Pathfinder Career Exploration Program (Formerly ABE TOPS) 

The Pathfinder Career Exploration Program is designed for adults with disabilities and those who struggle academically, who want to further their education, and prepare for the workplace. Students should have a high level of independence, and be focused on transitioning to the workplace. Documentation of a disability is not required.


  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be finished high school. A diploma is not required
  • Obtain a valid score on the CASAS test

Preparing for the Workplace

Pathfinder students will complete all of the following employment-focused cohorts over a 2 year period:

  • Horticulture & Landscaping
  • Healthcare
  • Animal Care/Pet Retail
  • Business/Customer Service
  • Food Service/Culinary
  • Technology

Academic Life Skills will also be included.
Classes are held M-TH, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
New students are registered to a class at the beginning of each quarter, depending on class availability.

Career Pathways

Career Pathways are also offered through a partnership with Wake Tech Workforce Continuing Education.  We currently offer the following tuition-based Career Pathways:

  • Hospitality - students can earn up to 4 nationally recognized credentials. 
  • Barista & Café Training - hands-on training in partnership with a local coffee shop. Students can earn a nationally recognized credential - Guest Services Gold

Getting Started

Students who are interested in attending the Pathfinder program must attend an information session. Due to COVID, all information sessions are now online-only through Zoom. If you are a student interested in the Pathfinder Program and would like to attend the next virtual information session, please contact Julia Tennant at [email protected] or call 919-334-1545.  

Important Dates

  • 3rd Quarter: July 19, 2021 – September 2, 2021 (online classes only)
  • 4th Quarter: September 13, 2021 – December 9, 2021

Days Off

  • June 28 – July 15, 2021
  • Sep. 6 – Sep. 10, 2021
  • Nov. 11, 22-26, 2021

Websites To Check Out

Below is a list of websites that you might find helpful while class is not in session. 

Read about the College & Career Readiness Programs Attendance Expectations