A growing number of Illinois high school districts are now offering students the College and Career Pathway Endorsement (CCPE) opportunity. To help encourage learners to complete the rigorous requirements and earn the CCPE, as well as matriculate into postsecondary pathways, EdSystems is supporting the development of equity-centered strategies alongside incentives or currency that will help students and their families.
With support from The Joyce Foundation, in 2022 EdSystems launched a community of practice with Illinois community colleges and their high school partners to support new opportunities for students who earn the CCPE in high school. The primary goal is to create secondary and postsecondary collaborations whereby students awarded a CCPE will receive unique currency in the postsecondary space. That currency could come in the form of specialized access to financial support upon enrollment in a postsecondary program within their pathway endorsement sector, as added application points on a highly selective academic program application, or selective employment. Each collaboration’s key deliverable is to publish documentation of the postsecondary CCPE currency by fall 2023 and to communicate that currency to secondary students within the regional high schools to encourage higher levels of CCPE implementation and participation.
The collaborations must also incorporate strategies to ensure equity, i.e., that all students, especially those from underrepresented populations in participating communities, have access to information about pathway systems and receive the necessary supports to participate in the pathway and attain the CCPE. Partnerships must use data to identify areas of need, collect data on impact, and document and communicate their results.