Seven Observations on how Education Leaders can Create Next Generation Learning Environments for College and Career Success

August 3, 2015

In this webinar, Dr. Richard Halverson, professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, shared information and strategies that will be useful for educational leaders as they create innovative, next generation learning environments that facilitate college and career success for all students. Participation had opportunities for dialogue and to ask questions. View the presentation.


This summer the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is offering STEM related talks, events, and webinars. For more details see below. 

Pollen Power! Summer Day Camp

Registration is open for the third Pollen Power summer day camp. The camp will take place at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology on July 6-10, 2015. Pollen Power is open to girls entering 6th-8th grade in the fall of 2015 and who have an interest in plants and the environment. For more information and to apply visit

Accepting applications for FITKids 2015-2016 school year

FITKids is a research study looking at the link between exercise and nutrition with brain development and cognition in 8- and 9-year olds. We are currently scheduling pretesting sessions for children that qualify for the study. Participants will be paid for their time in the lab and will be eligible for the free afterschool program at CRCE.

WITIKids: hydration and cognition study

9 & 10 year olds needed for 3 visits (~2 hours/each) to the NCK lab in Freer Hall. Weekends available. Day 1: pencil/paper tests, exercise test, and a bone scan. Days 2 & 3: perform computer-based cognitive tasks after child changes water intake for the 4 days prior. Families will be compensated for time in the lab.

GeoJam – family math event

GeoJam is a free community math event hosted by pre-service mathematics teachers from the College of Education. Interact with these university students as you and your kids complete life-size puzzles, reasoning challenges, number games, geometric coloring, and lots of other activities suitable for all ages. The event is on May 14 from 5:45-8 p.m. at Champaign Central High School. Enter on Park St.

Seeking children (9-11 years old) to use a brain-computer interface

Want to control a computer with your brain? Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) systems translates natural brain activity into computer commands. We are seeking children 9 to 11 years old to participate in a short BCI study. Your child will use the BCI to make selections in an age-appropriate computer application. Children will be rewarded with a small gift of their choice.

Summer Illinois Math Camp

SIM Camp is a free, week-long math camp in the Department of Mathematics for local high school students, from Aug. 3-7. It will introduce students to proofs and applications of math in algebraic topology and number theory. Students will also compete in daily math challenges for prizes. On Friday, students will also see how math relates to chemistry.

Girls Engaged in Math and Science (GEMS) Camp

Free summer camp for girls entering or leaving 7th grade. Registration is now open for three different camp tracks: Wearable Computing: June 15-19 or June 22-26 computing and the Arts: July 6-10 or July 13-17 Game Design: July 20-24 or July 27-31. All camps are a week long and run from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Siebel Center.

2015 Bonding With Chemistry: A day camp for girls

The camp, organized by the campus Women Chemists Committee, will be held on Saturdays — July 11 and 25 — from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on campus. Only one Saturday left: July 25. Aimed to give upcoming 6th to 8th grade girls the opportunity to play and learn about chemistry, the camp is designed and led by Illinois chemistry graduate students.

Middle school students needed for research on science education simulations

Middle school students (grades 6-8) are needed for a research study on gestures and computer simulations. Participants will discuss science concepts and interact with science simulations during a 1-hour interview. Each student will receive $10 in appreciation.

Individualized Learning Plans to Support Students’ College/Career Goals: The Niles Township High School District 219 Experience Webinar 

The webinar provided some invaluable information to assist your schools as you develop your ILP processes. This webinar was held Tuesday, March 17, 9:30-10:30 am. Niles District 219 has been using ILPs for several years, and you should learn some practical tips and strategies during this webinar.

Individualized Learning Plans are a student-centered planning process where the student works collaboratively with parents, counselors, and teachers to create a plan to achieve his/her academic, career, and personal goals. One of Illinois’ Race to the Top school districts, Niles Township High School District 219 was an early ILP adopter, having implemented ILP planning in their district several years ago. In this webinar, Niles West High School Assistant Principal for Student Services, Dr. Antwan Babakhani, will describe Niles’ ILP process, noting essential components and providing recommendations for districts who are in the planning stages of ILP development.



