POSTSECONDARY & WORKFORCE READINESS ACT

Supporting Students from High School to College and Career
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The Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act (PWR), signed into law in 2016, takes a student based and competency based approach to helping students achieve college and career readiness. Being equipped to attend college and obtain meaningful employment is a top priority in Illinois education, because many students are currently graduating unprepared:
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HALF OF ILLINOIS HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES WHO ENROLL IN COMMUNITY COLLEGE REQUIRE REMEDIAL EDUCATION
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EMPLOYERS REPORT THAT RECENT HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES OFTEN LACK CRITICAL SKILLS FOR SUCCESS

HOW DOES PWR HELP STUDENTS BECOME PREPARED?

THE POSTSECONDARY AND WORKFORCE READINESS ACT IMPLEMENTS FOUR STRATEGIES:

POSTSECONDARY & CAREER EXPECTATIONS (PaCE)

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:

  • Career Exploration and Development
  • Postsecondary Education Exploration, Preparation, and Selection
  • Financial Aid and Literacy

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

Latest Updates

In the third quarter of FY20, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission’s (ISAC) Professional Development (PD) staff provided five PaCE Framework Development Workshops, two PaCE Implementation Leader Trainings, and two PaCE Overview presentations. They served 148 professionals including teachers, counselors, principals, superintendents, and other college access staff.

ISAC’s PD staff will continue to offer PaCE support options in the form of webinars. The PaCE Overview is an introductory presentation to PaCE that is available by request. A recording of this is also available on the ISAC website. The PaCE Implementation Leader Training will also continue to be offered via webinar. This training is for professionals interested in gaining a better understanding of how to assist their schools in implementing the Illinois PaCE Framework or serve as a liaison between their school and ISAC, if the school prefers to create and implement a customized framework. For more information on when the PaCE Implementation Leader Trainings will be offered or to request a PaCE Overview webinar visit www.isac.org/PaCE.


College & Career Pathway Endorsements on High School Diplomas

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.

Latest Updates

A paper application is now available for districts interested in getting authorized for a College and Career Pathway Endorsement (CCPE) this year to grant a pathway endorsement to graduating students from the Class of 2020. The materials are available here. They include the FY2020 Application and FY2020 District Projections forms. If this is of interest, complete the forms as soon as possible and inform jgonzalez28@niu.edu at EdSystems about the pathway you are submitting for approval so he can review it against the online platform that is part of the authorization process.

A special shout out to North Chicago SD 187, Township District D214, and Ridgewood D234 for submitting their CCPE applications for this school year!

ISBE RFP for Education Pathways
ISBE has released an RFP for communities interested in implementing a CTE Education Pathway, and it aligns with the College and Career Pathway Endorsement. The deadline is May 22nd and the application is open to the following entities: an administrative agency of a regional vocational system formed under a cooperative agreement; a public community college; a technical institute operated by a state university; or a state agency having administrative control and direction of a program of vocational education. More information can be found here.

Updates to Recommended Technical and Employability Competencies for CCPE Approved
The Interagency Implementation Team tasked with supporting implementation of Executive Order 2019-03 (Strengthening the State’s Commitment to Workforce Development and Job Creation) and aligned efforts including PWR implementation approved the updates to the document in February, 2020. You can find the updated report here.


Transitional Instruction


Pilot of Competency Based Graduation Requirements

TRANSFORMING EDUCATION

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