Statewide Support for Individual Learning Plans, Introduction and Research Base

Statewide Support for Individual Learning Plans, Introduction and Research Base


>>HELEN DUFFY: Good afternoon and thank you
for joining us today for this event focused on State Support for Individual Learning Plans. My name is Helen Duffy and I will be your
host and facilitator for today’s webinar. We have a great panel of presenters gathered
today who will share not only the research base for individual learning plans, but also
one state’s vision for what they call their student success plans. We have representatives from two states who
are going to share their implementation journey. Our presenters today include Dr. Scott Solberg,
who is a professor at Boston University where he teaches courses in counseling, urban education
and research methods; Lisa Tyler, who’s the director of student support services for the
Arkansas Department of Education; Dr. Gregg Curtis, a school counseling education consultant
and colead for suicide prevention at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction; Robin Russel,
graduation guidelines manager at the Colorado Department of Education; and Andy Tucker,
who is the director of postsecondary and workforce readiness at the Colorado Department of Education. We’ll have two 10-minute Q and A sessions,
one between Lisa and Gregg, and the other at the end of Colorado’s presentation, after
Robin and Andy share their journey, so be sure to jot your questions down or put them
in the chat box. Today’s event is hosted by the Regional Educational
Lab Southwest, and as you might know, Regional Ed Labs conduct their work in partnership
with the states that they serve. And here at REL Southwest, we work in partnership
with education stakeholders in the five states in our region–Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico,
Oklahoma, and Texas–to address identified priorities and interests of our five states. We work to support eight collaborative research
alliances. These are the research alliances that REL
Southwest currently supports, and today’s presentation is focused on our partnership
with Arkansas that addresses college and career readiness. We’re working now to support the implementation
of the Arkansas Student Success Plans, and today’s event, this webinar, is kind of a
foundational activity and is just one of several that we plan to engage in together with Arkansas. Today’s goal is to look at individual learning
plans, which are promising tools that help students and their parents or guardians be
more intentional about course-taking and pathways to a range of postsecondary options. And because more and more states are turning
to individual learning plans as a strategy to support college and career readiness, we’re
offering this bridge event in partnership with Arkansas. Our webinar outcomes today are, first, to
become more aware of the research base and evidence that support individual learning
plans, gain a better understanding of state systems for supporting their implementation,
and learn about the successes and challenges and lessons learned from states that have
implemented those plans. Don’t forget, we’ll have a stakeholder feedback
survey at the end of our webinar today, and I just want to say that these feedback opportunities
are very important to us. So, they help us improve our work and improve
future presentations. As Marguerite mentioned, our webinar today
includes closed captioning. You can follow the directions to set up the
closed captioning, and if you have any technical issues, let us know in the chat box and someone
can assist you. With that, I’m going to turn it over to Scott
Solberg, who is a national and international expert on the design, implementation, and
evaluation of effective career development programs and services, especially for high-need
youth; and he presents regularly on the nature and promise of individual learning plans. So, we’re happy, Scott, to have you with us,
today. It’s all yours.>>SCOTT SOLBERG: Great. Okay. All right, so you can hear me okay then?>>HELEN DUFFY: Yes, we can.>>SCOTT SOLBERG: All right, excellent. So, thank you, everyone. It’s wonderful to have a chance to present
today. I’ve got a short window, so I’m going to give
a sampling of some of the research that we’re using, to provide the knowledge base. From an IES perspective, the knowledge base
that we have rises to the level of promising practice. For those that might be looking for more experimental
evidence, we’re waiting. That’s probably the next step in our frontier. The research that I’m going to be talking
about was funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy
through a TA Center contract to the Institute for Educational Leadership, specifically National
Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth. There is a website and we’ll hopefully get
a link up for you all. Oh, it’s already there. Thanks, Joni. This is a nice website where we put a lot
of the material that we’ll be referring to today. Just to kind of get us started, what I want
to do is give you an example, a case sample, to help us understand what the ILP is, what
it’s about, and recognize that a lot of the more story-making is actually with lots of
research to back up some of these points. So, the first case I want to share is one
that came from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, about a young student. She was Latin American, a Latina. She was a first-generation college student,
