Administrator Academies – 2021-2022

We are pleased to announce dates and topics for our half-day, online Administrator Academies that will be offered during the 2021-2022 school year. These sessions are not only open to school administrators but also to teachers, counselors, postsecondary faculty and leaders, and anyone else who is interested in learning more. 

Each workshop runs from 9 AM until noon, online via Zoom, and earns participants full Administrator Academy credit. Registration is only $124 per person. Additionally, when a school district registers 4 or more participants for a single workshop, we also offer 2 hours of free follow-up professional time that can be used for strategic planning with district leaders, for the facilitation of professional learning with teachers and administrators, or even for presentations to the school board and/or families. 

Additional Administrator Academies Coming…
Not only are we offering the Administrator Academies listed above, but we are currently in the process of developing new Administrator Academies, and we look forward to sharing more information on those this fall. 

Customized, Local Administrator Academies
Finally, any of these Administrator Academies can be delivered locally and customized to meet the needs of your Regional Office of Education, Education for Employment (EFE) region, school district, or other group. For more information, contact us at p20network@niu.edu

July 2021

A New Resource for Teachers & Counselors – The Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads Essential Skills Guide

One of the most critical components of Illinois’ work around the College and Career Pathways are the Cross-Sector Essential Employability Skills (See page 6 of the Illinois CCPE Competencies Guide). Referred to as the “Essential Skills” in shorthand and commonly referred to as “soft skills” in the business community, these competencies are critical for all of our students across all Career Pathways. Additionally, through a year’s worth of Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads episodes, we’ve found that the Essential Skills are a consistent and detailed component of each interview. 

To help teachers, counselors, and others incorporate the Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads episodes as another instructional resource in their classrooms, we are in the process of developing The Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads Essential Skills Guide. While the content is up-to-date in this draft mapping of the Essential Skills across the Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads episodes, we are still working to develop a finalized web solution. Knowing that both school leaders and teachers will begin planning instruction for the 2021-2022 school year over the summer, we wanted to share this resource now, even in its current work-in-progress form. 

May 2021

Announcing a New Partner – Illinois P-20 Network & Midwest Principals’ Center

Midwest Principals’ Center

For decades, Midwest Principals’ Center has brought together school leaders to learn with one another and from experts in topics ranging from curriculum and instruction to school law. Midwest Principals’ Center provides a wide range of learning opportunities each year, from bringing the most well-respected and in-demand speakers to local audiences to ongoing learning opportunities such as their Legal Breakfasts.

Now, the Illinois P-20 Network is proud to partner with Midwest Principals’ Center. As part of this partnership, Midwest Principals’ Center will promote the Illinois P-20 Network’s College and Career Readiness series of Administrator Academy workshops, which will allow even more school leaders to learn about these critical topics. Additionally, like the aforementioned Legal Breakfasts, the Illinois P-20 Network will offer a series of online introductory presentations on key College and Career Readiness topics for school leaders of all levels. These presentations will be free to all Midwest Principals’ Center members.

If your organization is not already a member of the Midwest Principals’ Center (MPC), learn more about MPC organizational or individual membership

May 2021

Recap of the Spring 2021 Network Meeting

The Illinois P-20 Network hosted its Spring 2021 Meeting online on Thursday, April 29, 2021. The Spring 2021 Meeting, Lessons for our journey forward: Putting lessons from COVID-19 into practice for all students, was free and open to educators across Illinois. The purpose of this year’s Spring 2021 Illinois P-20 Network Meeting was to bring educational leaders together from all levels of education across Illinois and to identify the most effective practices and strategies that have been implemented over the past year.

Breakdown of attendees by organization type

While this was the third consecutive Illinois P-20 Network Meeting that was held online, this was the first meeting that was held live (synchronously) rather than as an asynchronous series of videos posted as a YouTube Playlist (Check out the Fall 2020 Meeting Playlist and the Spring 2020 Meeting Playlist). Taking advantage of the meeting’s online format, a wide range of attendees participated, stretching geographically across Illinois from north to south and from east to west, and representing the full range of organizations that make-up the Illinois P-20 Network.

