About Illinois Pathways
The PRC began as a supportive and coordinating structure within Illinois’ implementation of the 2012 Race to the Top III grant. In this capacity, the PRC serves as a centralized resource for local districts, their postsecondary and employer partners, and the Illinois STEM Learning Exchanges as they seek to:
- Create effective partnerships;
- Select and implement student programs of study within the Race to the Top career cluster areas;
- Implement curriculum reforms necessary to support their chosen programs of study and career cluster areas; and
- Create and maintain sustainable and effective pathways for their student populations from K-12 schools to postsecondary education to careers.
As part of the Illinois Pathways Initiative, the PRC has a number of associated partners, all working together to support schools and school districts as they work to ensure college and career success for their students. The relationship between these partnerships can be expressed using the graphic below:
*To learn more about any of the associated partners, please visit the Illinois Pathways Initiative website.
Through it’s Race to the Top work, the Pathways Resource Center is also engaged in strategic and collaborative partnerships, working with other state and local agencies to ensure that the Illinois Pathways Initiative is implemented successfully throughout the state. Those partners include:
- Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)
- Illinois Community College Board (ICCB)
- Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE)
- Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO)
To support the state’s implementation of the Illinois Pathways Initiative, the PRC is drawing upon the Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL) professional staff who have deep experience with research, development, and technical assistance on pathways and programs of study.
STEM Learning Exchanges
STEM Learning Exchanges were formed for selected career clusters to improve the coordination and delivery of resources, work based learning opportunities, career guidance, and partnerships that support local STEM programs. Each STEM Learning Exchange is overseen by a lead organization responsible for coordinating a statewide network of businesses, employer associations, education, and other partners. STEM Learning Exchanges are being launched using Race to the Top funds, but are supported by funding commitments from public-private partners.
PRC maintains STEM Learning Exchanges Contact List. Districts are encouraged to contact their Learning Exchange and learn more about the resources available through the STEM Learning Exchange.
General information about STEM Learning Exchanges
Information about Individual STEM learning Exchanges
Illinois RttT Districts
Illinois Program of Study Expectations for Race to the Top Districts
Each participating Race to the Top (RttT) district with one or more high schools is required to implement a minimum of two programs of study (POS), with each POS developed and fully implemented by June 30, 2015. Districts may select one POS within each of two STEM Career Cluster areas or two POS within one STEM Career Cluster area and also may elect to develop additional POS. The Program of Study Expectations for Race to the Top Districts document provides districts with the components of an implemented POS, a framework for implementing POS, suggested activities and tasks for developing and implementing POS.
- Program of Study Expectations for Race to the Top Districts
- Program of Study Activities and Tasks (.docx)
- Program of Study Curriculum Template (.docx)
Illinois Race to the Top Program of Study Selection
Each of the 23 unit and high school Race to the Top districts in the state of Illinois have selected at least two science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs of study to build or enhance through their Race to the Top efforts. Districts selections are available for download at Race to the Top Program of Study Selection.
RttT High School District Map
The RttT Districts (High Schools) Map illustrates the location, high school enrollment, and career clusters chosen by each of the leading RttT High School Districts. The map includes: county, regional office of education, name of participating high schools, total enrollment and high school enrollment (2012-2013), and community college district.
Self-Assessment tool Selecting Career Cluster Areas
The Self-Assessment Tool Selecting Career Cluster Areas was used by the Pathways Resource Center to query the opinions of school district officials regarding the current status of the districts in implementing programs of study. A summary of the data from this tool served as a quantitative indication of school districts’ readiness to complete tasks associated with implementing programs of study in various career clusters. This information was utilized by the Pathways Resource Center and STEM Learning Exchanges in targeting technical assistance to fit the needs of the school districts.
Pathways Resource Center coaches were provided to support Race to the Top (RttT) school districts as they engaged in the process of program of study (POS) development and implementation.
- Provided technical assistance to their assigned school districts to support POS implementation, including assistance with identifying courses and curriculum, work-based experiences, and professional development.
- Facilitated the districts’ connections to other entities (other districts, community colleges, Learning Exchanges, business partners) as they engage in POS implementation.
- Serve as a critical friend to the assigned districts, critiquing their POS components and offering feedback and suggestions.