and she was coming from a low-income background. One of the things that made her an interesting
case study was that when school started, she was just not engaged in the academics, the
math, the science, and she was probably at the bottom third when it came to the high
school rating or ranking. But what happened was during the ILP process–and
in Wisconsin, they call it the Academic Career Plan, or ACP–as she was going through the
process and got interested in a class on biotechnology, she realized that the hospital setting seemed
to have a lot of exciting work opportunities. She went into the online career information
system that they had at the time, which is a very important part of the ILP process to
have access to career information system, she found that she could actually become a
dietician aide and start working in the hospitals even as a high school student. And so, the summer between sophomore and junior
year, she went to the local college, got her certificate, started in the hospital, enjoyed
it, continued looking at the different career possibilities, started looking at other opportunities
that would come, came back to school that junior year and started taking more of the
science and more of the math courses. And in fact, took many more of those courses,
plus went back to the college to gather 10 additional credits before she graduated. She decided she wanted a career in nursing. She received a full scholarship at one of
the local state colleges for that. And this is the kind of thing that we’re hearing
repeated throughout the country, that once students start setting career and life goals,
they start thinking about their academic plans differently and they start choosing into a
more rigorous course schedule. They start looking at postsecondary and we’re
talking two- and four-year, and this student was accepted into a four-year, but we are
also talking about the two-year or four-year as both viable, important options. What it comes down to is that as they are
engaged in thinking about themselves, their skills, their interests, their values and
how those can align with different career opportunities, we start to find that the whole
idea of improving their career readiness actually drives the college readiness. So, they will move towards an academic plan
that’s going to be more rigorous and more aligned to those postsecondary pieces. As far as the, kind of, the nature–and we’ve
studied schools around the country, we did a more intensive look at 14 high schools in
four states, but this has been replicated as we’ve worked with other states around the
country, including as you see Wisconsin–is the messaging, What is the nature of this
whole process? Unlike math and unlike science, you know physics,
where there’s a textbook and there’s a clear understanding of what the subject matter is,
when we started talking about ILPs, they really aren’t clear on what it is, to begin with. So, we have to both explain the nature of
what this is along with the value. So, what you see in this poster is a beautiful,
very quick summary and key points that we’re finding in research is what this whole ILP
process is about. The first is that it’s student driven. Very important. We’re not talking about a lecture. We’re not talking about explaining to them. We’re talking about them finding on their
own through both encouraging adult conversations, explorations, as well as the use of online
systems. So, both classroom opportunities, experiences
>>PAUSE>>HELEN DUFFY: It looks like we just had some audio issues with Scott right now. We’re going to figure this out in just one
second, so if you’ll just bear with us for a moment. Hopefully we’ll be able to get right back
on track, so just hold on one moment.>>PAUSE>>GREGG CURTIS: Hi, everybody. While we figure out the audio for Dr. Solberg,
I’ll just introduce myself quickly. My name is Gregg Curtis. I’m the education consultant for school counseling
and the academic and career planning co-lead here in Wisconsin. We really appreciate the fact that Scott is
sharing part of our story and part of our vision, especially because it aligns so fundamentally
with the idea of what an individual learning plan is. Here in Wisconsin, you noticed in the poster
that Scott was showing, we are really focused on the fact that this isn’t necessarily about
the plan–it is about the planning. And all of the bullets, if you notice, all
had to do with some actionable pieces; not what’s written on the paper but the actionable
pieces: the relationship between a caring adult and a student, the fact that it’s student
driven with adult guidance.>>GREGG CURTIS: Scott, you’re cutting in and
out a little bit.>>SCOTT SOLBERG: Am I? Okay. I’m going to need to–okay, let me try this. Is this better?>>GREGG CURTIS: There you go, you sound terrific!>>SCOTT SOLBERG: All right. Did you fill in for me or are we still on?>>GREGG CURTIS: You’re still on, go right
ahead. Pick up where you left off. I’ll tell the Wisconsin story in just a little
bit.>>SCOTT SOLBERG: Okay. Sorry about that. So, the family experiences, the school starts
focusing on raising children, not just getting the good test scores. So, we hear a lot of the schools now focused
on, How are we going to help get through the postsecondary process, this postsecondary
