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Study Finds Increasing Number of High Schools Are Using Individual Learning Plans to Prepare Students for College and Career

Study Finds Increasing Number of High Schools Are Using Individual Learning Plans to Prepare Students for College and Career

A study from The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and edtech company Hobsons has found that many high schools are increasingly using individual learning plans (IPLs) to prepare students for college and career, but could use more training and support when it comes to implementation.

According to the report, “ILPs are personalized plans developed collaboratively by students and school personnel to set goals that help students focus on their academic and career futures and keep them on track toward these goals. ILPs are also known as Academic Achievement Plans, Personal Learning Plans, Personal Graduation Plans, or 4-Year Plans”

The report found that 29 states have mandated policies for using IPLs; even in states un-mandated to use IPLs, 40 percent did anyway.

More than half of the respondents studied implemented IPLs within the last five years, indicating that IPLs are an increasingly popular tool among high schools to facilitate college and career readiness.

But despite the increase in using IPLs to prepare students for the future, many respondents reported desiring more training and support to make the plans more effective.

“Survey respondents indicated a relative lack of involvement in ILP development, implementation, and evaluation among state- and district-level stakeholders, as well as among school administrators and personnel other than counselors,” the report said.

In fact, three-quarters of respondents said that tracking of IPL progress ended after high school, limiting the potential to track the effectiveness of using IPLs for student success.

Counselors surveyed said that the following would help improve IPL effectiveness:

  • whole-school buy in
  • improved access to technology
  • smaller caseloads

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

10/22/2015

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