Scaling up Pathways to Results Conference

When: March 10, 2015, 9:00am – 4:00pm

Where: Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel, 201 Broadway Avenue, Normal, IL 61761

Cost of registration: $80

Reserve a spot today!

2015 Scaling Up Pathways to Results conference focused on the many ways that emerging “pathways” and “pathway thinking” can help P-20 educational leaders and partners construct, evaluate, and improve programs of study and student experiences in order to promote equitable student outcomes.

Keynote Speaker

Vickie Choitz is the Associate Director of the Economic Opportunities Program at the Aspen Institute.


Project Lead the Way for Illinois Elementary and Middle Schools: Curriculum Overview and Funding Opportunities

Date: Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Description: In this Webinar, Sena Cooper (PLTW Director of School Engagement for the state of Illinois) teamed up with Illinois elementary/middle level educators who are implementing Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curricula at the elementary and middle school levels, using the Launch and Gateway programs, respectively. PLTW helps students develop the skills needed to succeed in the global economy through world-class project-based STEM curriculum. Cooper described funding opportunities and strategies for initiating, and/or sustaining, PLTW programming. Participants had the opportunity to review associated materials beforehand and to pose live questions during the final portion of the Webinar.

Project Lead the Way for Illinois High Schools: Curriculum Overview and Funding Opportunities

Date: Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Time: 9:30-10:30 a.m. CDT

Sena Cooper recently presented information about implementing PLTW curricula at the high school level in Engineering, Biomedical Sciences, and Computer Science.



Leadership and Grant Writing for Program Sustainability

Date: Tuesday, January 27, 2015

9:30-10:15 a.m. CDT

Leadership and Grant Writing for Program Sustainability, 1/27/2015

Mr. Jon Furr and Dr. Lazaro Lopez recently presented information about successful grant seeking.

Presenters: Dr. Lazaro Lopez and Mr. Jonathan Furr

Description: In this Webinar, Lazaro Lopez and Jonathan Furr presented strategies that districts can employ in seeking and obtaining grants and other sources of support for equipment, professional development, etc., to buttress their programs of study.

Dr. Lopez, former principal of Wheeling High School, has been named Illinois High School Principal of the year, and is currently serving as Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning in High School District 214. Mr. Furr is currently the Director of the Education Systems Center at Northern Illinois University, and he is actively engaged in state and national education policy and legislative developments in key areas of education reform. He also co-led the writing and application development process for State of Illinois’ Race to the Top- Early Learning Challenge application.


Project Lead The Way Conference

Champaign, IL

December 3, 2014

11:30 AM-12:30 PM

I- Hotel, 1900 S. 1st St, Champaign, IL 61820

Session Title: Supporting Students’ College and Career Readiness with Individualized Learning Plans

This session describes the Individualized Learning Planning process, which is a student-centered process beginning in the middle grades and extending through postsecondary to assist students with college and career exploration and planning. Presenters also will learn how school officials can use accumulated data from ILPs to assist with course planning and curriculum development.

Presenters: Donald G. Hackmann and Asia Fuller Hamilton



Supporting Student Success through Individualized Learning Plans

A workshop for educators presented in collaboratively by the Pathways Resource Center and Urbana School District #116.

November 4, 2014

Urbana Middle School, 1201 S Vine St, Urbana, IL 61801

9:00 AM: Coffee and Continental Breakfast

9:30 AM – 2:30 PM: Workshop

Individualized Learning Planning is an active, student-centered process that builds student career and college readiness through guided career exploration and development plan. This interactive workshop was designed to provide counselors, administrators, and other school personnel with the knowledge, skills, and tools to implement or enhance individualized learning planning processes for their students and to use the data collected in these plans in developing programs of study. This workshop included:

  • A framework for individualized learning planning processes,
  • Individualized planning processes resources and systems,
  • Practices that support individualized learning processes, and
  • Guidance on utilizing data collected through the process to inform the implementation and development of programs of study.



