The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) sponsored the development of Model Programs of Study Guides in crucial industry areas as part of the Illinois State Plan for Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (also known as the Perkins V Plan). These Guides were developed in consultation and collaboration with the Illinois State Board of Education through a process led and facilitated by Education Systems Center at NIU. As further detailed in the Guides, the process involved extensive research into labor market information and credential programs, and dialogue across secondary, postsecondary, and employer stakeholders.
The primary purposes and goals for the Model Programs of Study are to:
- Provide guidance and exemplars for local programs to adopt or customize as they develop programs of study for approval as part of the Perkins V Plan.
- Establish a framework for State agencies to develop and implement program supports.
- Identify priority dual credit courses that are foundational to the industry area and well-situated for statewide scaling and articulation.
- Define the competencies that should be sequenced across a program of study course sequence to prepare students for the future of work in that industry area.
- Identify entry points for employers to support coursework and related experiences.
The first four Model Programs of Study Guides were finalized in October 2020 for the focus areas of Education, Health Sciences and Technology, Information Technology, and Manufacturing and Engineering. In August 2021, finalized guides were released for Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources; Architecture, Construction, and Energy; Arts and Communications; and Finance and Business Services. In October 2022, finalized guides were released for Culinary and Hospitality and Human and Public Services, as well as an updated guide for Education.