To get you caught up on the work of the Career Pathways and Technical Education Advisory Task Force, we are writing a series of three blog entries. Today is the second of the three topics. Today we will discuss Individualized Learning Plans (ILP) as one of the tools to improve career and college transitions. It seems ILPs are becoming one of the popular trends across the country for developing career and college readiness. What are they? According to Policy Brief from the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability (NCWD), Issue 6 (February 2013), a high-quality ILP is a document of a student’s course-taking and postsecondary plans aligned to career goals. They also define it as a process that enhance a student’s understanding of the relevance of school courses as well as out-of-school learning opportunities and provides the student access to career development opportunities, that incorporate self-exploration, career exploration, and career planning and management activities.
In a 2005 report by Education Commission of the States (ECS), 21 states were mandating or in the process of mandating ILPs.
As a result, the question needed to be answered: Should ILPs be considered a promising strategy for developing college and career ready? The simple response was: Yes, when they start in middle school, include Web-based career information systems, include family engagement, incorporate quality career development opportunities and promote personalized learning.
ILPs provide hope to help school districts achieve the career goals ONLY if state is fully committed to providing the structure, systems and funding to ensure high quality, thoughtful implementation.
You can read the entire Policy Brief on ILPs on the Minnesota Department of Education’s website at http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/Welcome/AdvBCT/index.html.