Using Individualized Learning Plans to Support Students’ College and Career Readiness

IASA Annual Conference

Springfield, Illinois

October 9 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs) are the result of a student-centered advising process that typically is initiated at the middle level, continuing into high school and ultimately into postsecondary education. ILPs facilitate students’ career exploration and help ensure that they complete rigorous course sequences that fully prepare them for college and career success. This session describes the ILP process, shares ILP examples, and explains how school district personnel can use disaggregated data from ILPs to identify emerging career interests of students, determine future course needs, and assist the faculty with adjusting the curriculum and instructional practices to support students’ career interests. Presented by Don Hackmann.



Illinois Career and Technical Education Enrollments by Gender and Ethnicity

Illinois Education Research Council (IERC) Symposium

Bloomington, Illinois

October 7 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Malin, Hackmann, and Fuller Hamiliton examined the distribution of Illinois high school students’ enrollments in CTE programming for the 2012-13 school year, by career pathway and career cluster. With special attention paid to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) CTE programming due to its current policy emphasis in Illinois and across the nation. We found significant gender and ethnicity-based inequities in certain pathways and clusters and found more equitable patterns in others. Of concern, student enrollment in courses fitting within STEM pathways include substantially greater male than female participation (64.1% male vs. 35.9% female), whereas other pathways show the reverse enrollment pattern (45.0% male and 55.0% female). With respect to ethnicity, we found that all subgroups except White students are underrepresented in CTE programming in general. Moreover, when we limited our focus to STEM CTE programming we found the underrepresentation to be exacerbated for all but Asian students. We contextualize these results within the literature surrounding workplace equity and U.S. CTE enrollments. Considering implications for policy and practice, we recommend heightened focus and goal setting, placing enrollment equity front and center, both at local and state levels.


Individualized Learning Plans Workshop

8:30 AM – 3:00 PM: Workshop

Individualized Learning Planning is an active, student-centered process that builds student career and college readiness through guided career exploration and development plan. This interactive workshop, collaboratively presented by Pathways Resource Center and the Des Plaines Valley Region Education for Employment System is designed to provide counselors with the knowledge, skills, and tools to implement or enhance individualized learning planning process for their students and to use the data collected in this plans in their programs of study development. This workshop included:

  • A framework for individualized learning planning processes,
  • Individualized planning processes resources and systems,
  • Practices that support individualized learning processes, and
  • Guidance on utilizing data collected through the process to inform the implementation and development of programs of study.


Curriculum Evaluation for the Improvement of STEM Programs of Study Webinar

Thursday, October 2, 2014

10:00-10:30 AM

Recently, the Pathways Resource Center produced a new module, Curriculum Evaluation for the Improvement of STEM Programs of Study. It complements the Pathways to Results (PTR) process and is meant to guide educators through a series of steps as they evaluate and improve their STEM curricula. The module also includes several templates. Participants learned to:

  • Identify and craft evaluation questions
  • Identify evaluation criteria
  • Effectively secure support for the evaluation, and
  • Develop, organize, and present findings

Joel Malin, who authored the resource, provided an overview and some tips regarding its use.  PDF: Curriculum Evaluation for the Improvement of STEM Programs of Study


Engaging Students in Career Pathways Though Individualized Learning Plans

Forum for Excellence Presentation

Springfield, Illinois

September 23, 2014,  1:15 – 2:15 PM

Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs) and career pathway development are the result of a student-centered process that recognizes each student’s individual characteristics, interests, and goals, and is reflective of the student’s learning environment. ILPs are one part of a comprehensive school-counseling program that supports students’ growth and achievement by engaging students in a planning process that includes self-reflection, career exploration, goal setting, and planning. This session began with an overview of ILPs, providing attendees with a solid understanding of a) what an ILP is, b) who it benefits, c) what components should be included, and d) when these components should be introduced. One school’s experience with ILPs was shared, highlighting how they expanded upon their curriculum map to support ILP development. Presented by Heather Fox and Holly Ravitz.

