In January 2014 the Kansas State Department of Education went to the State Board of Education strongly recommending that all districts implement individual plans of study for students in grades 8 through 12 for the following reasons:
1) Individual plans of study should be considered a “best practice” for districts, can help all Kansas students obtain a suitable vision of their path toward college and career readiness, and will address the gap between the percentage of students enrolling and the percentage of students earning credit during their first year of enrollment in 2- and 4-year postsecondary institutions.
2) Individual plans of study are addressed as part of the “Career Awareness and Guidance” criteria in the current draft version of Kansas’ new accreditation model.
3) The Kansas State Department of Education can provide support to educators, as well as to vendors of student information systems to ensure that individual plans of study are implemented in ways that will be cost-effective and not unreasonably taxing to students or educators.
As students navigate through high school and into career and college, it is imperative that students set educational goals and create a roadmap for success in high school and beyond. This roadmap, or individual plan of study, includes development of a flexible career focus and an education plan that is clearly-defined, rigorous, and relevant to assure a successful and efficient transition to postsecondary education and/or the workforce.
The foundational elements of the individual plan of study are the career interests identified by the student through an authentic career interest survey or assessment. A roadmap based on the student’s interests and talents can then be developed. Other parts of the IPS include graduation requirements, approved coursework for the student's educational and career goals, and developmentally-appropriate, work-based learning experiences.
An IPS is developed cooperatively with the student and the student's counselor, teachers, and family members. The plan is reviewed at least twice annually and is revised as needed.
Final KSDE Recommendation to State Board of Education
Natalie D. Clark
Division of Learning Services
Career, Standards and Assessment
Career and Technical Education
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