2011 Connections Conference
Implementing Programs of Study:
Where to Start!
How does a student of any age make a sound decision
when it comes to choosing a career?
What are the knowledge and skills needed to achieve
postsecondary and career success?
How does one navigate through the sea of career
ANSWER: Utilization of the Career Cluster Framework
Devalued high school diploma
A high and rising drop out rate of secondary
High school graduates lack in basic math and
Extraordinarily high remediation rates.
Most students think they are going to college, but
do not prepare for it or any other possible future.
Evolution of Career Clusters
The 16 Career Clusters
How were the Clusters Developed?
• Grants to states
• National Association of State Directors of Career
Technical Education Consortium
• National Advisory Committees
– Business and Industry
– Education (secondary and postsecondary)
Themes in Perkins IV
Accountability for results and program
improvement at all educational levels
Coordination of CTE with the entire P-20 system
Integration of academic and CTE
Alignment and connections between secondary
and postsecondary education, including
Involvement of business and industry and
Then …..and …..now
For fewer students For All Students
For Fewer “Jobs” For All Careers
6 to 7 Program Areas 16 Clusters – 81 Pathways
In lieu of Academics Aligns and Supports Academics
High School Focused High School and College
Increase secondary and postsecondary alignment
Decrease curricular duplication
Align Knowledge and Skills to state learning standards
and other relevant standards
Do not take away from current programs
Do not take away from occupational areas
Do not trap learners/students in a single
What are Career Clusters?
Career Clusters groups of occupations and industries
that have a common set of foundational knowledge and
Organizer of knowledge and skills needed by a broad
There are 16 nationally recognized clusters, within
which are multiple pathways.
What are Career Pathways?
Career Pathways are multi-year programs of academic and
technical study that prepare students for a full range of
postsecondary options within each of the 16 career clusters.
Organizer of knowledge and skill statements by professions.
Currently, there are 81 nationally recognized pathways, each
with specific pathway knowledge and skills.
What are Programs of Study?
Programs of Study are sequences of courses that incorporate
a non-duplicative progression of secondary and
postsecondary elements which include both academic and
career and technical education content, and lead to the
attainment of an industry recognized credential, certificate,
Illinois’ Secondary Career Cluster
IL Career Cluster Framework
Updated December 14, 2010
Illinois Cluster Model
The Illinois’ Career Cluster Model shows the
One of Illinois’ five, secondary career and
technical education areas (Health Sciences
The related career cluster (Health Science)
The five pathways within that cluster
Sample programs of study within the pathway.
It also illustrates:
Essential knowledge and skills
Cluster level knowledge and skills
Pathway level knowledge and skills
Programs of study
Adult Bridge Programs
BUILDING ON OUR
• Build on and transform
• Develop new programs
• Benchmark to national
•Implement career clusters,
pathways, and programs of
SPANS ALL GRADES
Employment: Career Advancement
Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning
Postsecondary: Career Preparation
Achieving credentials: college, certification, apprenticeship, military
9-12: Programs of Study Related to a Career Goal
Academics and technical courses, intensive guidance, individual graduation plans
Grade 8: Career Exploration and Transition
Develop graduation plans based upon personal interest/cluster areas
6-8: Initial Career Exploration
Discovering interest areas
K-5: Understanding the Importance and Value of Work and Jobs
Introduction to the world of careers
Who Benefits from a
Career Clusters Framework?
Connecting Educational Systems to Ease
Resources Related to POS
Federal initiative aimed at providing
resources as they related to the career
Identification of 16 career clusters.
Resources associated with
• 1st edition
• Informational pamphlet providing
common language and themes about the
career cluster framework, including
definitions and examples.
1. Leadership, Organization and Support
2. Access, Equity and Opportunity
3. Alignment and Transition
4. Enhanced Curriculum and Instruction
5. Professional Preparation and Development
6. Program Improvement and Accountability
• Provides an understanding of Illinois’
framework for implementation and
• Makes connections to federal, state, and
local level activities.
• Introduction of guiding principles and
Extension to Introduction pamphlet.
Career Cluster Framework
Illinois’ Career Cluster Model
Paper and online searchable database that
includes information on what degree and
certificate programs are offered by the 48
public community colleges in Illinois.
Can search by college or program type
CTE programs are organized according to
the 16 Career Clusters.
Snapshot of each career cluster and
Identifies connection between 16 career
clusters to (5) CTE secondary areas
Outlines career and program options
based up community college program
ILLINOIS PROGRAMS OF
STUDY EXPECTATIONS TOOL
The State leadership set out to answer
the questions that were being posed by
What does a program of study look like?
How is a program of study different from a
Tech Prep program?
The Illinois Programs of Study
Expectation Tool is designed to…
– Be Interactive
– Meet federal requirements
– Meet Illinois standards –support six
– Guide the users in designing and
implementing programs of study
– Provide examples of evidence
– Suggest examples of supporting materials
– Monitor status
The Format Principles
Reference to the
from Perkins IV
Reference to the design use to show
Evidence of what a
aspects of a program Ability to
of study align with rate your
this principle Program of
• Provide ongoing information to interested
stakeholders regarding Illinois CTE
Programs of Study and the broader career
Many advantages to using Career Cluster
framework for not only CTE but for a
comprehensive school improvement plan
Coordinates efforts to better serve all
students in achieving postsecondary and
We must work with all students;
Career awareness must start at an
Career exploration must expose
all students to opportunities
Career planning must make the career
connections students need;
All students must be provided the
opportunity to transition successfully to
postsecondary education and the world of
It is not always about where a student is
going to college, but what they are going for.
Associate Director for CTE Programs of Study
Illinois Community College Board
Aime´e LaFollette Julian
Assoc. Director of Professional Development
Illinois Center for Specialized Support
309-454-4944 ext. 208
This presentation will be
available online at