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Arizona Partnership for Education and Career Success (APECS)

The Arizona Partnership for Education and Career Success (APECS) brings together stakeholders from state education agencies, community organizations, and schools to support the attainment of education and workforce collaborative goals through research and technical assistance. REL West is collaborating with the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) to support their workforce readiness agenda, which seeks to raise postsecondary attainment rates in response to the state’s current and projected employment needs. As part of this effort to improve the education and career prospects of the state’s population, multiple cross-sector collaborative initiatives have formed. These partnerships span the K–12, postsecondary, and workforce sectors, and many rely on data sharing to advance their work. REL West created the Arizona Partnership for Education and Career Success Alliance (APECS) to foster a better understanding of the cross-sector partnership and data-sharing landscape in Arizona and to support efforts currently underway.

Alliance Objectives

The primary goal of the APECS Alliance is to provide support and technical assistance for using data in cross-sector partnerships to improve education and workforce outcomes. Currently, the alliance is working to achieve this goal by focusing on the following objectives:

  • Enhancing partners’ understanding of the literature on cross-sector education and career collaboration and the implications for strengthening partnerships and programs, particularly around data use.
  • Mapping the data-sharing landscape in Arizona to help partners identify opportunities for collaboration and make better use of existing data sources.
  • Reporting on the successes and challenges related to implementation of the state’s Education and Career Action Plan (ECAP) initiative at specific sites, with emphasis on the use of partnerships and data to achieve school ECAP goals.

Projects

Cross-sector collaboration and data sharing. REL West shared a summary of the research literature on cross-sector partnerships and the factors to consider in developing strong partnerships. An inventory of data sources in the state compiled by REL West is providing a foundation for considering opportunities to connect data for more robust tracking of outcomes.

Education and Career Action Plans. Profiles of three schools in different parts of the state provided a fuller picture of ECAP implementation. One of those schools, in Flagstaff, is partnering with REL West in 2018 to learn more about students’ perceptions, including those of Native American students, and using data to strengthen their program.

Partners

The Arizona Partnership for Education and Career Success includes key staff at the Arizona Department of Education, state and community leaders from the Arizona Career Leadership Network, and educators from participating schools and districts, as well as advisors at the West Comprehensive Center and other education advocacy and support organizations from across the state.