Scaling Accelerated IT Pathways: An Introduction to Our 2nd Cohort

With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Accelerate ED initiative, EdSystems is scaling our Accelerated Model Pathways for Information Technology (AMP-IT) project to 16 additional Illinois high schools.

AMP-IT launched in early 2022 with our initial cohort of Chicago Public Schools, District 214, and Belvidere District 100 and their community college and employer partners. Through the first cohort, EdSystems is supporting the implementation of AMP-IT pathways in 19 total high schools. (Check out the Scaling Accelerated IT Pathways: Lessons Learned in Year One blog post to learn more).

To scale AMP-IT, EdSystems recruited a second cohort with five new regional partners representing 16 total high schools. We invited school districts with at least two high schools each and an established IT program of study, prioritizing regions that serve significant populations of racial minorities or rural students. The second cohort includes:

Through AMP-IT, regional partners will accelerate their existing IT pathways to increase early college credit opportunities, particularly in career-focused IT courses, high-quality work-based learning activities, and support transitions into aligned postsecondary programs at their community college or university partners. 

Through this project, EdSystems is investing in work-based learning, data evaluation, and teacher credentialing around IT pathways to help scale and sustain AMP-IT. In partnership with Discovery Partners Institute, we are offering subsidized scholarships for graduate-level computer science coursework to help qualify teachers to teach computer science courses, potentially for dual credit. This will Increase the number of teachers eligible to instruct in strategic IT pathway coursework.

In addition, we are partnering with Work-Based Learning Alliance for a recently piloted Cybersecurity Experience project. Our collaboration with WBLA provides students access to turn-key, virtual work-based learning opportunities that meet Illinois requirements for a career development experience or team-based challenge. Students can complete a paid cybersecurity project experience and earn the IBM SkillBuild Cybersecurity Credential. Lastly, in collaboration with the NIU Research and Data Collaborative, we are designing a new data infrastructure to collect disaggregated student-level data and enable longitudinal reporting and analyses.

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