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Supporting Local STEM Programs


Supporting Local P-20 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Programs of Study through Statewide Learning Exchanges.
STEM Learning Exchanges are a new, innovative public-private education partnership that is organized to support local implementation of P-20 STEM Programs of Study by coordinating and reducing the transaction cost among statewide networks of education partners, businesses, industry associations, labor organizations, and other organizations. Learning Exchanges are organized by career cluster and work to coordinate planning and investment, aggregate resources, and review talent supply-chain performance. 
Learning Exchanges provide a new infrastructure by voluntary association that helps coordinate investments at a statewide level to better connect and serve local programs in a similar career cluster while also tracking local and statewide performance. Compare the traditional Historic Funding Model (click below to enlarge) approach to the Systemic Funding Model approach advanced by the Illinois Pathways Initiative.
Also, each sector-based Learning Exchange is governed by a consortia of education, business and community partners with a specific entity serving as a fiscal agent to receive public investment. Learning Exchanges are required to have a state-approved strategic plan and have a state designation, but they operate as independent, voluntary public-private networks using the Illinois Pathways Initiative Governance Model.​
​STEM Learning Exchanges are funded through grants, see grant archives here.
Group Photo 


Nine Functions of Learning Exchanges 


The nine identified functions of the Learning Exchanges are identified below:

  1. Provide e-learning curriculum resources, including on-line courses, assessments and feedback systems, reference materials, databases, and software tools.
  2. Expand access to classroom and laboratory space, equipment, and related educational resources necessary to support programs of study through regional partnerships and other strategies.
  3. Support student organizations and their major activities, including conferences, internships and professional networking experiences, competitions, and community projects that build leadership, communication and interpersonal skills and provide professional and peer support networks.
  4. Provide internships and other work-based learning opportunities that connect students with adult mentors.
  5. STEM Learning Exchange Overview ImageSponsor challenges and project management resources for students to work in collaborative teams addressing real-world interdisciplinary problems.
  6. Provide professional development resources for teachers and school administrators integrated and aligned across middle school, high school, and community college instruction, including STEM externships, support for web-based networks, and integrated professional development for academic and CTE instructors.
  7. Provide career development and outreach resources to expand awareness of STEM-related programs and careers to K-12 students.
  8. Provide tools and resources to assist students and schools with implementing personalized education plans and transitions to post secondary academic and training programs, including establishing course articulation and dual credit opportunities.
  9. Review performance of STEM Programs of Study through assessments and work with school partners to continuously improve performance.

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