How are the Illinois Model Programs of Study Guides being utilized statewide by community colleges and their high school partners? Are the guides useful in helping regions design high-quality college and career pathways? What additional information and support do regions need to better align with the guides? EdSystems and the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) seek to answer those questions through our new State of Illinois Model Programs of Study Guides: Utilization Report.
To date, EdSystems has produced ten State of Illinois Model Programs of Study Guides in collaboration with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), ICCB, and advisory committees. The development of the guides included extensive research into labor market information and credential programs, as well as dialogue across secondary, postsecondary, and employer stakeholders. The first four guides were published in 2020 for pathways in the industry sectors of education, manufacturing, health sciences and technology, and information technology. Three years later, EdSystems researched the utilization of those first four Model Programs of Study Guides, with the support of ICCB.
To facilitate the research, we consulted with ICCB to receive the Perkins V Instructional Course Sequence submissions from June 2022 to November 2022. We reviewed a series of submissions from various community colleges representing rural, suburban, and urban areas. In addition to the submissions, we interviewed faculty and staff at ten different community colleges.
In this report, we explain our approach, present the findings, and offer recommendations in service of student success. Our recommendations include:
- Continued support and technical assistance centered around the Model Programs of Study Guides.
- Supporting professional development plans, investing in professional career pathways, and other innovative ideas to encourage teacher credentialing course offerings.
- Increasing support for labor market data analyses. Institutions expressed needing additional support in researching, mapping, and offering pathways that lead to high-priority occupations.
- Further exploring how institutions can provide students with equitable dual credit course enrollment opportunities.