College & Career Pathways


Beginning in 2019-20, Elmwood Park High School and Elm Middle School will offer courses as part of College & Career Pathways, a new District 401 initiative. This program is focused on better aligning EPHS and Elm curricula with the post-secondary pursuits of our students.

The goal of the College & Career Pathways is to better prepare D401 students to compete and succeed in the global economy.

With the help of aligned programs of study and pathway exploration, students will graduate with well-developed post-secondary plans, stronger experiential learning opportunities and a diverse set of skills suited for academic and career success.


Slideshow Overview


EPHS and Elm administrators have produced a slideshow presentation that provides an overview of College & Career Pathways. The presentation was originally given at an information night for parents on Sept. 5, 2019.

To view the slideshow as a downloadable PDF, please click the image below.


College & Career Pathways presentation slideshow


How the Pathway Program Works


Starting at Elm Middle School, students will be encouraged to explore a variety of interests aligned to future careers.

As students enter EPHS, they will continue with coursework opportunities that focus on college and career pathways of interest with significant depth. 

These opportunities include the following new courses that will be offered in the next two years.
 

SUBJECT AREA

COURSE TITLE

ART

Ceramics and Sculpture

ART

Drawing and Painting

ART

Intro to Art

ART

Photography I

ENGLISH

Intro to Acting

ENGLISH

Intro to Journalism

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Italian III Honors

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Spanish III Honors

MATHEMATICS

AP Calculus BC

MATHEMATICS

Financial Math

MATHEMATICS

Transitional Math

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Competitive Team Sports I & II

SCIENCE

Intro to Sports Medicine and Management

SUBJECT AREA

COURSE TITLE

ART

Advanced Ceramics and Sculpture

ART

Advanced Drawing and Painting

ART

Advanced Photography

BUSINESS/CTE

Business Law

BUSINESS/CTE

Computer Applications

BUSINESS/CTE

Computer Programming

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

AP Italian Language and Culture

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

AP Spanish Language and Culture

MUSIC

AP Music Theory

MUSIC

Intro to Band

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Nutrition & Wellness

SCIENCE

AP Biology

SCIENCE

Intro to Health Careers

SOCIAL STUDIES

AP Psychology

SOCIAL STUDIES

Criminal Justice

Please note that District 401 is transitioning from its current block schedule to a more "traditional" seven-period day for students at EPHS and Elm. The new bell schedules will be in place by the start of 2020-21.


Why Pathway Exploration?


To assist students in developing their post-secondary plans, EPHS has worked to align these new courses to a variety of career pathways.

Aligned programs of study help students select courses based on their interests and career goals, which enables pathway exploration.

Students benefit from pathway exploration because it provides them with a low-risk, low-cost opportunity to decide if a specific pathway is a good fit prior to making a post-secondary commitment.

Moreover, pathway exploration allows students to demonstrate their interest, dedication and perseverance in pursuit of their personal goals. Such life-ready skills are the hallmark of a positive transition to post-secondary success, because students are more likely to stick with a pathway rooted in interest, talent and achievement.

In addition, many pathway courses fulfill graduation requirements. Partnering with a school counselor will ensure that individual course selection is in alignment with student interest, meets graduation requirements and leads to well-defined college and career plans.


How the Pathways Were Developed


In October and November 2018, the District issued two separate student surveys to Elm and EPHS students to help gather interest on future career-based academic programming.

The first survey ("Career Cluster Inventory") was issued in October. Developed by the Illinois Career Information System, the survey focused on identifying career pathways for students based on their responses of interest to 80 different activities. In all, 765 EPHS students and 386 Elm students responded to this survey.

The second survey ("Courses of Interest") was issued in November. Locally developed, the survey focused on gathering student interest on each of 16 career clusters and 45 different career-based courses. Students were asked to read a brief paragraph explaining each career cluster and provide an interest rating to that pathway. Additionally, each student was asked to read a brief summary of the different courses before issuing an interest rating. In all, 575 EPHS students and 325 Elm students responded to this survey.

Summaries of the feedback gathered from both surveys are located below.

