ACTE Techniques January 2012 : Page 44

PROGRAMS OF STUDy eVOLVinG PartnerSHiPS to Enhance Transition: Meeting POS Expectations PHOTO By ISTOCK.COM BY KRISTy MORELOCK F inding the best way for students to learn and achieve success is of utmost importance to the State of Illinois and the nation as a whole. College and career success is critical to our national and state economy. Career and technical education (CTE) has been central to this call for greater college completion, and the credentials that CTE provides to both traditional and nontraditional student populations have emerged as one of the most important ele-ments in the completion agenda through-out the country. The Illinois Programs of Study (POS) framework uniquely positions the state to achieve the goal of fully articulated curriculum from second-ary to postsecondary education, and to ultimately meet the call for greater college and career success. POS Implementation in Illinois A few years ago, Illinois was struggling with the implementation of Programs of Study. The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) recognized the need for a specific vehicle for such implementa -tion on a statewide basis. The board drew upon longstanding relationships with both state education and workforce stakeholders and the robust community college CTE system. The aim was to build a framework that recognized POS implementation requires strong engage-ment from partners, should be locally driven, and must be a continuous process with both equity and outcomes at the center of both development and delivery of programs. Further, the process has a strong basis in the use of data of both state and local origin. Federal law demands im-provement in data and accountability— and POS relies on it—not only for federal and state compliance, but also to make informed decisions at the state and local levels. Much of the POS implementation process is reflected in the state’s Guiding Principles and Design Elements summa-rized in Figure 2 on page 46. A key component of POS develop-ment and implementation within the state continues to center on the collaborations between secondary institutions, postsec-ondary institutions that award certificates and degrees, and business and industry representatives. Consistent with the Perkins IV legislation, the Illinois POS initiative strives to “develop more fully the academic and career and technical skills of secondary education students and postsecondary education students…” (Perkins IV, Title I, Career and Techni-cal Education Assistance to the States, Sec. 2., Purpose). In Illinois, POS reach far beyond the federal definition and aim to involve education on all levels, fully engaging partnerships and programs to maximize student outcomes at every level. In partnership with the University of Illinois’ Office of Community Col -lege Leadership (OCCRL), Illinois also developed a fan graphic for all 16 career clusters (see Figure 1 on page 45). This graphic provides a representation of the five CTE areas in secondary education, the 16 career clusters and the related POS in the Illinois system. The fan also illustrates entry points for adults—including bridge programs that integrate occupational cluster knowl-edge and skills into adult education and developmental education course content. Bridge programs are designed to prepare students to transition to postsecondary 44 Techniques Januar y 2012

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