STEM Programs of Study – Growing the Future Workforce

September 11, 2014

10:00-4:00 PM

This interactive workshop, was hosted by your Pathways Resource Center team, was a unique opportunity for Race to the Top school districts to network and work together to develop and refine their STEM Programs of Study. Sessions and topics included:

  • Overview of Expectations and Program of Study (POS) Guiding Principles, Steps, and Phases
  • POS-Specific Breakout sessions and work time regarding key topics (e.g., curriculum template, curriculum alignment and integration, CTE course selections, and scheduling)
  • Individualized Learning Planning
  • Work-based Learning
  • Dual Credit and Articulation
  • Student Organizations

Getting the Grant: Sustaining and Growing your STEM Programs Through Grant Funding

June 19, 2014

8:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Pathways Resource Center partnered with I-STEM to provide a workshop that will helped participants to locate funders, build partnerships, and successfully develop grant proposals. I-STEM is a University of Illinois coalition that “works with internal and external partners to evaluate STEM education programs, provide news coverage of STEM initiatives and events, to facilitate the development of education and outreach programs, and to help develop policies in Illinois and nationally that promote STEM education.”This workshop included an overview of the STEM funding landscape in Illinois and across the United States; a primer on types of funding; tips on locating funding sources and partners that match your goals; and an overview on writing successful grant proposals.


STEM Programs of Study: Health Science Resources Webinar

June 5, 2014

Webinar: 9:00 -9:45 AM

In this Webinar, leaders from the Pathways Resource Center and Illinois Health Science Learning Exchange teamed up with architects of the Illinois Shared Learning Environment to share numerous high-quality health science resources now available online for educators and students.




STEM Pathways and Programs of Study in the Land of Lincoln Webinar

Monday May 19, 2014

10:00 AM – 10:45 AM CDT

Recently, the Pathways Resource Center produced a new resource that is designed to assist Illinois P-12 educators who are developing and refining STEM programs of study. It builds upon the Office of Community College Research and Leadership’s Illinois Programs of Study Guide and is organized around six guiding principles. It also integrates recent findings and includes a set of suggested implementation steps and phases.



Scaling Up Pathways to Results 2014

March 5, 2014 

I-Hotel and Conference Center, Champaign, Illinois

The focus of the Scaling Up Pathways to Results 2014 conference was on building, evaluating, and improving P-20 education through career pathways to achieve equitable outcomes for all students.  The conference included keynote and breakout presentations, round tables, and posters that focused on the broad application of the Pathways to Results process.  Topics such as developing partnerships, utilizing data in decision making, benchmarking, aligning curriculum, engaging P-20 students in pathways, and using continuous improvement processes to raise achievement were highlighted.



Administrator Academy Building Student Success Through Individualized Learning Plans

Thursday, January 30 2013 in Bloomington, IL

Friday, January 31 2013 in Naperville, IL

Individualized Learning Plans are an active, student-centered process in which students are guided through career exploration and development of a plan through a process designed to help them to attain career/college readiness.  This workshop provided an overview of Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs) for middle school and high school students, including benefits, design principles, and processes. ILPs are required for all Race to the Top participating middle schools in Illinois. Who Attended:110 individuals from over 20 districts and organization attended the event.  Districts were encouraged to bring teams of personnel including coaches, teachers, counselors and administrators. Participants were provided with tools for customizing, implementing and improving individualized learning process at their school or district.

Featured Speaker: Curtis Richards is a nationally recognized expert in secondary education and advocate for the disability community.  Currently, he is the director of the Center for Workforce Development at the Institute for Educational Leadership.  Curtis serves as the lead technical assistance provider to the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth a technological assistance center funded by the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.  Curtis has served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services for the U.S. Department of Education and as the Chief Consultant to the California State Assembly’s Budget Committee.



