Individualized Learning Plans How-to Guide—Appendix



[Note: Definitions without citations were developed by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth)]


Apprenticeship is a system of training that combines learning about theory in classrooms with practical “hands-on” learning on-the-job at the worksite, so that apprentices know not only how a given task is performed, but why it is done that way.  Apprenticeship training provides learners with opportunities to combine learning and earning.  In the United States, apprenticeship is primarily financed, sponsored, and administered by the private sector.  (George H.  Bliss III (Director of Training, United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the U.S. and Canada), American Apprenticeship: An Enduring System Adapting to Change.  Washington DC: Conference Paper.  May 2000. Pp. 2-3).

Assessment refers to the process of analyzing information to make judgments about the skills and learning of individuals or groups.  In the context of career and workforce development, the purpose of assessment is to determine the capacity of people to effectively work on processes that deliver organizational value.  (Work-Based

Assessment also may be described as the initial step of information gathering and needs determination.  Assessing involves gathering information, identifying issues, and clarifying personal and environmental resources in relation to the issues.  Assessing/assessment helps individuals to increase self-awareness, understand their career development, establish work, learning and/or life balance goals, and provide a foundation for taking action.  (Canadian Career Development Foundation, Career Development: A Primer and Glossary.  Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Career Development Foundation.  2002.  Part B: Career Development Glossary – Alphabetical, pp.  9-18). 

Assistive Technology, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, refers to “any item, piece of equipment, or system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is commonly used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.” Assistive technology helps people with disabilities complete daily living tasks independently, assists them in communicating with other individuals, and provides access to education, employment, and recreation.

Blended Learning refers to the situation where a student takes classes, at least in part, at asupervised brick-and-mortar location away fromhome while also using, at least part of the time, an onlinedelivery system with some element of studentcontrol over time, place, path, and/or pace.  Blended Learning is sometimes identifiedas “hybrid learning.”(The Innosight Institute and the Charter School Growth Fund,[Michael Horn and Heather Staker].  The Rise of K-12 Blended Learning: Profiles of Emerging Models.  January 2011. White paper; As cited in “Education Daily,” May 27, 2011, page 3).

Career Assessment refers to a comprehensive process conducted over a period of time, involving a multi-disciplinary team with the purpose of identifying individual characteristics, education, training, and placement needs.  Such assessments provide educators and others with the basis for planning an individual’s school and career development program.  Career assessment may use both formal and informal methodologies and should provide the individual with insight into his or her vocational potential. (Leconte & Neubert, 1997).

Career Cluster refers to a grouping of occupations and broad industries based on commonalities. The 16 Career Clusters developed by the U.S Department of Education and the States provide an organizing tool for schools, small learning communities, academies and magnet schools.  (U.S. Department of Education, Career Clusters: Focusing Education on the Future).

Career Counseling refers to an individual or group process which emphasizes self-exploration and understanding, and facilitates persons to develop a satisfying and meaningful life/work direction as a basis to guide learning, work, and transition decisions, as well as to manage responses to changing work and learning environments over the lifespan.  (Canadian Career Development Foundation, Career Development: A Primer and Glossary.  Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Career Development Foundation.  2002.  Part B: Career Development Glossary – Alphabetical, pp.  9-18). 

Career Development is the lifelong process of managing learning, work, and transitions in order to move toward a personally determined and evolving preferred future.  (Canadian Career Development Foundation, Career Development: A Primer and Glossary.  Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Career Development Foundation.  2002.  Part B: Career Development Glossary – Alphabetical, pp.  9-18). 

