Individualized Learning Plans How-to Guide – Section I, Career Planning & Management, Career Info Systems

ILPs as an Integral Part of Electronic Career Information Systems

Keeping track of students’ ILP development given the wide range of curriculum options can be a daunting task if schools are using paper-based career portfolios.  In order to manage the challenge of effectively organizing, storing, and managing the ever expanding and evolving quantity of personal exploration and planning information, many schools have moved to using online career information systems that incorporate an ILP as an electronic portfolio (i.e., e-portfolio). 

ILPs in an online format make it easier to monitor student progress and allow students to access their materials both during school and after-school. An added advantage of the online ILP format is the ability to integrate the use of student information systems in ways that can link ILP engagement to key academic outcomes.  In time, states can also link these ILP engagement indicators to state longitudinal data systems in order to evaluate the impact of students’ participation in ILPs on post-secondary matriculation rates and employment outcomes. 

There are a number of commercial vendors that offer ePortfolio ILPs, such as Bridges, CareerLocker, Career Cruising, IntoCareers, Kuder, and others.  Many of these online career information systems automatically store assessment results, favorite occupations, and college opportunities (See Section IV).  Many systems also offer features for creating and storing resumes, cover letters, and other job search resources.

More recently, a line of electronic systems have emerged that also track student’s college preparation efforts (See Section IV). Commercial vendors such as ConnectEdu and Naviance offer the capacity for an individual to track college and financial aid application efforts.  ConnectEdu has the added benefit of incorporating a career information system within the college planning and management system. This makes it useful for both college and non-college bound students.  The Universal Encouragement Program (UEP) is an open access system that provides many of these features as well.

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