Partnerships for Programs of Study Webinar

Monday, December 9, 2013

1:00-1:30 PM CDT

Partnerships are foundational to the development and/or improvement of programs of study.  Working together, committed educators from all levels, employers, and community members can ensure programs are up-to-date, articulated for smooth transitions, and contain authentic work-based learning experiences.  Through the sharing of multiple perspectives and rich discussion, the eventual solutions or strategies gain credibility and momentum toward implementation.  In this webinar, we provided an overview of the value of partnerships and key steps in developing and strengthening partnerships for STEM programs of study. This webinar was provided on December 9, 2013.  The recording is available at Partnerships for Programs of Study Video.


Pathways Resource Center: Supporting P-20 STEM Programs of Study

September 26, 2013

Forum for Excellence Presentation

Joel and Heather presented at the annual meeting of the Forum for Excellence. The presentation provided an overview of the role of Pathways Resource Center.  The presentations focused on the supports provided to secondary and post-secondary institutions, employers, communities, and other partners as they provide students with options for successful and sustainable pathways from secondary, to postsecondary, to careers. The Prezi from the presentation is available at: PRC Prezi.


RttT Expectations for POS Implementation and How PRC Coaches Can Help

September 11, 2013

In our upcoming webinar on Program of Study implementation for Race to the Top districts, we will describe expectations for STEM Programs of Study implementation, as part of districts’ Race to the Top activities.  Also, the role of the Pathways Resource Center coaches will be described, and plans for coaching activities will be shared.  Lastly, participants will have an opportunity to ask questions about any of these topics.  PRC Coaches will be contacting each Race to the Top district following this webinar to arrange in person visits to each district.


Promoting Student College/Career Success through Career Clusters Webinar Series: Establishing Programs of Study in High Schools

Monday, February 25, 2013

This webinar was intended for high school leadership, teachers, counselors, and CTE staff. OCCRL staff and high school leaders will present and facilitate dialogue on implementing and strengthening Programs of Study (POS) and Career Clusters in high schools. Whether you work in a Race to the Top district or in a high school that is improving its college and career readiness, this webinar will give you concrete suggestions for POS implementation and enhancement. High schools that are beginning the POS process as well as those  that have POS underway are all invited and strongly encouraged to attend this event.Staff from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL) will host this webinar. Speakers from Chicago Agricultural Sciences High School  will be featured, as this high school is deeply engaged in Career Clusters and POS.


Self-Assessment Series: Webinar #2 – Using Labor Market Information to Analyze POS and Career Clusters

Friday, February 15, 2013

A step-by-step approach to utilizing labor market, workforce and career information available through the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Not mind-numbing statistics, but a practical analysis geared to education planners for local/regional employment demand and trends linked from the IDES, Illinois Pathways and PRC websites.  The Webinar will be hosted by the PRC, with presentations from Mitch Daniels (Illinois Department of Employment Security), Jeanne Kitchens (IL workNET), and Jason Tyszko (Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity).



Race to the Top Coordinating Meeting

Wednesday, January 30, 2013; 1:00 – 5:00 pm

Crowne Plaza Springfield

The Coordinating Meeting will convene the Race to the Top Districts, STEM Learning Exchanges, Pathways Resource Center, and other relevant state personnel in an effort to provide information to the Race to the Top districts regarding the selection of Career Cluster Areas.  Through presentations by the STEM Learning Exchanges and small-group opportunities for interaction, districts will refine their understanding of the Career Cluster Areas that best suit their schools and students.  The meeting will culminate with the tentative selection of two Career Cluster Areas by the Race to the Top Districts.



Self-Assessment Series: Webinar #1 – Selecting Career Clusters & Programs of Study

Friday, January 18, 2013

Online Webinar

This Webinar, geared toward school districts, has three main goals: 1) Introduce districts to the activities and goals of the PRC; 2) Present background information on the Illinois Pathways Initiative and previous Pathways work; and 3) Provide districts with a tool they can use to select appropriate Programs of Study to develop and implement within their high schools.