Career Pathways

As students look into the future and begin thinking about a career, many have more questions than answers. Which professions match my skills and interests? How can I learn more about particular fields? Which high school courses best prepare me for the profession I choose?

Ann Arbor Public Schools offers many sources of answers to career-planning questions. Teachers and counselors can recommend an appropriate educational plan, and resources such as the AAPS Student Services Guide can provide detailed information about specific courses and programs.

The following information is an excellent tool for planning and decision making. Based on the model used by the Michigan Career Preparation System, the guide charts six career paths and describes the high school courses that lead to the career destination you choose.

CareerPathways: arts_and_communication.jpg CareerPathways: business.jpg CareerPathways: engineering.jpg CareerPathways: environmental.jpg CareerPathways: health.jpg CareerPathways: human.jpg
Arts & Communications
105kb PDF
Business, Management,
Marketing and Technology
112kb PDF
Engineering/ Manufacturing and
Industrial Technology
114kb PDF
Environmental Science
109kb PDF
Health Sciences
99kb PDF
Human Services
100kb PDF



Educational Development Plans

An Education Development Plan (EDP) documents a process through which a student identifies both career goals and a plan to achieve them. Students update EDPs each year as a record of career planning that will guide course selection. Students develop their first EDP in eigth grade. Counselors and students work together to ensure that EDPs reflect a career path reflecting goals, areas for exploration, career assessment results, school performance and interests. School counselors then support selection of courses and guide students into specialized opportunities and training related to the career pathway indicated in the EDP.


  • Counselors can direct you to a wealth of information, references, and resource material. They are also skilled in counseling for decision-making and exploring career options.
  • Teachers, Media Specialists, Teacher Consultants and Job Placement Coordinators are valuable resources for students.
  • Other parents, friends, and co-workers can share experiences and information to help you select a career path.
  • Career Cruising, a comprehensive career development program, is available on-line in to assist you with career awareness and planning, including training options and information on colleges and universities.
  • Informational programs are held throughout the year at your high school, at local colleges, and at technical schools.
  • World Wide Web resources are available for all areas of career exploration. See your counselor, teachers, media specialists or career resource center for lists of current web sites.


  • Advanced Placement, sponsored by the College Board, provides examinations each spring. If the student scores well enough on the exam, he or she may earn college credit.
  • Articulation Agreements with other institutions of higher education are available in career and technical education classes. This means that upon successful completion of the class requirements, college credit may be earned for this high school class. Contact your Cooperative Education Office (COE) or counselor for more information.
  • Career Assessment Opportunities are available through the counselors, media center, teachers, and teacher consultants. Students explore their interests and abilities.
  • Community Service can provide important social and employment skills which are recognized by potential employers. The completion of the EDP includes a career assessment.  Students can find opportunities through a variety of school courses and organizations.
  • Testing Out is offered to students for any AAPS high school courses, with the exception of physical education.
  • Community Resource Contracts allow students to earn credit in a variety of community settings.
  • Dual Enrollment is a program where students can take college classes and receive both high school and college credit for qualifying upperclassmen. See your counselor for specific details.
  • Job Shadowing is provided in cooperation with local businesses. Job shadowing is a short-term experience arranged through a cooperative education director or school counselor. It provides an opportunity to explore a career of the student’s choice.
  • PSAT/NMSQT is a practice test for the SAT offered by the College Board in October of the junior year. It is also the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Registration is in late September at the Main Office.
  • Work Experience is paid work experience for credit. This is not related to any particular class or career choice. Contact the Cooperative Education Office (COE).
  • Cooperative Occupational Education (COE) is paid work experience for credit.  Students enrolled in COE must also be enrolled in the associated Business or Vocational Class.
  • EDP – Michigan High School Guidance Curriculum requires every student to do an Educated Development Plan.
  • ACT and/or SAT are tests required for college entrance. Most colleges in Michigan require ACT or SAT and juniors are encouraged to take them in the spring. The ACT is also the qualifying test for the Michigan Competitive Scholarship Program. Plan is a sophomore version of the ACT.