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Educational Pathways A-Team Educational Pathways A-Team

Educational Pathways A-Team


We are committed to developing a high-quality workforce from within U-46's student population so they are prepared for the best jobs. Over the long-term, we intend to increase the intellectual capital and workforce capacity of the region by aligning the community's education, workforce, and economic development efforts.

Educational Pathways A-team conducted an environmental scan and found that many of U-46’s Career & Technical Education (CTE) classes are not fully enrolled, and consequently potential college and career readiness benefits to students and families are being lost. 

Most middle and high school students don’t understand the wide variety of career pathways available to them in this region. Nor can they typically connect how high school class selection can prepare them for post-secondary education, training, and the world of work.


"The Georgetown Center projects that 14 million job openings- nearly half of those that will be filled by workers with post-secondary education- will go to people with an associate's degree or occupational certificate..." (Pathways to Prosperity, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2011)

Data from the 2014 Advance Illinois’ publication The State We’re In showed that 61% of Illinois high school students enrolled in post-secondary education, but only 37% complete that post-secondary education.  The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce published The Divided Recovery: College Have and Have-Nots in 2016 Data from this report indicated that the economy has added 11.6 million jobs since the recession bottomed out and 11.5 million, or 99 percent of them, have gone to workers with at least some college education.  It also indicated that of the 7.2 million jobs lost in the recession, 5.6 million were jobs for workers with a high school diploma or less and these workers have recovered only 1 percent of those job losses over the past six years.  In response to this publication, the state of Illinois House and Senate unanimously passed HB5729, the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness ACT in May of 2016.  The goal of this legislation is to have 60% of all high school students earn a high-quality post-secondary certificate or degree by 2025.

School District U-46 data from the National Student Clearinghouse indicates that about 64% of high school graduates enroll in post-secondary education within 16 months of graduating.  Given the data in the aforementioned publications, it is essential for the district to consider its approach to secondary education if it intends to meet the requirements outlined in the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness ACT.

The Educational Pathways A-Team will support the School District U-46 in establishing Career Academies with educational pathways to ensure that students are competitive members of a global society.  

School District U-46 aspires to educate the whole student by providing an enriched, high-quality experience that prepares all students to graduate with clearly defined career goals, prepared to enter college, or with the certification necessary to enter the workforce. A U-46 priority is to partner with the greater community to foster a shared ownership and align community support to help students to become college and career ready. 

On Saturday, October 14, 2017, the A-Team, in collaboration with the Citizen's Advisory Committee and School District U-46, will host Explore 2017: A U-46 Community, Curriculum & Career Expo. Students and parents will be invited to Elgin Community College to learn more about U-46 Curriculum program offerings that increase college and career readiness and to engage with employers in the region who will be on hand to demonstrate careers. Through hands-on, interactive demonstrations, businesses will help students and parents understand the skills their industry requires. U-46 Counselors and Curriculum experts will be on-hand to help students plan curriculum and relate course selection with their career goals.  

Benefits to Participating Organizations:

· Increase student awareness and build employee preparedness to improve workforce development

· Improve outcomes for all U-46 students, particularly those who need additional support to realize their fullest potential.

· Contribute in areas in which you have specialized skills and expertise.

· Collaborate with other industry experts.

· Build awareness of your business.

· Partner with a community-wide initiative to increase student awareness of local career opportunities.

· Establish a strong working relationship with U-46 administrators, staff and community leaders through direct interactions   


The Educational Pathways A-Team is requesting the following services from the community.  Two general types of services are needed: those related to demonstrating careers, and those related to event operations.  Please note that this list is not exhaustive and the Alignment Educational Pathways Team is open to exploring opportunities that may not be listed below:

Demonstrating Careers:

The A-Team is seeking 40 public/private community and business partners to host an interactive hands-on booth that demonstrates a career activity related to Educational Pathways:  Employers will be organized and featured in groups corresponding to Career Clusters that include:

  • Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
  • Architecture and Construction
  • Arts, A/V Technology, and Communications
  • Business Management and Administration
  • Education and Training
  • Energy
  • Finance
  • Government and Public Administration
  • Health Sciences
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Human Services
  • Information Technology
  • Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security
  • Manufacturing
  • Marketing
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
  • Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics

The Educational Pathways A-Team is seeking industry experts who reflect the diverse makeup of the U-46 students.  


Event Operations:

Many talents, skills, and abilities from the community will be needed to assure a successful and exciting event.  The Educational Pathways A-Team will need a variety of services and volunteer efforts for pre-event planning, community outreach and day of event activities.  Please note that this list is not exhaustive and the Alignment Educational Pathways Team is open to exploring opportunities that may not be listed below:

  • Community Partners that distribute the marketing message to target audience during August to October
  • Set-up/Breakdown assistance
  • Translation & Interpretation services (Spanish): Translators who can help with marketing material and handouts for the event.  Interpreters who can accompany non-English speaking students throughout the event.  Attention to these varied needs is intended to help all students gain the greatest benefit possible from the event. 
  • First aid/emergency response
  • Marketing communications
  • Mass media partners to build community awareness
  • Hospitality Ambassadors to help families and booth participants navigate at the event. Examples: Greeting attendee, assisting business, conducting surveys
  • Technology
  • Graphic Design expertise
  • Photography and videography expertise
  • Safety and Security
  • Event T-shirts
  • Sponsorship


To participate, please click below.


Last year during Explore 2016: A U-46 Community, Curriculum & Career Expo, over 81 careers were exhibited by 22 businesses provided a “See It”, “Feel It”, “Experience It” opportunity. More than 900 people attended the event of which 400 were students. Many District representatives were there including dozens of volunteers from the  Citizen's Advisory Council, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) and Academy Students and many members of our community. 

Terri Lozier, Chair, School District U-46

Melissa Bernasek, Co-Chair, Gail Borden Public Library

Christopher Boden, School District U-46

Valerie Cuchna, Fabric Images, Inc.

Chuck DiPietro, MultiFilm, Inc.

Amanda Gardner, Gail Borden Public Library

Adam Hogan, Elgin State Bank

Bob Malm, Elgin Development Group

Cherie Murphy, ACE/United Way of Elgin

Jason Pawlowski, Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce

Elizabeth Roeger, Elgin Community College

Matthew Raimondi, School District U-46

Reginald Kee, Manu Forti Ministries, LLC

Trisha Shrode, School District U-46

Yvonne Irving, Kane County Teachers Credit Union