Making It - Book Cover - Header

Following introductions and remarks from Northern Illinois University President Lisa Freeman and Dean of the NIU College of Education Laurie Elish-Piper, the Spring Meeting featured a keynote presentation from Stephanie Malia Krauss, who has authored the newly published book, Making It: What Today’s Kids Need for Tomorrow’s World. Stephanie has served as a Senior Advisor at JFF as well as a former teacher and school leader. Today, she is also the parent of school-age children. Learn more about Stephanie, including being able to purchase her book, on her website. In her keynote presentation, Stephanie describes the environment in which today’s school-age learners have lived throughout their lives, including everything from current events to modern technology, and how these factors have influenced students’ lives and learning. Stephanie also discusses the changing nature of the workplace and careers, and Stephanie challenges schools to consider specific changes that must take place in order to meet these different realities than those on which modern schools were originally built.

Stephanie Malia Krauss Keynote Presentation

One key feature of the Spring 2021 Illinois P-20 Network Meeting was our Student Panel, which included students ranging from middle school through undergraduates and from one end of Illinois to the other. The students on the panel shared their reflections about their experiences during this unique 2020-2021 school year and what suggestions they have for schools and learning moving forward. As is always the case with listening to our students, nothing can replace watching the full video below, but key elements highlighted by students included:

  • Remote learning had key benefits including increased participation among a wider range of students and a greater ability to focus on learning rather than the performative social aspects of schooling
  • Flexible approaches to scheduling are important
  • Relationships between and among students and teachers remain important regardless of the format of the learning environment
P-20 Network Meeting Student Panel

Following the Student Panel, participants had the opportunity to engage in two different Breakout Room discussions from among five different categorical topics:

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Learning & Time & Space
  • Teacher Workforce
  • Assessment & Data
  • Community Engagement

Each of these was facilitated by a leader in the particular space, and discussion focused around the following questions:

  • What were the lessons we’ve learned over the past year during COVID-19 related to (The Breakout Room Topic)?
  • Based on this year’s experiences, what practices and/or structures should we implement to improve learning for all students moving forward?
  • What resources and policies do we need to be in place in order to make these changes effective, lasting, and sustainable?

During each Breakout Room discussion, NIU STEAM team members assisted by taking detailed notes. These notes are currently being coded and analyzed and will be used in conjunction with the exit slip survey data in order to determine priority areas of focus for the Illinois P-20 Network and for us collectively as a state in order to further improve learning for all students and for each student across Illinois from early childhood through ongoing adult education. The results of this work will, of course, be shared broadly with the Illinois P-20 Network, the state agencies, and beyond.

May 2021

Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads – GCAMP Manufacturing Panel

Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads logo

Since students cannot be engaging in face-to-face or on-site work-based learning experiences, we’re bringing people from a wide range of occupations to students remotely. These videos will allow students to learn about their work, the skills that are most important in their work, and to benefit from the advice that these professionals have to offer students.


In this Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads episode, we meet with a panel of manufacturing experts from GCAMP, an organization in Chicago’s Northwest Suburbs that seeks to promote careers in manufacturing and connections between schools and manufacturing companies. In this episode, our panelists discuss their own careers, the work that their companies do, the different roles in which they have served, and the type of skills necessary for success in the manufacturing industry.

This wide-ranging Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads panel conversation provides countless examples of the importance of ensuring that all students have strongly developed the essential skills by the time that they graduate from high school. With high needs for employees in the manufacturing sector in locations across Illinois, manufacturing companies are confident that they can provide quality on-the-job training to new employees provided that those employees already exhibit strengths with each of the cross-sector essential employability skills.

Watch this special edition, panel discussion Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads video focused on manufacturing featuring Kathleen Burley (GCAMP Executive Director), Chris Kaiser from Big Kaiser, and Paul Rimington from The Diemasters.

To keep up-to-date as new Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads videos are released:

April 2021

Information about applying for Career Pathway Endorsements for the 2021-2022 school year!

The ISBE College & Career Pathways Endorsement website has been updated and includes a variety of resources that will assist those with their plans to implement/offer pathway endorsements to students. Included among these resources are an updated ISBE College and Career Pathway Endorsement Framework and the ISBE Pathway Endorsement Infographic.

Should schools wish to begin building plans within the online web tool, they would need to contact Heather Strom at the Illinois State Board of Education so that she can provide the school district with a link to the web tool (Email: pathwayendorsements@isbe.net​). Please note that first, the school district would want to gather the necessary information using the Excel spreadsheet. This will make data entry easier and more accurate.