Based on these results, EPHS is committed over the next several school years to develop career pathway courses. All students will have the opportunity to enroll in career and technical education (CTE) courses under this initiative. Students will also have pathways for choosing more traditional core academic courses.
 

HIGH INTEREST CAREER PATHWAY CLUSTERS

The career pathway clusters listed below finished in the top 10 for both student groups and surveys.

► Business, Management, & Administration 1
► Health Science 2
► Hospitality & Tourism 4

► Human Services 3
► Information Technology 3
► Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security 4

1 Currently available at EPHS
2 Available at EPHS starting in 2019-20
3 Will be available at EPHS after 2019-20
4 Available off campus for EPHS students starting in 2019-2020


MODERATE INTEREST CAREER PATHWAY CLUSTERS

The career pathway clusters listed below finished in the top 10 for one student group and/or survey.

► Architecture & Construction 4
► Arts, Audio/Video Technology & Communications 2
► Education & Training 4

► Finance 1
► Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics 3

1 Currently available at EPHS
2 Available at EPHS starting in 2019-20
3 Will be available at EPHS after 2019-20
4 Available off campus for EPHS students starting in 2019-2020


LIMITED INTEREST CAREER PATHWAY CLUSTERS

The career pathway clusters listed below finished in the top 10 for one or no student groups and surveys.

► Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources 4
► Government & Public Administration 3
► Manufacturing 4

► Marketing, Sales & Service 1
► Transportation, Distribution & Logistics 4

1 Currently available at EPHS
2 Available at EPHS starting in 2019-20
3 Will be available at EPHS after 2019-20
4 Available off campus for EPHS students starting in 2019-2020

In addition to the career cluster information summarized above, EPHS and Elm students were asked to identify their interest in 45 elective-based courses. Some of the courses listed were already being offered in District 401 at the time of the survey, but many were not.

Each course listed had a brief summary or explanation of the course for students to read. Below is the summary of the feedback from both schools.


HIGHEST INTEREST COURSES

The courses listed below finished in the top 20 for both student groups.

► Anatomy & Physiology 1
► AP Art (2D & 3D) 1
► AP Biology 3
► AP Chemistry 1
► Art 2D (Drawing, Painting, Printmaking) 1
► Art 3D (Ceramics & Sculpture) 1
► Criminal Justice 3
► Culinary Arts 4

► Early Childhood Education 4
► Earth & Space Science 4
► Health Science/Careers 3
► Photography 2
► Psychology 1
► Sports & Entertainment Marketing 3
► Sports Medicine 2
► Video/Graphic Production 4

1 Currently available at EPHS
2 Available at EPHS starting in 2019-20
3 Will be available at EPHS after 2019-20
4 Available off campus for EPHS students starting in 2019-2020


MODERATE INTEREST COURSES

The courses listed below finished in the top 20 for one student group and top 35 overall.

► Acting/Drama 2
► AP Computer Science A 3
► AP Computer Science Principles 1
► AP Government 1
► Automotive Repair 4
► Business Law 3
► Business Principles 1
► Computer Applications 3
► Computer Programming 3
► Construction 4

► Creative Writing 1
► Engineering (Introduction, Principles, & Design) 3
► Entrepreneurship 1
► Financial Math 2
► Journalism 2
► Music Classes (Band) 1
► Music Classes (Vocal) 1
► Sociology 1
► Speech/Debate/Communication 1

1 Currently available at EPHS
2 Available at EPHS starting in 2019-20
3 Will be available at EPHS after 2019-20
4 Available off campus for EPHS students starting in 2019-2020


LIMITED INTEREST COURSES

The courses listed below finished in the bottom 10 courses of interest overall.

► Accounting 1
► Agricultural Science 4
► AP Environmental Science 3
► AP Music Theory 3
► Drafting & Design/CAD 4

► Economics 3
► Horticulture 4
► Manufacturing (Introduction) 4
► Nutrition & Wellness 3
► Statistics 1

1 Currently available at EPHS
2 Available at EPHS starting in 2019-20
3 Will be available at EPHS after 2019-20
4 Available off campus for EPHS students starting in 2019-2020