The Lansing Pathway Promise for Parents


Dream Big. We'll Get You There.

Learning. Dreaming. Becoming.

Here in the Lansing School District, we see it happen every single day.

A student is fully engaged in a new lesson. New ideas are hatching, swimming around with existing knowledge. Eyebrows begin to furrow as concentration deepens.

Often in the very next instant, an essential connection is made. The imagination wakes up. Curiosities and interests bubble forth, along with the first glimmers of inspiration.

As educators, these are the moments we love. Every day, we meet our students with solid academic tools and instructional excellence, preparing them for that magical instant when new ideas and dreams spring to life.

We know that, properly nurtured, student interests and ambitions can support a strong appetite for more learning, launching a lifetime of progress and opportunity.

PDF DocumentLansing Pathway Promise Parent Handbook


Pathways and Promises

Student Dreams — fromPreK to College

Given enough time and the right preparation, one student’s passion can turn into a career, an entire industry, or even a global game-changer.

Here in Lansing, we think it’s worth investing in that passion. That’s why our entire community decided to go the extra mile for our students, making a very healthy cash investment in their futures. Thanks to this local support, the Lansing School District can now provide each and every student with solid learning pathways and a scholarship to continue learning after high school.

Here’s how it works:

  • In the early grades of school, we work with youngsters to help identify what they like best about school. We talk to them about what they want to do when they grow up. We bring in adults from many different career fields, so students can learn about all kinds of jobs. We also offer some very specialized programs, like languages or technology, that begin in the earliest years of a child’s schooling.
  • By later elementary/middle school, many students already can tell us which classes they like best and what kinds of careers seem most interesting. In Lansing, we’ve built an entire system that’s ready to make the most of their enthusiasm. We’ve organized our schools into clusters, or pathways, that help teach students in ways they’ll value and enjoy.

Even better, we provide free transportation to all schools anywhere in our district, so students can choose based on the programs that are most interesting to them.


The best news?
There are no wrong pathways.

Suppose your child decides science is his passion, and he heads off to Sheridan Road. Once there, however, he changes his mind and wants to pursue the performing arts. That’s okay—we’ll work out the logistics and help your child access our quality programs over at Rich.

Our entire focus is helping your child do his best, learn as much as possible, and get ready for his next big step.

By the time your child reaches high school, she is ready to start focusing on her future college or career. That’s where the Lansing Pathway Promise model really begins to pay off.

In high school, Lansing students are not only taking the classes they need to jump-start their futures, they’re getting 21st century career data from highly-trained teachers and counselors. They will know with certainty where future job openings are likely to be and how to prepare for them.

What’s more, our high school students also get plenty of hands-on experience on the job. Our entire community has come together to help create internships, mentoring programs, and shadowing opportunities for our students.  

Upon graduation, each student will be well educated and ahead of the curve when it comes to landing the right job or succeeding in college, thanks to the Lansing Pathway Promise.  

If your student decides to pursue post-secondary learning, Lansing will still be 100 percent on board. We offer a pair of scholarship programs to ensure your students meet with lifelong success.

The Lansing Pathway Promise

The Lansing Pathway Promise is a way of giving students real-world ways of learning. By making sure our students have a chance to pursue their knowledge and their interests all at the same time, we’ll help give them a competitive edge for jobs, learning and life.  

Each pathway is designed to offer students the classes they love and the on-the-job training they’ll  need and enjoy.

Scholarship Programs

The Promise Scholarship

The Lansing Promise Scholarship is offered to graduates of public and private schools within the Lansing School District boundaries. It provides the financial aid needed to get a two-year degree or its equivalent at an eligible school.

Students who complete their high school education will be met with several scholarship options through powerful higher education institutions – Lansing Community College, Olivet College, and Michigan State University.

The H.O.P.E. Scholarship

The H.O.P.E. Scholarship Program offers Lansing School District students an opportunity for a college education and a brighter future.

Eligible sixth-grade students in the district promise to finish high school in exchange for two years of free tuition at Lansing Community College.


Why We’re Doing It.

Why is the entire community supporting Lansing’s pathways and promises? The answer is very simple: it works. And...

When our students are successful,
Lansing wins.

In fact, since Lansing started offering magnet schools and other choices for families, the school district’s graduation rates shot up nearly 10 percent in a single year. And the results don’t end there.

Take a look:

  • Students participating in pathway programs have earnings that are 10–15 percent higher than their non-participating peers(1). In some professions, the wage differential is even greater(2).
  • Pathway students have strong workplace skills and are ready to hit the ground running and contribute to professional teams(3).
  • Persistence is the name of the game for pathways students. They generally demonstrate  better attendance and discipline and are more likely to pursue college after graduation — often becoming first in their families to do so(4,5).
  • Student test scores among pathways students are higher than those of their non-participating peers(6).
  • Communities are stronger and more prosperous, with reduced gang activity and greater social mobility(7).

1 Hyslop, Alisha. “ERIC - The Role of Career Academies in Education Improvement, Techniques: Connecting Education and Careers (J1), 2009-Sep.”, 2009-Sep, Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE),  2“Career and Technical Education Return on Investment Study – White Paper.” Educational Data Systems, Inc., Jan. 2015.  3 “New Data Demonstrate Effectiveness, Progress of the Linked Learning District Initiative.” Linked Learning Alliance,  4 Issue Sheet: Career and Technical Education’s Role in American Competitiveness, ACTE, 2013.  5 The National Academy Foundation Brochure. The National Academy Foundation, New York, NY  6 From California Partnership Academies: One Model of Linked Learning Pathways, ConnectEd, 2008.  7 Kreul, Beverley. “Academies of Nashville.”, 13 Aug. 2013,

Our Partners

From a one-person nonprofit involved in a single classroom to large corporations that reach out to many schools across the district, each Pathway Promise connection is unique. Here are some of the wins students and community leaders experience when they come together for learning.

Lansing Partners Gain:

  • Fresh networking opportunities and leadership visibility
  • Opportunities to inform and influence student learning and local industry talent outcomes
  • Recognition in district publications and the media
  • A strong local investment for their portfolios

Lansing Students Gain:

  • Skills for employment
  • College- and career-readiness
  • Real-world experiences, personal growth and work ethic development
  • Opportunities to explore career pathways
  • Résumé enhancement

Here are just a few of our community partners!

Parent and Student Resources

Lansing Pathway PromiseLansing Promise H.O.P.E.H.O.P.E.


11,500 Enrollment by 2025
85% Graduation Rate by 2025
90% Attendance by 2025