Promising Policy: Tennessee Pathways

Tennessee Pathways is the K-12 initiative under Tennessee’s Drive to 55. The Drive to 55 was created to ensure at least 55 percent of Tennesseans have a college degree or certificate by 2025 and can access more career opportunities in their communities across the state. Tennessee Pathways supports alignment among K-12, postsecondary, and industry to provide students with relevant education and training to jumpstart their postsecondary degrees and credentials. Students, with their certificate, degree or credential, can transition seamlessly into the workforce and contribute to the success of our economy.

Key Elements of Tennessee Pathways

High-quality College and Career Advisement
through K-12

Rigorous Early Postsecondary and Work-based Learning Opportunities

Seamless Vertical Alignment between K-12, Postsecondary Programs, and Career Opportunities as a result of Effective Partnerships

Tennessee Pathways Facts & Figures


Includes $2 million that will go to 9 regional coordinators to help districts think about how best to offer relevant industry credentials to students


Originally called Pathways Tennessee to create and support regionally and locally-led approaches addressing the skills gap, the initiative was rebranded in 2012 and has expanded to serve 33 counties with K-12 focus, not just high school.