Massachusetts Connecting Activities


News and Updates

Massachusetts highlighted in ASA guide

Friday, June 17, 2022

Work-Based Learning programs in Massachusetts are highlighted in a new guide published by ASA.   According to the guide:

“Those opportunities to really hone in on a career identity, as well as build some workplace skills and build the social capital that we know is critical for both long term career success and sort of navigating the working world — all of those things should be happening,” Lammers said.

ASA has developed a guide to help schools systems and communities build capacity and positive outcomes with work-based learning opportunities. The guide features state-level initiatives to ensure equitable access, strengthen infrastructure and communications, set quality and accountability expectations, and more. 



From the DESE CCTE Newsletter: Use ELA/Literacy Standards to Teach Foundational Skills

Friday, February 4, 2022

From the Connecting Activities Notes in the December DESE CCTE newsletter. Often educators will ask.... ...

ASA Blog Post - Featured Interview

Friday, February 4, 2022

An interview with Kerry Akaskian about the Connecting Activities program is featured in a recent American Student Assistance blog post.  In the blog, they write: [We] have been digging deeper into best practices and policies employed by states to expand and improve high school work-based learning programs.... In this next installment, we chat with Dr. Kerry Akashian, Career Development Education Lead at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Read the interview:


FY2021 Connecting Activities Annual Report now available on website

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Learn more about the Massachusetts Connecting Activities initiative by reading our Annual Report. The report shares news about our projects, initiatives and accomplishments, as well as highlights and stories from Connecting Activities programming from local programs around Massachusetts. 

View or download the FY21 report: PDF 


New "Did You Know" Information Sheet

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

A new Did You Know? information sheet offers a brief invitation to school leaders to connect with the many resources that Connecting Activities provides, including online resources, the Work-Based Learning Plan, the database and our virtual events.    Share this information sheet:  Did You Know?


First Annual MAKE IT IN MASSACHUSETTS: Manufacturing the Future Event

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Make history and take part in the first annual MAKE IT IN MASSACHUSETTS: Manufacturing the Future Event! MassHire Workforce Boards across the state are providing an opportunity for students to experience how STEAM ...

HSSEIP Resources

Friday, February 26, 2021


FY2020 Annual Report

Friday, January 15, 2021

Enjoy and share our FY2020 annual report!   The report highlights our work in...


High School Senior Internship Education Project (HSSIEP) - FY21

Monday, December 21, 2020

DESEís Connecting Activities and the Commonwealth Corporationís Youthworks have developed an educator internship project open to all districts for high school seniors in good academic standing for the Spring of 2021. Districts will be able to place high school seniors in paid education internships within their districts. To learn more about the HSSIEP project and to answer the questionnaire, please review the information sheet and feel free to attend one of three information sessions on December 23rd at 12:30 PM, January 4th at 11AM, and January 5th at 11AM. CLICK TO READ MORE.


Massachusetts STEM Week

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The Connecting Activities network creates opportunities for students throughout Massachusetts to participate in Massachusetts STEM Week, with local workshops, industry speaker events and more.  Learn about STEM Week at  and connect with your regional Connecting Activities liaison to learn how your school can get involved.


Using Twitter - Social Media Tips

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Enjoy these tips for using Twitter as a communcation tool for Connecting Activities. ...

Career Development Education Guide Now Available

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

We are happy to share Version 2.0 of the Career Development Education Guide. This guide provides fresh examples and perspectives to the popular CDE Guide... ...

Connecting Activities Models During Pandemic

Friday, June 5, 2020

As we move into summer and fall, we have developed a brief summary describing Connecting Activities models during the pandemic ...

Appreciation Award for Merrimack Valley Connecting Activities

Friday, May 29, 2020

In the midst of all of the events of the year, Connecting Activities staff continue to collaborate ...

Tips for Online Meetings

Friday, May 29, 2020

With days full of online meetings, we are all starting to gather thoughts about how ...