Career Development Services refer to a wide range of programs and services provided in many different jurisdictions (i.e., education/government) and delivery settings (i.e., schools/community agencies/private practice settings) which have, as their purpose and objective, individuals gaining the  knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors to manage their learning, work, and transitions in self-directed and meaningful ways over their life-spans.  The nature/content of career development services fit “broadly” into the following:

  • Information-Based: Information-Based Services provide information related to learning and work.
  • Learning and Skills-Based: Learning and Skills-Based Services include information, but with a focus on learning to apply and evaluate information in personally relevant ways and develop skills to research and manage learning and work decisions and transitions over the lifespan.
  • Identity-Based: Identity-Based Services include and emphasize the importance of self awareness and understanding as a basis for learning and work decisions and the seeking of purposeful and meaningful ways in which each individual wants to contribute over the lifespan.
  • Change-Based: Change-Based Services include a problem solving focus on resolving issues/barriers, either personal or systemic, which are interfering with an individual or group’s capacity to effectively and optimally manage learning and work over the lifespan.

(Canadian Career Development Foundation, Career Development: A Primer and Glossary.  Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Career Development Foundation.  2002.  Part B: Career Development Glossary – Alphabetical, pp.  9-18). 

Career Exploration is the process by which a student examines different careers and career pathways – as fit their interests, skills, and abilities – and the education and training needed to attain them. (NCWD/Youth).

Career Information refers to information related to the world of work that can be useful in the process of career development, including educational, occupational and psycho-social information related to working (e.g., availability of training, the nature of work, the status of workers in different occupations).  (Canadian Career Development Foundation, Career Development: A Primer and Glossary.  Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Career Development Foundation.  2002.  Part B: Career Development Glossary – Alphabetical, pp.  9-18). 

Career Pathway is a coherent, articulated sequence of rigorous academic and career/technical courses, commencing in the ninth grade and leading to an associate degree, baccalaureate degree and beyond, an industry recognized certificate, and/or licensure.  The Career Pathway is developed, implemented, and maintained in partnership among secondary and postsecondary education, business, and employers.  (National Career Pathways Network).

Career Planning is the process of establishing career objectives and determining appropriate educational and developmental programs to further develop the skills required to achieve short- or long-term career objectives. (Human Resources – Glossary).

Career Readiness includes three major skill areas: core academic skills and the ability to apply those skills to concrete situations in order to function in the workplace and in routine daily activities; employability skills such as critical thinking and responsibility that are essential in any career; and technical, job-specific skills related to a particular career pathway.  (Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). What is “Career ready”? Alexandria, VA: ACTE. Definitions paper.  April 2011.  2 pp). 

Being ready for a career means that a high school graduate has the knowledge and skills needed to qualify for and succeed in the postsecondary job training and/or education necessary for their chosen career (i.e.  community college, technical/vocational program, apprenticeship or significant on-the-job training). (Achieve,Inc. What is College- and Career-Ready? Fact Sheet. 1p.).

Certification is the process of documenting the competence of an individual who meets predetermined qualifications or performance standards of an industry group, agency, or association.  It is essentially the documentation of the results of an assessment process and is affirmed through the award of related credentials.  Certifications are commonly sponsored and administered by industry trade organizations and are voluntary for an individual to acquire in conjunction with a designated role, trade, occupation, or profession.  Certification is required for some kinds of legal licensure.  (XPAND Corporation [Butler, Mark and Osman, David].  Selecting the Right Industry Skill Certifications.  XPAND Corporation: Reston, VA.  February 2007. Selected Definitions; p. A-1 & A-2).

College Readiness means that a student is prepared for any postsecondary education or training experience, including study at two- and four-year institutions leading to a postsecondary credential (i.e. a certificate, license, Associate’s or Bachelor's degree).  Being ready for college means that a high school graduate has the knowledge and skills necessary to qualify for and succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing college courses without the need for remedial coursework.  (Achieve,Inc. What is College- and Career-Ready? Fact Sheet. 1 page). 

ACT, among others, has developed and published benchmark standards for determining college readiness in five academic areas. (ACT. College Readiness Standards for EXPLORE, PLAN, and the ACT.  Iowa City, IA: ACT. 2010. 36 pp). 

Co-op Education refers to “Cooperative Education” and is a program that integrates work experience in a student's field along with academic studies.  The term reflects the cooperative relationship between students, schools and employers that allows students to alternate periods of study with periods of employment.  (Canadian Career Development Foundation, Career Development: A Primer and Glossary.  Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Career Development Foundation.  2002.  Part B: Career Development Glossary – Alphabetical, pp.  9-18).

