Big Sky Pathways

Big Sky Pathways General Information

Big Sky Career Pathways LogoThe Montana Perkins program is pleased to announce "Big Sky Pathways," a college and career initiative brought to you by the Montana Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education & The Montana Office of Public Instruction, that allows students to achieve success by seamlessly transferring from high school to college and careers through a program of study. Through the implementation of Big Sky Pathways, secondary schools prepare students for postsecondary education and careers, promoting the connection between education and workforce and economic development and connecting academics to real-world applications.

Click here for further information about Big Sky Pathways.

What is Big Sky Pathways?

A Big Sky Pathway, or Program of Study is a specific career pathway, defined by a local school/district partnership, which is a sequence of instruction based on recommended standards and knowledge and skills, consisting of coursework, co-curricular activities, worksite learning, service learning and other learning experiences including Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO). The sequence of instruction provides preparation for a career, and results in a industry-recognized credential, certificate, or degree.

• Offer a seamless transition from high school to career or occupation preparation;
• Focus on high skill, high demand, and high wage careers;
• Provide a plan for attainment of a technical skill proficiency and an industry-recognized credential, certificate or degree.

Career Clusters

The 16 Career Clusters are categorized into career groupings with shared knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to be successful in careers within the pathway. 79 Career Pathways are contained within these 16 career groupings. They are the core of workforce and economic development in Montana.

• Provide a framework for continuing, cutting-edge, high-quality programs of college and career preparation;
• Provide a framework for seamless education from high school through postsecondary;
• Provide more career and educational options for students;
• Provide a framework for organizing and reorganizing the delivery of career and technical education and skills for the 21st century;
• Provide a framework for knowledge and skill transfer as well as verification of qualification.

Click here for more information on Career Clusters.


To develop knowledge and skills to guide students toward their chosen academic and career goals by providing a seamless and successful transition into the workforce.


Every student will have a successful transition into their chosen career through the establishment of an educational plan; utilization of articulated credit and dual enrollment; as well as access to experiential learning, relevant course work, leadership opportunities, and lifelong learning.

Through Career Pathways, Missoula College is working with regional high schools to provide:

  • Professional Development for Teachers & Faculty
  • Accountability & Evaluation Systems
  • Partnerships with Secondary, Postsecondary, Business & Industry, Community, etc.
  • College & Career Readiness
  • Technical Skill Assessments & Industry Recognized Certifications
  • Articulation Agreements & Dual Credit
  • Links between School Counseling & Academic Advising

For more information or to look at the Pathway agreement, go to MUS and click on the cluster to view all the pathways in each cluster.