COVID-19 Resources for Connecting Activities and MassHire Boards

Friday, May 8, 2020

We are collecting resources for working with youth during the COVID-19 pandemic in the following Google Doc. We will continue to share these as new resources are added.


Summer 2019 Teacher Externships Wrap-Up Report

Thursday, April 30, 2020

During the summer of 2019, 45 teachers participated in the DESE Perkins Teacher Externship Program. Teachers worked on projects... ...

Three Stages of Career Development: What Can Students Do?

Saturday, March 28, 2020

A re-post and update of an earlier article about "What Can Students Do?" In this time of school shut-downs, there is a natural sense of worry about the future, and students may feel this worry if they try to think about their future steps. As career development professionals, we can share some of the positive things that students and families can do to nurture lifelong learning skills, focusing on the present while also continuing to be ready for future career steps. While we are in this time of worry, it may be helpful to realize that most real-life career paths are built gradually over time, often with set-backs and changes of course. ...

Teacher Externship Program

Friday, October 18, 2019

The Lowell Sun recently published a profile of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education`s Perkins Teacher Externship Program, a project of the College Career and Technical Education (CCTE) Unit, ...

Conference Materials - May 9, 2019 - Connecting Activities Sessions

Thursday, May 16, 2019

From the May 9, 2019 Conference: 

Connecting Activities Mini-Presentations - 3-5 minute presentations from ...

Welcoming Kerry Akashian

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

In April 2019, we are welcoing Kerry Akashian into the Connecting Activities network as our new statewide coordinator. Kerry joins the DESE Office of College, Career and Technical Education as Coordinator of Career Development Education. Kerry is transitioning into our office from the Center for Instructional Support where she was ...

Signal Success Curriculum

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

In the coming summer and school year, we are lauching a new 10-module version of the Signal Success curriculum, which has been widely used and enjoyed in ...

Connecting Activities Annual Report

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Learn more about the Massachusetts Connecting Activities initiative by reading our FY2018 Annual Report.  The report shares news about statewide projects, initiatives and accomplishments, as well as highlights and stories from Connecting Activities programming in each of the sixteen MassHire workforce regions. ...

Elements of Model Internship Programs

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

We are pleased to share with your our newest guide, Elements of Model Internship Programs.   This resource guide, from the Massachusetts Department of Employment and Training, Office for College, Career and Technical Education, provides advice, forms, letters and other materials to support the creation of ...

Connecting Activities Initiative Celebrates Twenty Years

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

At the May 15, 2018 Connecting Activities conference, participants enjoyed a presentation celebrating the 20th anniversary of the initiative. Connecting Activities was formally launched in the 1997-1998 school year, to sustain the work started in Massachusetts in the five-year-long National School to Work Opportunities Act.

View PowerPoint Presentation:

High Quality College and Career Pathways, New Skills for Youth and Career Advising

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Commonwealth has embarked on a high level, ambitious effort to increase the career readiness of many of its students, both in high school and adult settings.  Under the guidance ...

New Work-Based Learning Plan Option Connects to CVTE Frameworks

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

This year, the online Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan (WBLP) adds a new feature - an option  for tracking the Career/Vocational Technical Education (CVTE) competencies. ...

New Primer about Labor Market Information

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Through Connecting Activities, ESE has recently published a new Primer and related materials about Labor Market Information (LMI). ...

Partnering with Business to Scale up CDE

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Recently, the importance of better career preparation for students in high school has been the subject of national attention due to a new report by the Council of Chief State School Officers titled ...

CA Conference on Nov. 6: Making Sure that Students Get the Powerful Experiences They Need to Be Ready for Success after High School

Friday, October 10, 2014

Success after High School is the over-arching goal of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE).  Making sure that our students are ready for both college and careers is at the heart of our work.  Connecting Activities (CA) drives the career readiness part of the college and career readiness agenda and is one of the leading ways ...

Career Development Education Guide and Glossary

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has published a guide and glossary about Career Development Education (CDE), to help school staff and other educators develop ...

Why we needed a training video for employers about the Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, through its Connecting Activities initiative, has just developed a new training video for worksite supervisors about ...