3. Actively participate in the coaching hours provided during the project to develop their programmatic solution so that it is ready for implementation.
  4. Leading up to the Career Pathway Festival, ensure that their programmatic solution is developed enough (a) to pitch to a panel of judges and live audience for real-time feedback and (b) to secure pre-commitments from private and/or public funding sources to support implementation.
  5. Following the Career Pathway Festival, fine-tune their programmatic solution based on feedback with support from their coach.
  6. Respond to a brief application to be considered for the $300K in prize money (three winning teams will receive $100K each); responses must include formal commitments from private and/or public funding sources in order to be competitive.
  7. Utilizing funding from private and public funding sources, be ready to implement their programmatic ideas by the end of the project if not sooner.
  8. Participate in an evaluation that will chronicle the lessons learned and outcomes of the project.
  9. Participate in, help to develop, and/or share resources, tools, reports and briefings necessary to disseminate best practices, including the virtual community of practice.

More Resources

Download the Design Challenge Phases & Timelines
Download Career Pathway Design Challenge Fact Sheet
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