Co-op Education programs normally provide academic credit to student participants.  (NCWD/Youth, 2011).

Credentialing refers to the granting of a diploma or other certificate in recognition that an individual has completed a defined body of work that is required for employment in certain occupations or professions (or for legal licensure); e.g. professional skill certificates issued by professional associations that may be based on work experience and/or test results.  For example, licensure may be based on successful completion of program that grants certification, which signifies mastery of defined objectives. (Achieve,Inc. [Muller, Robert D.  and Beatty, Alexandra].  Measures That Matter – Work-readiness Certification and Industry Credentials: What Do State High School Policy Makers Need To Know?  2009.  Measures That Matter Series. Definitions, p. 4). 

eLearning refersto the use of interactive electronic technology (e.g.  Internet, CD-ROM) in developing learners’ knowledge and skills.  (Work-Based - Glossary).

Employability refers to having the capability to gain initial employment, maintain employment and obtain new employment if required.  For the individual employability depends on: their assets in terms of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they possess; the way they use and deploy those assets; the way they present them to employers; and, crucially, the context (e.g., personal circumstances and labor market environment) within which they seek work. (Institute for Employment Studies, UK [Hillage, J.  Pollard]. Employability: Developing a Framework for Policy Analysis.  United Kingdom: Department for Education and Employment.  November 1998. p.1).

Employability Skills are skills that enable people to perform tasks required by their work, paid and unpaid; provide a foundation to learn other skills; and enhance the ability to adapt to workplace change. (Canadian Career Development Foundation, Career Development: A Primer and Glossary.  Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Career Development Foundation.  2002. Part B: Career Development Glossary – Alphabetical, pp. 9-18). 

Internship/Externship refers to a temporary, project-oriented, supervised, on-the-job learning experience in which an intern has specific learning goals.  Internships and Externships may be paid or unpaid, and normally result in academic credit. (NCWD/Youth, 2011).

Interpersonal Skills refers to theability to communicate with another individual or group on a social or professional basis.  Level of aptitude is based on the ease and comfort of all parties involved. (NCWD/Youth,June 2004. Glossary, pp. 22-23.)

Job Shadowing is a work experience option where students learn about a job by walking through the work day as a shadow to a competent worker.  The job shadowing work experience is a temporary, unpaid exposure to the workplace in an occupational area of interest to the student.  Students witness firsthand the work environment, employability and occupational skills in practice, the value of professional training, and potential career options.  Job shadowing is designed to increase career awareness, help model student behavior through examples and reinforce in the student the link between classroom learning and work requirements.  Almost any workplace is a potential job shadowing site.  Job shadowing is limited in that it allows students to observe only; direct work experience, responsibility, and skills are not acquired.  (Paris and Mason, 1995.)  (Paris, K., & Mason, S.  Planning and implementing youth apprenticeship and work-based learning.  Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, Center on Education and Work.  1995.  p. 47). 

Labor Market Information (LMI) refers to data on economic activities that describes the relationship between labor demand and supply.  Specifically, it can include the number of people employed, the wages they are earning, their occupations, the location of their workplace in relation to where they live, the number of people available to work in a given area, and the occupations that will be in demand in the future. (Kansas Department of Labor, Labor Market Information).

Labor Market Information (LMI) research and analysis is concerned with the nominal market in which workers find paying work, employers find willing workers, and wage rates are determined.  Labor markets may be local or national (even international) in their scope and are made up of smaller, interacting labor markets for different qualifications, skills, and geographical locations.  They depend on exchange of information between employers and job seekers about wage rates, conditions of employment, level of competition, and job location.  (Business

Licensure refers to the granting of permission to practice a particular occupation or profession, usually by a state (though often the process is operated by a professional accreditation board).  States/legal licensing bodies often rely on the credentialing developed by professional associations— usually requiring passage of a test plus specified experience. (Achieve,Inc. [Muller, Robert D.  and Beatty, Alexandra].  Measures That Matter – Work-readiness Certification and Industry Credentials: What Do State High School Policy Makers Need To Know?  2009.  Measures That Matter Series. Definitions: p. 4). 

