The Illinois PaCE Framework was developed with extensive input gathered from stakeholders and subject matter experts to provide guidance to students, families, and educators on what types of experiences and information a student should have in order to make the most informed decision about college and career planning beginning in 8th grade and through high school. The framework is organized around three key areas:
It’s recognized that high schools and communities provide a broad array of college and career readiness activities for students, but they are not always well documented and/or connected to other initiatives within a school, district, or community. The intent of the PaCE Framework is for it to be an organizing tool to help acknowledge and connect areas of success and identify those that may need additional attention or resources. The PaCE Framework was adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Board of Higher Education, Illinois Community College Board, and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission in July 2016.
Examples of activities schools could incorporate to address the three areas include:
College Fair Visits
Mock Job Interviews
Career Interest Surveys
PaCE Student Checklist
PaCE + CCRI + CCPE Crosswalk
PaCE + CCRI + CCPE Frameworks
On PaCE to Thrive (PDF)
PaCE Flyer (PDF)
PaCE Support Request Form (PDF)
PaCE Webinar Recording March 22, 2017
Opportunities for employers to engage in supporting PaCE implementation (and college and career readiness in their communities) (PDF)
PaCE Crosswalk for Social Science and Social Emotional Learning Standards Organized by Grade Level (PDF)
PaCE Crosswalk for Social Science and Social Emotional Learning Standards Organized by Standards (PDF)
The PWR Act establishes a voluntary system for school districts to award college and career pathways endorsements on high school diplomas. The endorsement will demonstrate students’ readiness for college and careers and completion of instruction and professional learning experiences in a selected career interest area, and incentivize career exploration and development, particularly in high-demand career fields. College and career pathway endorsements require an individualized learning plan, career-focused instruction, career exploration activities and 60 hours of internships or similar experiences. State agencies and employers are coordinating to identify minimum career competencies to incorporate into endorsement programs.
The most compelling learning experiences combine appropriate, relevant material and a clear understanding of how skills in high school can be used in the future. A major barrier to postsecondary persistence and completion is remedial education, and many Illinois high school graduates require remedial courses in math. The PWR act law includes provisions for evaluating students’ math proficiency during junior year. Students who are shown ready can decide whether they want to take a math course during senior year. Students who aren’t ready can choose from three types of transitional math courses for 12th grade and the content of each course corresponds to the student’s career pathway of interest.
The STEM Transitional Math course is tailored to career goals that require application of calculus or advanced algebraic skills. The Technical Math course is tailored to career goals in technical fields that do not require application of calculus, advanced algebraic, or advanced stats skills. The Quantitative/Literacy Stats course is tailored to career goals outside of STEM or Technical – focus on general stats, data analysis, quantitative literacy and problem-solving.
How are these courses different from typical math programs?
These transitional courses are one element of a comprehensive strategy to increase college and career readiness. The career-oriented courses are modeled after successful college and career readiness programs in high schools, like McHenry County College. Additionally, transitional math programs will be delivered through local secondary/postsecondary partnership agreements. The partnership agreements ensure that students receive curriculum on par with local colleges and enable students to develop familiarity with local colleges.
In contrast to an education model focused on “seat time” (the amount of time a child spends in a class), a Competency Based Education (CBE) allows students more flexibility to progress as they demonstrate mastery of concepts. The PWR Act establishes a pilot program for voluntary school district participation in moving from “seat time” graduation requirements to competency based high school graduation requirements. The Act includes a streamlined waiver process for pilot districts of laws and regulations that may restrict the competency based system’s implementation. The pilot is limited to 12 school districts per year in the first two years of implementation, and 15 school districts per year after.
Competencies focus more on what students know and are able to do rather than courses or seat time. CBE is one strategy under the larger approach of student centered education.
Student centered education tailors the supports to students’ needs based on the skills and the competencies the student has. This method aims to develop learner independence and autonomy by putting more responsibility in the student’s hands. Student centered education requires students to be active, accountable participants in their own learning and with their own pace of learning.
In contrast to an education model focused on “seat time” (the amount of time a child spends in a class) a student centered, competency based approach allows students more flexibility to progress as they demonstrate mastery of concepts. This model better positions schools to provide individualized support to students at multiple levels of academic achievement. Students in CBE classrooms are better engaged because their course material is personalized and relevant to their abilities.
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