Also, if you are planning on issuing any Career Pathway Endorsements for FY21, you will need to complete the FY21 application and district projections that are found on the ISBE CCPE website.

In corresponding about this important announcement, Heather said, “I’m very excited to be working with schools and applaud their efforts to offer pathway endorsements to their students!” Obviously, the Illinois P-20 Network echoes this sentiment. If you have questions, please reach out to Heather at the email address included above, but please feel free to contact us as well as the team at Education Systems Center as we can continue to work collaboratively to support both ISBE and all of you working in school districts.

April 2021

Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads – Trishna Singh and Octave Rouege – Business Analysts

Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads logo

Since students cannot be engaging in face-to-face or on-site work-based learning experiences, we’re bringing people from a wide range of occupations to students remotely. These videos will allow students to learn about their work, the skills that are most important in their work, and to benefit from the advice that these professionals have to offer students.


In this Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads episode, Trishna Singh and Octave Rouege, both Senior Contract Analysts at Premier Inc, a healthcare technology company, share information about their careers and the workplace. With Trishna’s background in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology, and Octave’s background in Marketing and Accounting, they provide great examples of the very different paths one can follow into this career as well as providing insightful examples of the essential skills necessary for success. Trishna studied at Emory University, and Octave earned degrees at the University of Southern Mississippi and Lakeland University.

In their roles as Business Analysts, they combine both clinical and purchasing data to help health systems make the best choices both in terms of medical purchases and general maintenance of the facility. While Trishna and Octave have very different academic backgrounds, the fact that they are doing the same job is proof that the essential skills are the foundation for landing any type of job and excelling at the position.  

Trishna and Octave’s work as Business Analysts is part of both the Health Sciences and Technology Career Pathway and the Finance and Business Services Career Pathway.  

In this video, Octave and Trishna share how their interest in health care and helping communities around them has contributed to making them successful in this role. They also talk about the importance of being willing to learn and understanding what a job entails before taking up a position. Both guests emphasize that being detail-oriented, having the ability to delegate when necessary, being able to communicate effectively with others, and adapting to a wide variety of different situations are critical to having a successful career in data analysis. Trishna stresses the need to be able to advocate for yourself and having basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel as crucial for getting an internship position in the world of data analysis. She also encourages students who are interested in working in a role like theirs to explore learning about data tools such as spreadsheets, to apply for internships, and to volunteer in hospitals or healthcare systems around their communities. Octave encourages students to shadow a professional in the position they aspire to hold as this will help paint a clear picture of what the role entails and what one will need to do in order to be successful.

Watch this Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads video with Business Analysts Trishna Singh and Octave Rouege.

To keep up-to-date as new Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads videos are released:

April 2021

More Draft Model Programs of Study Guides Released

This week, drafts of four new Model Programs of Study Guides were released in the following areas: 

Public comments are encouraged and should be made through this Public Comment Form through June 5, 2021. There will also be an introductory webinar held on April 16, 2021 at 11 AM. Click here to register for the webinar. 

These Model Programs of Study Guides were developed through a process that was sponsored by the Illinois Community College Board and implemented in collaboration with the Illinois State Board of Education. Education Systems Center led this process. The first four Model Programs of Study Guides were published during the Summer of 2020, and they are: 

April 2021

P-20 Network Spring Meeting Keynote – Making It Author Stephanie Malia Krauss

The Illinois P-20 Network is hosting its Spring 2021 Meeting online on Thursday, April 29th at 9 AM. The Spring 2021 Meeting, Lessons for our journey forward: Putting lessons from COVID-19 into practice for all students, is free and open to educators across Illinois. To join us, complete this short online Spring 2021 Meeting registration form.

Making It Book Cover

Today, we are excited to announce that the Spring Meeting will feature a keynote presentation from Stephanie Malia Krauss, who has authored the newly published book, Making It: What Today’s Kids Need for Tomorrow’s World. Stephanie is a Senior Advisor at JFF. Stephanie is also a former teacher, school leader, and a Metro East parent of children who are in school today on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River in the St. Louis area. Learn more about Stephanie on her website, stephaniemaliakrauss.com.

