Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act includes a voluntary process for school districts to award College and Career Pathway Endorsements to high school graduates. Students earn endorsements by completing an individualized learning plan, a career-focused instructional sequence, and professional learning opportunities.
To offer the endorsements, districts must submit an application and a report of projected student participation.
As specified in state statute (110 ILCS 148/80), to earn a College and Career Pathway Endorsement, a student shall satisfy all of the following requirements:
- Develop and periodically update an individualized plan for postsecondary education or training, careers, and financial aid. This individualized plan shall also include student development of a resume and personal statement with student reflection on attainment of Adaptive Competencies. The Eligible School District shall certify to ISBE that its individualized planning process spans grades 9 through 12 and includes an annual process for updating the plan.
- Complete a career-focused instructional sequence, including at least 2 years of coursework or equivalent competencies within an Endorsement Area or, for students attaining a multidisciplinary endorsement, multiple Endorsement Areas. An Eligible School District must consult with its regional education for employment director on the establishment of the career-focused instructional sequence. For all areas other than for multidisciplinary endorsements, the Eligible School District and a Local Community College shall certify to ISBE and ICCB that the career-focused instructional sequence is articulated to a certificate or degree program with labor market value, with opportunities for ongoing student advancement. ISBE and ICCB may adopt requirements for certifying that the instructional sequence meets the requirements of this paragraph (2). This certification must be re-certified at least once every 5 years thereafter. Commencing in the 2022-2023 school year, students must earn at least 6 hours of credit through early college credit courses within the career-focused instructional sequence.
- Complete a minimum of 2 Career Exploration Activities or one Intensive Career Exploration Experience, a minimum of 2 Team-based Challenges, and at least 60 cumulative hours of participation in one or more Supervised Career Development Experiences.
- Demonstrate readiness for non-remedial coursework in reading and mathematics by high school graduation through criteria certified by the Eligible School District and a Local Community College to ISBE and ICCB. The criteria shall align to any local partnership agreement established pursuant to Section 55 of this Act and may allow the demonstration of readiness through various methods, including assessment scores, grade point average, course completions, or other locally adopted criteria.