Four HCS Schools Earn TN Pathways Certification
Posted on 03/01/2021
Four HCS Schools Earn TN Pathways Certification

Four schools in Hamilton County Schools have earned the Tennessee Pathways Certification for creating regional postsecondary opportunities. The schools are Brainerd High School, The Howard School, East Hamilton High School, and Hixson High School. The certified pathways are as follows:

  • Aviation Flight at Brainerd High School
  • Hospitality and Tourism Management at The Howard School
  • Therapeutic Services at The Howard School
  • Business Management at East Hamilton High School
  • Nursing Services at Hixson High School

Launched in 2019 in partnership with the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), the Tennessee Pathways Certification sets clear expectations for alignment, advisement, and partnerships that define strong education-to-career pathways. Beyond establishing standards for program quality and design, the certification elevates and celebrates innovative and exemplary state pathways.

“The honor of pathways certification demonstrates the collaborative nature of Hamilton County Schools and the objectives of the larger Chattanooga business community as we all work together to train and prepare students for life after high school, a life filled with opportunity as well as the ability to positively contribute to the growing needs of the vibrant Chattanooga economy!” said Blake Freeman, the K-12 Officer of Academics for Hamilton County Schools. “The HCS CTE programs recognized as Certified Pathways are evidence of Hamilton County Schools commitment to preparing our students to be truly Future Ready.”


Tennessee Pathways strives to encourage high-quality student pathways in every high school by recognizing exemplary programs and partnerships across the state. Tennessee Pathways creates alignment between K-12, postsecondary education, and employers so that students have a clear and guided pathway to move seamlessly into the workforce. Alongside Tennessee’s landmark tuition-free college grant programs—Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect—Tennessee Pathways directly supports the Drive-to-55 goal of equipping at least 55 percent of Tennesseans with a college degree or certificate by 2025.


  • A pathway is composed of an elective focus, work-based learning experiences, early postsecondary coursework, and opportunities to earn industry certification and/or articulate credits at a postsecondary partner institution.
  • A pathway should include opportunities for a student to stack credentials — that is, build from one certification to the next to gain knowledge and skills that can lead to higher wages and broader employment opportunities.
  • A pathway should accelerate a student’s progress toward industry or postsecondary credentials, thereby reducing time, costs, and opportunity costs as a student transitions from education to employment.
  • A pathway is a process of discernment, not a destination. Pathways are not intended to place students on tracks. They provide a jumpstart toward a student’s chosen path.

What the accomplishment means for Hamilton County Schools
The growing number of Tennessee Pathways Certified schools helps the district advance Accelerating Student Achievement in the Future Ready 2023 five-year action plan.