School/College Alliance Workshops
Programs of Study and Student Competency
Keynote Presentation: Jon Furr, Executive Director of Education Systems Center at Northern Illinois University
Jonathan Furr is the Founder and Executive Director of Education Systems Center at Northern Illinois University. He is actively engaged in various state, national, and international education policy efforts.
Mr. Furr has led the development of federal competitive grant applications that have secured over $120 million in funding for data systems, K-12 reforms, early childhood system development, and apprenticeship programs. He has served as the lead drafter and negotiator for legislation significantly impacting the Illinois education system, including the 2009 Illinois P-20 Longitudinal Education Data System Act. Mr. Furr has also structured and administered numerous inter-agency programs, including the state’s longitudinal data system governing board and inter-agency systems for career pathway programs.
Jon Furr was joined by Dr. Jennifer Kelsall, Superintendent of Ridgewood High School District 234 and Dr. Patrick Hardy, Principal of Proviso East high School District 209. Both of these districts are participating in the Illinois Competency Education Pilot Program, and shared insights about the challenges and rewards of creating meaningful change.
Programs of Study and Student Readiness
Keynote Presentation: Dr. David Schuler, Superintendent High School District 214
Dr. Schuler launched Redefining Ready!, a national campaign that introduces research-based metrics to demonstrate postsecondary readiness, during his time as 2015-16 president of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, which represents public school leaders across the U.S. and Canada. He believes students are more than just a test score, the traditional indicator of readiness.
Friday, October 21, 2016 marked the 4th year for the School/College Alliance to meet for a full day to examine different facets of successful programs of study. This year the issue of student readiness was our focus, with Dr. David Schuler presenting on Redefining Ready.
Breakout session speakers during the day included Dena Lawrence from My Credits Transfer, Beth Metzler from Econ Illinois addressing Financial Readiness, and Jon Furr from NIU with updates on Illinois Commitment to Career Pathways, among many others. Participant comments included:
“We need these resources to implement career readiness initiatives within our district.”
“The data was impressive and he provided some valuable models for us to explore.”
“He presented an advanced topic but manageable ways to implement.”
“Great ideas and findings to bring back to my department.”
Programs of Study and Real World Projects
Keynote Presentation: Dr. Lazaro Lopez
On Friday, October 23, 2015 administrators, faculty and counselors from Triton College and DVR high schools gathered for a full day workshop on Programs of Study and Integrated Real World Projects. Participants were enthralled by the opening Keynote presentation, delivered by Dr. Lazaro Lopez, Associate Superintendent of HSD 214, and Chair of the Illinois Community College Board.
Chris Magee, Mark Wallace, Rick Elston and Mickey Swart from Rockford Public Schools followed with an outstanding demonstration of an integrated learning unit they have used at their Career Academy.
The remainder if the day included a series of carefully structured sessions by the Northwestern University Office of STEM Education Partnerships. Workshop participants worked with the OSEP team members on many issues that require thoughtful consideration regarding how we improve student learning experiences in our schools. Evaluations at the end of the day were glowing with positive comments, and a desire to delve even further into many of these issues.
Programs of Study and the Workforce
Keynote Presentation: Dr. Robert Sheets
Dr. Sheets is a Research Professor at the George Washington Institute of Public Policy at George Washington University, having recently retired as the Director of Research at Business Innovation Services, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he still works as a Policy Advisor to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Breakout Session Panels – Industry experts
Educators engaged in discussions with industry experts by rotating between three of six different Illinois Cluster areas panels to ask questions and have a dialogue regarding how education should be preparing our students to face the demands of the workplace. Panels represented the Illinois Learning Exchanges in Energy, Finance, Health Science, Information Technology, Manufacturing, and Transportation/ Distribution & Logistics.
Best Practices Recognition
School/College Alliance ‐ Purpose Statement
The School/College Alliance is a collaborative network of educational leaders from across District 504 with a focus to assist all students throughout the education continuum. The Alliance works to ensure that resources and services are being maximized to support student retention, transition, completion, and success. All levels of education will work together to collectively address education issues through shared data, resources, and projects to support a variety of educational and career pathways for our students.
Advisory Council – Purpose Statement
The Advisory Council for the School/College Alliance will be the governing board of the partnership, composed of key administrators from Triton, superintendents (or administrative designees) from the district K‐8, Public and Private High Schools and executives from Des Plaines Valley Region and West 40. The role of the council is to provide leadership that will assist in the implementation of strategies and initiatives that will propel the mission of the School/College Alliance for student success.