A high quality individualized learning plan is both a document and a process. The document/portfolio consists of an individual’s (a) course taking and postsecondary plans aligned to career goals; and (b) documentation of the range of college and career readiness skills he/she has developed including out-of-school learning experiences. As a process, ILPs provide individuals with personalized career development opportunities focused on developing their self-exploration, career exploration, and career planning and management skills that enables them to become aware of the relevance of academic preparation, work-based and other learning opportunities and the importance of completing a two- or four-year postsecondary credential, program or degree.
This definition is based on NCWD/Youth’s research (http://www.ncwd-youth.info/use-of-individualized-learning-plans) indicating that engaging in ILPs provides access to quality career guidance activities and connects both college and career readiness goals by helping all students create secondary and postsecondary course plans to pursue their career and life goals. The evidence indicated that students who become more competent in self-exploration, career exploration, and career planning and management are more motivated and confident learners, actively set goals, and record better academic outcomes (Solberg, Wills, Redmond & Skaff, 2014).