The purpose of this year’s Spring 2021 Illinois P-20 Network Meeting is to bring educational leaders together from all levels of education across Illinois and to identify the most effective practices and strategies that have been implemented over the past year.

Then, together, the Illinois P-20 Network will answer these questions, among others:

  • Which of these strategies have demonstrated new ways of serving students and/or collaborating as educators to have a greater impact than what we have traditionally done?
  • How has what we have learned this year broadened our vision of what the possible range of approaches to nurturing and supporting all learners?
  • What policies and resources are necessary to move these practices into sustainable components of our educational structures and systems?

Stephanie’s book and keynote address will provide the perfect foundation on which we can collectively imagine schools that maximize learning for all students. To join us at the Illinois P-20 Network Spring 2021 Meeting, complete this short online Spring 2021 Meeting registration form.

March 2021

Announcing the Live Online Spring 2021 P-20 Network Meeting

We are excited to announce plans for our Spring 2021 P-20 Network Meeting, which is titled Lessons for our journey forward: Putting lessons from COVID-19 into practice for all students.

The meeting will be held online on Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 9 AM. There is no cost to participate in the meeting. To sign-up, simply complete this P-20 Network Spring 2021 Meeting Registration Form.

At the Spring 2021 Meeting, the P-20 Network will facilitate an opportunity for educational leaders at all levels to come together to share, listen, and plan to innovate for all students moving forward based on the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is crucial that this time is used to identify the specific supports and obstacles that face educators at all levels in implementing these innovations in order for the P-20 Network to actively lead in addressing those issues moving forward.

To gain access to the meeting, please complete this short registration form. We do ask that the form is completed for each individual attending.

February 2021

Occupational Profiles launch on Illinois Postsecondary Profiles website


The Illinois Postsecondary Profiles (IPP) website originally launched in October 2019 with the first of three major elements available to the public at the time of its launch – Institutional Profiles. Learn more about the original phase of the IPP website from October 2019.


Today, the Illinois Postsecondary Profiles website rolls out a number of major features as the second major phase of the site’s development.

  • Occupational Profiles, which provides users with opportunities to explore occupations and/or postsecondary areas of study (i.e., topics in which students major in college) by the 7 Illinois Career Pathways or by a keyword search or area of interest. Data about occupations is linked with both data regarding related areas of study and the postsecondary institutions in Illinois that offer these areas of study. Together, this provides a rich set of easy-to-access data that is unique among tools of this kind.
IPP Occupation Profiles Home
  • Regional Profiles, which utilizes an interactive map (also known as a choropleth) that is currently organized by Illinois’ community college district boundaries, to display completion, enrollment, and population data. In the future, additional data sets and geographic boundary regions will be available for website visitors.
IPP Choropleth
  • IPP Data Center – A centerpiece of the IPP website since its debut has been the ability to download data presented on the website in its entirety. Given that this data comes directly from Illinois’ state agencies responsible for postsecondary education, being able to easily access these complete data sets is a great benefit to researchers in Illinois and around the world. With this release, the IPP Data Center has been significantly expanded with additional data available for download.
IPP Data Center

In a future release, the final major originally planned component of the Illinois Postsecondary Profiles will launch – Equity Profiles, which will support the exploration of data from postsecondary education across Illinois based on student demographic information.

January 2021

Dual Credit Think Tank – Update

We are pleased to announce that, in collaboration with ILACEP, we are restarting the Dual Credit Think Tank. We are currently working to identify meeting dates and times, and we will be emailing specific information to everyone who was involved with the Dual Credit Think Tank last spring as well as those who have already reached out to express interest in participating in the Dual Credit Think Tank moving forward. 

If you or someone in your organization is interested in participating in the Dual Credit Think Tank, please email us at: p20network@niu.edu 

Continue reading below to learn more about the next steps for the Illinois P-20 Network Dual Credit Think Tank.

