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 schools 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.

To learn more about the need for statewide portability for education courses, I spoke with SEPI participants from Vandalia CUSD 203, Kaskaskia Community College, and McKendree University who are part of the Fayette and Marion Counties Rural Collaborative. Over the past three years, this region of central/southern Illinois has designed and implemented an education pathway in alignment with the Illinois College and Career Pathway Endorsement. Listen as they detail their success at creating a streamlined and worthwhile pathway for students in the region, their challenges in implementing targeted dual credit coursework, and burgeoning opportunities that will help advance their work.

As you heard in the video, many stakeholders are calling for statewide transferability through the Illinois Articulation Initiative of major coursework for future educators seeking to teach in elementary and secondary settings. This could be accomplished by establishing an IAI Panel specifically for education majors or expanding existing major panels so that students looking to enter an educator preparation program have a set of highly transferable courses. EdSystems  is recruiting individuals and organizations willing to support an initiative encouraging the Illinois Board of Higher Education, Illinois Community College Board, and Illinois Articulation Initiative to establish a statewide transfer agreement in coordination with our stakeholders.

To join this initiative and encourage others to do so, add your name to this form. By August, a final draft of the letter will be sent to all signatories for approval before submission to state agencies.

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