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Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Division of Adult Education and Literacy

STAR Partner Login

Illinois

Contact and lead agency

Jennifer Foster, Illinois Community College Board

401 East Capitol Avenue
Springfield, IL 62701-1711

Phone: 217-785-0171
Fax: 217-558-6700
Email: jennifer.foster@illinois.gov

Professional development system

The Illinois Community College Board’s Service Center Network (SCN), led by the State Professional Developer, features three regional centers that focus on professional development, primarily for instructors, but include administrators and support staff for selected state initiatives. These centers are:

STAR implementation

Illinois selected 10 programs to participate in the national STAR pilot. Each site was encouraged to have at least two teachers participate to allow for peer collaboration. The teachers had varying backgrounds, with many having no prior experience in reading instruction. To further support learning and implementation, program administrators (directors/coordinators) attended the three nationally-sponsored STAR workshops along with their teachers. Approximately 20 teachers and 10 administrators, the State Professional Developer, Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) regional consultants, and SCN reading specialists attended these workshops.

Working with the State Professional Developer, the SCN provided a statewide STAR pilot booster training to augment the three nationally-sponsored workshops. In addition, STAR site-based technical assistance was instituted regionally to help the pilot sites implement what they had learned during workshops.

STAR is expanding throughout Illinois. During each project year, two to four STAR Institutes have been held.

In addition to the original 10 pilots, 36 more programs teams have attended STAR Institutes. These programs represent the different adult education service providers in Illinois, the community colleges, public school districts, regional offices of education, community-based organizations and libraries. More than 200 administrators, instructors, and support staff have attended STAR training.

The Illinois STAR initiative

In recognizing the value of STAR and its expansion beyond the pilot’s original 10 programs, the ICCB launched a statewide STAR Initiative. The SCN was asked to coordinate this initiative, which included marketing and outreach of STAR, delivering the STAR Institutes for program teams, and site-based technical assistance.

Outreach and awareness

STAR-related sessions have been presented at the statewide administrators’ meetings, regional fall and statewide conferences, and other regional meetings. In addition to providing an overview of STAR, presentations explain the team approach to training; the programmatic structures and policies essential to implement the practices outlined in STAR; and an overview of evidence-based reading instruction.

Illinois STAR professional development

Illinois has three STAR certified trainers.

Illinois STAR professional development includes:

  • Prior to attending the STAR Institute, programs complete a Program Profile Form (to outline current programmatic structures and policies) and list the members of their program team of administrators, teachers, and support staff who will attend STAR training and implement STAR back at their site.
  • The national STAR Institutes are six days of workshops that are held either on-site for one program’s team or at regional locations for two or more program teams.
  • Individualized, site-based technical assistance (TA). TA is delivered through facilitated inquiry to identify problems and problem-solving strategies. Site-based TA may involve the whole program team or selected members. This may include phone conferences, emails, classroom observations and follow-up discussions, demonstrations (e.g., administering diagnostic reading assessments), etc. The SCN is looking into interactive, online platforms that can also be used for TA.
  • In FY11, the SCN is piloting a STAR Provider Group in northern Illinois. This peer support group will be facilitated by a STAR certified trainer. Teachers from STAR programs will be invited to attend this informal forum to share their instructional successes and challenges in the classroom. Meeting topics will be identified by the group. Facilitators will bring information and resources to the meetings as needed.