Mentoring refers to a learning partnership between a more experienced and less experienced individual.  (Eby, Rhodes and Allen, 2007).  Mentoring involves a trusting relationship, formalized into a program of structured activities, which brings young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support, and encouragement aimed at developing the competence and character of the mentee.  (NCWD/Youth HS/HT Glossary of Terms, pp. 11-1 to 11-4). 

Occupation refers to aset of activities or tasks that employees are paid to perform.  Employees that perform essentially the same tasks are in the same occupation, whether or not they work in the same industry.  Some occupations are concentrated in a few particular industries; other occupations are found in many industries.  (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Glossary).

On-the-Job Training (OJT) refers to human resource development or ongoing training for workers on the job.  It includes ongoing staff development in business and can cover everything from literacy training to management training.  Most training programs fit into one of the following general types of training activity: technical skills training; organizational skills training; or basic skills training.  (Career Development: A Primer and Glossary.  Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Career Development Foundation.  2002.  Part B: Career Development Glossary – Alphabetical, pp.  9-18). 

Open Source refers generally to information or material that is freely available for use or modification by users.  This term originated within the information technology (IT) software development industry in the late 1990’s.  The software development organization Open Source Initiative (OSI) has trademarked the term “Open Source” with its definition principally directed to understandings concerning the available distribution and use of IT software.  (NCWD/Youth, August, 2011).

Resiliency refers to the ability and wherewithal to recover from adverse situations through having learned how to avoid such situations in the future and how to maintain a positive way of coping.  (NCWD/Youth, June 2004. Glossary, pp.  22-23).

Sector is a term that refers to a grouping of industries or occupations that share certain common characteristics.  (NCWD/Youth, 2011).

Self-Knowledge is the ability to realistically recognize and gauge one’s own skills, tastes, capabilities, needs, etc. (NCWD/Youth,June 2004. Glossary, pp.  22-23).

Service-Learning is amethod by which students learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully organized service experiences that meet actual community needs and that are coordinated in collaboration with the school and community; that is integrated into the students' academic curriculum, or provides structured time for a student to think, talk, or write about what the student did and saw during the actual service activity; that provides students with opportunities to use newly acquired skills and knowledge in real-life situations in their own communities; and that enhances what is taught in school by extending student learning beyond the classroom and into the community; and helps to foster the development of a sense of caring for others. (National and Community Service Act of 1990).

Soft Skills refers to skills other than technical skills and basic knowledge that are valued by employers in the workplace.  These include behaviors such as good work habits and attitudes, dressing appropriately, the ability to communicate and get along with others, and the ability to work in teams. (NCWD/Youth 2007. Chapter 11: HS/HT Glossary of Terms, pp. 11-1 to 11-4).

Soft Skills are sometimes referred to as employability skills, and include personal management skills, interpersonal skills, and leadership skills.  These are qualitative skills that relate to a person's ability to interact with customers and employees. (Work-Based

Supports are ongoing relationships through which young people become connected to others and to community resources.  Supports can be motivational, emotional, and strategic.  The supports can take many different forms, but they must be affirming, respectful, and ongoing.  The supports are most powerful when they are offered by a variety of people, such as parents and close relatives, community social networks, teachers, youth workers, employers, health providers, and peers who are involved in the lives of young people (Center for Youth Development and Policy Research, 1996).

Universal Design (UD) is a strategy for making products, environments, operational systems, and services welcoming and usable to the most diverse range of people possible.  Its key principles are simplicity, flexibility and efficiency.  Most people benefit from UD on a daily basis whether they recognize it or not.  Originally developed in response to the needs of the aging population and people with disabilities, UD has much broader applicability.  It increases ease of access to products, places and services for multiple, diverse populations.  Using UD means that facilities, programs, and services take into account the broad range of abilities, ages, reading levels, learning styles, languages, and cultures in their diverse workforce and customer base.  (USDOL, Office of Disability Policy. ODEP Disability Employment Policy Resources by Topic – Universal Design).

