[Online] - PAYA Network Learning Session: Integrating Youth Apprenticeship into Traditional College Pathways


This PAYA Network session will explore models of youth apprenticeship development and expansion that leverage existing postsecondary pathway initiatives. The attainment of a college degree remains one of the most significant predictors of job quality and economic mobility. However, early work experiences also position youth for success in adulthood. High-quality youth apprenticeship allows high school age students to combine practical, on-the-job learning with related academic instruction that culminates in post secondary credits and credentials of value. In recent years, education and business leaders have been rethinking traditional college access and pathway programs to ensure that youth are workforce ready. This session will feature leaders from Ivy Tech’s Integrated Training and Education Pathways initiative and Career Launch Kalamazoo who are helping to expand the mission of traditional postsecondary pathway programs to embed career training and paid work-based learning. Register here to attend.

Speaker Bios

Breanna Allen is the Director of Student Pathways at Horizon Education Alliance. Breanna’s experience in working in Higher Education assisting college students in preparation for the workforce along with coordination and logistics for all program’s students, faculty, staff, and external partners engaged in has prepared her for the role of Pathways Coordinator with Horizon Education Alliance. The work that HEA is creating and doing is needed to ensure our youth that there is opportunity in their future right at home and beyond. Understanding the workforce and providing equitable and attainable education to be a part of the workforce is a passion of Breanna’s and HEA values those key aspects, which drew her to be a part of the organization. “I am so grateful to have the opportunity to contribute my experience to HEA who is a critical piece to transforming education for our communities. Breanna made her way up to the Michiana area in 2012 as a Higher Education Administrator. Breanna has worked for Harrison College and Ivy Tech Community College in various roles such as Manager of Student Services and Director of Career Development over the past six years in Elkhart County.

Sarah Klerk, Director of Workforce Strategy and Business Collaboration at The Kalamazoo Promise, is dedicated to developing public/private partnership approaches and policies to overcome economic and workforce development challenges facing regions. Sarah believes that education and workforce development must work together to improve both the outcomes for individual learners and the competitiveness of regional businesses. Sarah is an advocate for equity and works to ensure all young people have the resources they need to find a good job in Kalamazoo.

Sarah comes to The Kalamazoo Promise from Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW) where she worked as a Senior Policy Associate. At CSW, Sarah provided technical assistance to regions and states developing sector partnerships and helped develop and facilitate the Detroit Opportunity Youth Collaborative. Before working at CSW, Sarah worked at the Chicago Jobs Council (CJC) to help move people out of poverty through employment. At CJC, Sarah’s main role was to coordinate the Opportunity Chicago Initiative.

In 2013, Sarah published Connecting the Dots Between Education, Interests, and Careers: Grades 7-10. She earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Chicago.

Dr. Rebecca Rahschulte is the Vice President of K-14 Initiatives and Statewide Partnerships at Ivy Tech Community College. Dr. Rahschulte has served in various leadership roles within higher education over the past 17 years to include Psychology Professor; Program Chair; Dean of Arts, Sciences, & Education; Campus Director and Interim Campus Chancellor. In her current role, she creates and leads strategy toward development of valued partnerships between school districts, career centers, and the College in service to K-12 students throughout the state of Indiana. Dr. Rahschulte serves as the statewide champion for the implementation of the partnerships within K-12, including cultivating intentional dual credit programming at the College, which serves over 60,000 high school students annually within both general education and career/technical education coursework. She serves as a commission member on the American Association of Community College’s Commission for College Readiness and at a state level on the Advisory Board for the Indiana Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship.

Brian Warrell is the Director of K-14 Initiatives at Ivy Tech Community College. Before coming to Ivy Tech Community College Brian was a Jobs for America’s Graduates Specialist in an alternative high school in Goshen Indiana. He started with Ivy Tech as a College Connections Coach in Elkhart County in July of 2018. He established relationships with dual credit students, high school partners and college staff to provide quality service to all stakeholders. Early in 2021 he was promoted to Assistant Director of K-14 Initiatives for Elkhart County and now serves as Director of K-14 Initiatives for the Ivy Tech South Bend/Elkhart Campus. Brian is an alumni of Ivy Tech Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Human Services and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from Bethel College.