ILACEP Illinois Dual Credit Report
Read the complete ILACEP Illinois Dual Credit Report

Plans for the Dual Credit Think Tank moving forward over the remainder of 2021 include:

  • Focus on one sub-committee at a time – The Teacher Credentialing Sub-Committee remains critical and is identified as a key area in the ILACEP Illinois Dual Credit Report under the header, Instructor Capacity. This group will begin meeting in the coming weeks and will meet monthly through June. Then, beginning during the summer, attention will shift to the Communications Sub-Committee, which will meet through much of the fall. At the moment, we will hold off on restarting the Finance Sub-Committee, but if conversations in either Springfield or Washington, D.C. necessitate that Sub-Committees work, we will quickly spring into action and potentially pause the work of the other Sub-Committees.
  • Co-Facilitators – As we re-launch each Sub-Committee, we will seek two co-facilitators within each group to partner with Jason Klein in leading the Sub-Committee.
  • Consistent Meeting Times – While this is always difficult and complex with the busy schedules of educational leaders across institutions, as each Sub-Committee re-starts, it will lay out a schedule of monthly meetings for the anticipated period of its work.
January 2021

Transitional Math ISBE SIS & Portability Code Information


The Illinois P-20 Network is pleased to share the following information on behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Community College Board.


In order for students to receive the full benefits of Transitional Math, the correct Illinois State Board of Education Student Information System (SIS) course code and Illinois portability codes must be utilized.  The Transitional Math SIS codes can be found below and are also within the provided portability document templates as well as the policies document, which can be found on the Illinois Transitional Math website.

Please note that there are different ISBE SIS course codes and portability codes for each of the distinct Transitional Math courses that are offered.

As always, school districts should ensure that they are uploading the correct course codes in ISBE SIS to accurately report students’ course completions.

Additionally, portability codes should be placed on the high school transcripts of students who have successfully completed a Transitional Math course. Community Colleges across Illinois utilize the portability code from the high school transcript to identify students who should be correctly placed in college credit-bearing mathematics courses.

  • STEM Pathway
    ISBE SIS Code – 02055A001
    Portability Code – TM001
  • Quantitative Literacy and Statistics Pathway
    ISBE SIS Code – 02201A001
    Portability Code – TM002
  • Tech Pathway
    ISBE SIS Code – 02153A001
    Portability Code – TM003

Implementation of Transitional Math is now entering the second semester of the second year of implementation.  We currently have over 200 approved courses across the state of Illinois.  We are excited to see the progress that school districts and students are making with the implementation of Transitional Math. Approved courses can be found on the Illinois Transitional Math website.

As a reminder, the next opportunity for Transitional Math portability submission is due on March 1, 2021, and those submissions will be considered at the Spring Portability Panel meeting on April 14, 2021.

If you have any questions regarding transitional courses, please e-mail TRInstruction@isbe.net.

January 2021

Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads – Yvonne Boose – Radio Journalist

Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads logo

Since students cannot be engaging in face-to-face or on-site work-based learning experiences, we’re bringing people from a wide range of occupations to students remotely. These videos will allow students to learn about their work, the skills that are most important in their work, and to benefit from the advice that these professionals have to offer students.


In this Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads episode, we interview Yvonne Boose, who today is a radio journalist at WNIJ, a public radio station that is based at Northern Illinois University. During her senior year at Bogan High School, Yvonne took her Grandfather advice. She went on to study Speech Communication at Chicago State University, where she learned radio and television production.

After graduating with her Bachelor’s Degree, Yvonne began working in customer service for Ameritech, a large telecommunications company in the Midwest at that time that was formerly part of AT&T and remain connected to AT&T in a number of ways. While Yvonne continued to earn promotions for her work, she also continued to desire a career in journalism. During this time period, she was able to begin an internship with AT&T Cable where she covered local stories on a television show called Hometown Edition. This internship confirmed for Yvonne that she did want to pursue journalism, so she went to Roosevelt University and earned a Master’s Degree in journalism. With her Master’s Degree, she obtained another internship at Beacon News in Aurora before moving into her current role at WNIJ.

Yvonne’s work as a journalist is part of the Arts & Communication Career Pathway.

In this video, Yvonne shares how her customer service skills have helped her make connections as a journalist with sources that are critical to telling honest and complete stories. She also talks about the need for students to be willing to take up volunteer and internship positions in order to build their experiences. Yvonne emphasizes that the following skills are critical to have success as a journalist: integrity, the ability to build honest and positive relationships with others, strong listening skills, robust organizational skills, the ability to accept feedback with a positive attitude, and having a hunger for new knowledge.

Watch this Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads episode with journalist Yvonne Boose.

To keep up-to-date as new Career Pathways Virtual Trailheads videos are released:

January 2021