Design for Teaching and Learning in Thematic Programs of Study

Guides collaboration among academic and career technical teachers to prepare students for college and career

The goal of college and career readiness is nearly impossible to achieve without bridging the long-standing divide between academic and career technical education (CTE). Education Northwest supports academic and CTE teachers to design engaging and coherent programs of study that reinforce learning of key content, skills, and habits of mind across multiple contexts; emphasize application; and require higher order thinking. Questions like these drive teachers' work:

  • What does it mean to be proficient? For example, can students understand and apply math concepts to real-world problems?
  • What approaches to teaching best align with the Common Core State Standards?
  • How do we ensure that student learning builds seamlessly from year to year so that students graduate from high school ready for college and careers?


This line of work requires schoolwide or programwide commitment of at least a year. New skills are learned in workshops, applied in classrooms, and refined during ongoing teacher collaboration time.


Schools develop coherent and rigorous programs of study. Specific products include learning targets, course syllabi, performance tasks, assessment rubrics, common instructional strategies, and schedules. These products are refined through practice and peer collaboration throughout the year.