degree and not just getting them to graduate or through high school? So, that’s an exciting piece that’s happening. What I’m showing now is the more complex correlational
study again, helping us provide some more evidence towards ILPs being a promising practice. In this case, we’ll get access to quality
learning experiences that are centered around the ILP. Students feel more confident in the career
search process, they start setting goals, and all of a sudden, they’re attending school
because it’s meaningful and enjoyable, as well as building their academic self-efficacy. And then all of a sudden, we see the school
counselor model of trying to focus on academic improvement, focusing on career readiness,
as well as managing social-emotional distress. All that appears to be happening through this
process, which is very exciting. An easier way to think about it is when we–this
is again all based on the data that when students report that they’re engaging in quality ILPs,
they’re setting goals. And these goals can be anything. They’re short-term goals–how am I going to
get what done and thinking about what I need to be improving upon. And then they want to come to school. They find that the academic courses they’re
taking are relevant, and then we’re seeing the academic self-efficacy, all of these improved
outcomes. So, different ways that we can kind of share
and translate those results. Another piece we did was we took a qualitative
study to see as we find students who are becoming career ready–so, these are students that
are actively engaged in finding out who I am, finding out about the world of work and
beginning to establish career and life goals. These students were differentiated from those
who would be saying, Oh, I’m going to college, or Oh, I’m going to be a veterinarian, but
who have had no exploration time, they have no clear sense of who they were and any real
knowledge about those careers. So, those who were becoming more career ready,
they had higher academic self-efficacy, they were better in terms of the decisionmaking
readiness as well as they were managing their health and their stress better and they were
more motivated to go to school. What we’re finding is that this career readiness
is driving some of these critical social-emotional learning skills, and that this is an important
element that we’re finding–that we certainly were hoping to find, but we’re pretty shocked
to see just how much of a differentiation there was when students are involved in this
ILP process. What does it look like when we say a student
is becoming career-ready and that the ILP is working? These are based on our–we did a bunch of
qualitative work. We had over a thousand participants in it,
and when we looked at the results to see who these students look like, what are the key
dimensions to becoming college and career ready, we found that they had plans. This is what we mean by established career
and life goals, right? That they have more than one, it’s plural. They could clearly describe what these career
and life goals were about. They could talk about them, they could tell
us the way their skills aligned with those; the way their past values, interests are aligning. They were actually out going and finding work-based
learning and volunteer experiences in order to facilitate that. What we’re finding is that these different
dimensions are things that we can measure. These are things that we can look at as a
summit of assessment each year by asking some key open-ended questions then being able to
look at their self-narrative and then seeing if they’re getting there. So, this is an exciting piece that we felt
was important for future measurement when we go to look at what it means to become career
ready. And then this is our Theory of Change we’ve
come up with after we’ve summarized the piece. That the quality ILP implementation from a
caring and encouraging adult, that’s the key, that when we’re engaged in these career development
activities that have classroom experiences or group conversations, plus they have this
access to the caring and encouraging adult that’s facilitating it, what we see happening
is that now the youth are starting to think about themselves and starting to establish
career and life goals. Once they do, all of a sudden, they see these
learning opportunities as relevant to helping them pursue those goals. They start looking for work-based learning
and other kinds of rigorous academic education. So, in the Mia case, she was going to the
two-year college to gather some credits to gather the credentials that she needed. As a result, then, we’re seeing all of these
positive youth development outcomes coming in. So, we’re not just talking about grades, we’re
not talking about test scores; we’re talking about a positive youth development focus where
these youth are creating a success identity where they’re now prepared as they prepare
to leave the high school setting, they have a plan and they’re entering that postsecondary
set of opportunities with a clear purpose. That’s sort of what we’re believing is the
strongest piece about that. We got some books out, and I know I’m out
of time so I’m going to let this go, but we do have a few things on there and some contact
information. So, I’ll step out. I apologize for the phone, but hopefully we
got most of that through.>>HELEN DUFFY: Thank you, Scott, and thanks,
Gregg, for helping jump in when we lost Scott for a few minutes.

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