Since 2015, EdSystems has supported partners in Lake County to increase postsecondary attainment through the region’s involvement in the Illinois Education and Career Success Network. In 2023, Waukegan CUSD 60 and its regional partners expressed the need for targeted support for alignment to the Illinois College and Career Pathway Endorsement and systems for career exploration.
EdSystems is providing strategic counsel and support to Waukegan CUSD 60 to develop a comprehensive college and career pathway system in alignment with collaborative efforts occurring across the Lake County region, including the College of Lake County, Regional Office of Education in Lake County, Lake County Tech Campus & Lake County Area Voc System, University Center of Lake County, Lake County Workforce Development Board, and other school districts actively implementing college and career pathways, including Round Lake Area Schools CUSD 116, North Chicago School District 187, and Grayslake CCSD 46.
EdSystems will support the mapping of college and career pathway frameworks in priority sectors and the implementation and scaling of the pathways based on the Illinois Model Programs of Study. Based on the district’s selected areas of focus, EdSystems will use labor market information and consultation with regional employers to identify high-priority occupations in each industry area, then review College of Lake County’s programs and identify promising credentials, including degrees, certificate programs, and industry credentials that lead to the identified high-priority occupations. The analysis will be discussed with industry-specific working groups to identify a final listing of high-priority occupations and promising credentials as the basis for pathways mapping.
Based on the promising credentials identified, EdSystems will work with the district and College of Lake County to identify strategic early college courses that provide a broad foundation of knowledge important to that industry area and are feasible for dual credit delivery and CTE alignment at Waukegan High School. EdSystems will then map an ideal sequence of secondary and postsecondary coursework for each college and career pathway (grades 9–14) to include general education courses (e.g., science, social science, math, English), career-specific courses, and a defined continuum of work-based learning experiences specific to the sector. Throughout, EdSystems will support the district in considering and addressing issues of racial equity in its pathways design and implementation.
These efforts will better and more equitably prepare Lake County students for college and career success.