Expanding Education Pathways and a Call for Statewide Transferability of Education Courses

In recent years, EdSystems has been heavily involved in the statewide expansion of high-quality education pathways and the greater availability of early college credit courses at the secondary level, particularly through our Scaling Education Pathways in Illinois (SEPI) and our Model Programs of Study Guide for Education. As a result, an increasing number of high school students are engaging in education-specific coursework through the community college system and will pursue bachelor degrees in teacher preparation programs. These highly motivated pathway students need a streamlined process for their early college coursework credits to transfer to a university’s educator preparation program. Unfortunately, the transferability between community college and bachelor’s degree coursework in the specific areas of elementary, secondary, bilingual, and special education is currently dependent on regional partnerships, creating confusion and inconsistency across the state for high school and community college advisors.

On August 15, 2022, EdSystems and more than 160 partners from across the state delivered a letter to the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), and Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) to request increased transferability of major coursework for future educators seeking to teach in elementary and secondary settings. This could be done by establishing an IAI Panel specific for education majors or expanding existing major panels so that students looking to enter an educator prep program have a set of highly transferable courses within education departments that can be transferred to various institutions. The establishment of a pool of highly transferable, major-specific courses in education will streamline the eventual transfer of motivated students into baccalaureate degrees at educator preparation programs throughout Illinois.

Pathways Director Juan Jose Gonzalez shares a public comment at the IBHE Board meeting on August 16, 2022, on the need for an IAI panel to increase statewide transferability of career-focused, early college coursework in elementary, secondary, bilingual, and special education.

Many stakeholders are calling for statewide portability for education courses including SEPI participants from Vandalia CUSD 203, Kaskaskia Community College, and McKendree University. Learn more in the video below, as they detail their success at creating a high-quality education pathway for students in the region, their challenges in implementing targeted dual credit coursework, and burgeoning opportunities to help advance their work.

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