The Innovation Pathways Program was developed to help expand career field exploration through technical education within Worcester Public Schools. Students participating in the program will experience an in depth look at a career field of their interest, gain industry recognized credentials in that area, engage in college and career planning activities, take college-level classes in preparation for career advancement, and enhance their experience through a summer internship or a capstone project.
Worcester Public Schools has worked with many organizations and businesses to develop a program that meets the needs and interests of students as well as future labor market demands. We are proud partners with:
- MassHire Central Region Workforce Board
- One8 Foundation
- Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Program participation is open to any students enrolled in WPS comprehensive high schools: Burncoat, Claremont, Doherty, North, UPCS, and South.
Preference will be given to 9th graders during the application period.
Career And Academic Planning:
- Provides student support, college and career planning, industry connections, technology knowledge and skills, employability skills, and financial skills
2 Technical Classes (from the Career Pathway Offerings)
- November through Mid-March
- Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (depending on program) from 1:30 – 5:15 at Worcester Technical HS
- Busing to WTHS provided (dismiss early at 1:00 from school) WRTA passes or guardian pickup for trip home
- Snow days or other cancellations are made up the week following missed class
- Students receive WPS credit on their transcript for the classes
100-hour Paid Internships or Capstone
- Internships will be targeted for summer months based on industry availability
- Students receive WPS credit on their transcript
2 Courses that qualify as College Level
- AP or Dual Enrollment classes
In summary, students commit to two years of college and career planning classes, two years of technical classes taken at Worcester Technical High School from November - March, and a 100 - hour internship during the summer or a capstone project by the end of their senior year. Students also need to keep Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday open for technical classes.
Applications Coming February 2023
Current 9th graders are given preference but open to 10th graders as well
- Must be passing 4 year-long classes at time of application (end of first semester)
- Must pass discipline review for safety
- Have 10 or fewer absences at time of application (end of first semester)
- Must complete application
- 2-3 sentence personal statement
- Teacher recommendation
- If all above requirements are met, students will participate in an interview
- Program participants will be selected via a lottery from qualified candidates.
Each student will apply to one technical pathway. Please see pathways for specific yearly enrollment. Enrollment is allocated equitably by schools across the district based on applicant interest. Program wait-lists will be maintained for each school if applications exceed enrollment capacity.
Emily Lehman Miller
Director of Innovation Pathways
"The IPP program has not only paved my personal success but also my drive to get where I want to be. Before I started this program I knew what I wanted but no clue how to get there. This program has made things possible that I never could achieve alone. Having the program can be compared to having not only peers and teachers to show you the way, but a set goal with stepping stones that are well within reach to keep up with and also make yourself proud. I’m very proud of myself for partaking in this program and I only wish that my peers after me will take advantage of this opportunity and use it wisely."
- Mya Rajotte, Doherty Memorial High School Class of 2021.
"I attended Burncoat High School and studied Allied Health in the Innovation Pathways Program. My first year in IPP was nerve wracking and exciting at the same time. We got to meet new students from different schools and make friendships with them. I loved it! I achieved my CPR certification and my OSHA certification which led me to a great opportunity job in a nursing home called Notre Dame. First year we learned how to properly wash our hands, CPR, properly making beds, ROM (range of motion), temperatures, blood pressure, etc...basically, we learned the basics of being of caring for people. Going into the second year of IPP, we are more advanced and practice caring for patients and working with them in a personal and professional manner. This year we learned ways of brushing the residents dentures, putting on the bed pans, cleaning them and interacting with them. We do our clinical practice in a nursing home and actually experience caring for actual patients and LET ME TELL YOU, I LOVED IT. Being able to to study this career pathways is awesome and I truly love working at a nursing home. My advice for the new students signing up for IPP is to enjoy it as much as they can because it will change their life like it did to mine."
- Cecelia Nieves, Burncoat High School Class of 2020.