District 187 Administration and NCCHS educators traveled to Springfield to be part of the 60 by 25 Network Conference: From Vision to Action. North Chicago was featured as one of five leadership communities for the work that has been done in the last three years surrounding Career Pathways development. In February of 2014, North Chicago Community High School decided that creating Career Pathways would allow students an opportunity to be more engaged in school and more ready to pursue post-secondary success. After evaluating regional workforce needs, it was determined that the three Career Pathways that would be best to offer were Healthcare, Information Technology and Engineering. Students wouldtake part in career exploration as Freshmen and then would self select a Pathway that best fit their career ambitions. NCCHS launched the Healthcare Careers Pathway (HCP) in August of 2014 with Rosalind Franklin University as a lead partner. We are currently in the second year of implementing this pathway. Classes in this pathway are geared towards career exploration, human body systems, medical skills, and improving basic skills, critical thinking and problem solving. In August of 2015, we launched the Information Technology Careers Pathway (ITCP) with DePaul University as a lead partner. The goal of this pathway is to prepare students for continuing education and careers related to technology and computing. We are utilizing the Project Lead the Way Computer Science Curriculum to ensure that students are prepared for careers and continuing education.
In August of 2016, we will launch the Engineering Careers Pathway (ECP). This pathway will rely on a partnership with Lake County Technology Campus to bring the Project Lead the Way Engineering curriculum to students. We will add a new cohort of Sophomores each year in each of the three pathways. We will then maintain the three cohorts each year with approximately 90 total students in each Pathway. This work was highlighted at the 60 by 25 conference as District 187 Administration and NCCHS educators teamed up to present at three different break out sessions at the conference. One of the highlights of the conference was the speech given by HCP Junior Elishua Johnson at the dinner on January 26th. Elishua shared with the attendees his plans to push himself to attend John Hopkins Medical School after college and ultimately become a neurosurgeon. Elishua then had a chance to meet Governor Rauner who also spoke at the dinner.