Innovative Pathway Program

The Office of Career-Technical Education, in collaboration with school administrators and instructors, has identified the need for Innovative Pathway Programs within its current offering of work-force development career fields. The purpose of the Innovative Pathway Program is to meet the needs of Ohio’s ever-changing workforce and provide students with high-quality career-technical educational experiences that prepare them for jobs of the future.

What is a Career-Technical Education Innovative Pathway Program?

The Career-Technical Education Innovative Pathway Program is an opportunity to prepare students for employment in emerging careers that cross multiple career field pathways. The pathways must be supported by business and industry partnerships that result in direct employment, preferential training or earning advanced postsecondary credit towards a degree or credential for an emerging career.

Business and Industry Partnership Criteria

  1. Employer driven commitment to students for hiring and/or preferential training aligned to a local, regional, or statewide need. OR
  2. College credit or advanced training that culminates in earning a postsecondary credential aligned to a local, regional or statewide need.

Design Criteria and Methodology

Innovative Pathways must be designed to expand access to career-technical education courses specific to an emerging occupation or cluster of occupations not directly aligned to current career-technical education approved pathways. Innovative Pathways do not replace or amend a current approved pathways and must meet the minimum program of study criteria as outlined in Ohio's Perkins V State Plan. Innovative pathways should include partnerships with business and industry and/or postsecondary institutions.

Application Process

Schools must complete the Innovative Pathway Application. An Innovative Pathways team member will contact the applicant within 30 days of submission. Questions may be directed to an Innovative Pathway team member. 

Approval Process

Approval is contingent upon the submission of an application that addresses all required components of an innovative program. Approval or non-approval will be communicated to the applicant within 30 days of submission.  The application period for FY2024 will end on June 30, 2023, and FY2025 applications will be accepted starting July 1, 2023.


Implementation is the responsibility of the school and its partners.  Innovative pathway team members assigned to the school will be available to answer questions and assist with any barriers that develop as a result of career-technical regulations.  The Ohio Department of Education will annually evaluate the progress and success of innovative pathways.  The evaluation will be a joint effort between the school, its partners and the Office of Career-Technical Education. 

Last Modified: 2/28/2024 7:32:04 AM