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is defined by the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) as a framework for designing education environments that enable all learners to gain knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for learning.  UDL is accomplished by simultaneously reducing barriers to the curriculum and providing rich supports for learning.  UDL involves providing multiple and flexible methods of presentation, means of expression, and means of engagement.

 Universal Design for the Workforce Development System (UD4WDS) refers to the design of environments, products, and communication practices, as well as the delivery of programs, services, and activities to benefit the greatest number of people served by the workforce development system. (NCWD/Youth: HS/HT Glossary of Terms, pp. 11-1 to 11-4)

Validation is a process.  It uses objective evidence to confirm that the requirements which define an intended use or application have been met.  Whenever all requirements have been met, a validated statusis achieved.  The process of validation can be carried out under realistic use conditions or within a simulated use environment.  In the context of this standard (as used for business and industry quality assurance), the term validation is used in at least two different situations: design and development and production and service provision. 

Design and development validationsuse objective evidence to confirm that products meet the requirements which define their intended use or application.  Production and service provision processes must be validated whenever process outputs cannot be measured, monitored, or verified until after the product is in use or the service has been delivered (by then it’s too late to do anything about output deficiencies and defects).  In this case, validations use objective evidence to confirm that production and service provision processes are capable of producing planned results.  (ISO 9000, 9001 and 9004 Quality Management Definitions).

Work-Based Learning (WBL) refers to an individual’s acquisition and construction of knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to obtain, maintain, and increase meaningful employment. (Work-Based

Work-Based Learning gives students the opportunity to learn a variety of skills by expanding the walls of classroom learning to include the community.  By narrowing the gap between theory and practice, Work-Based Learning creates meaning for students.  WBL provides opportunities for students to learn a variety of skills through rigorous academic preparation with hands-on career development experiences.  Under the guidance of adult mentors, students learn to work in teams, solve problems, and meet employers’ expectations. (Utah Office of Education, Career and Technical Education).

Youth Development refers to a process that prepares young people to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood through a coordinated, progressive series of activities and experiences that help them to become socially, morally, emotionally, physically, and cognitively competent.  Youth development spans five basic developmental areas in which all young people need to learn and grow: learning, connecting, thriving, working and leading:

  • Learning — The area of development that focuses on developing positive basic and applied academic attitudes, skills, and behaviors (Ferber, Pittman, & Marshall, 2002).
  • Connecting — The area of development that focuses on developing positive social behaviors, skills, and attitudes (Ferber, Pittman, & Marshall, 2002).
  • Thriving — The area of development that focuses on developing physically healthy attitudes, skills, and behaviors (Ferber, Pittman, & Marshall, 2002).
  • Working — The area of development focuses developing on positive attitudes, skills, and behaviors around vocational direction (Ferber, Pittman, & Marshall, 2002). 
  • Leading — The area of development that focuses on developing positive civic attitudes, skills, and behaviors (Ferber, Pittman, & Marshall, 2002).

Positive youth development addresses the broader developmental needs of youth, in contrast to deficit-based models that focus solely on youth problems (NCWD/Youth, June 2004. Glossary, pp.  22-23).

Youth Leadership refers to an internal and external process leading to (1) the ability to guide or direct others on a course of action, influence the opinion and behavior of other people, and show the way by going in advance, and (2) the ability to analyze one’s own strengths and weaknesses, set personal and vocational goals, and have the self-esteem to carry them out.  It includes the ability to identify community resources and use them, not only to live independently, but also to establish support networks to participate in community life and to effect positive social change It includes training in skills such as self-advocacy and conflict resolution; exposure to personal leadership and youth development activities, including community service, and opportunities that allow youth to exercise leadership and build self-esteem.  (NCWD/Youth  June 2004. Glossary, pp.  22-23; Wehmeyer, Agran & Hughes, 1998; Adolescent Employment Readiness Center, Children’s Hospital). 

Need help viewing a document? View our document help page.

Have a comment or suggestion in regard to our site? Please send us your feedback.