Strategic Plan Summary

Moving toward goals for better health science coordination

Student success depends on partnering with education and the private sector, and the Health Science Learning Exchange (HSLE) is committed to improving how public and private investment is coordinated across the health science sector in Illinois.

Since January 2013, the HSLE has focused on expanding membership, building technical support, and expanding physical resources with education and industry partners to create an infrastructure that can enhance coordination on student college and career development. The ultimate goal and vision of the HSLE is to support the development of a health science workforce that can be competitive and successful in tomorrow’s economy.


DEVELOP A SPEAKERS BUREAU—As part of the commitment to supporting career exploration, HSLE has begun developing a Speakers Bureau database. This resource allows students live, virtual access to experts in the field, both in the classroom and as part of their personal career exploration. The HSLE is working with schools to consolidate and add to the existing library on career exploration and to ensure that access to this technology is broad enough that all students are able to use this resource.

SUPPORT STUDENT CHALLENGES, FACULTY MENTORSHIP, AND ACCESS TO EQUIPMENT AND LABS—The HSLE has established a relationship with the Illinois Junior Academy of Science (IJAS) based on a collective interest in supporting an environment where students can present their research projects at regional and statewide competitions. In the 2013-2014 school year, the HSLE piloted this partnership through the Aurora and Chicago Public Schools because of both districts’ active involvement in the planning process and their capacity to immediately take advantage of this effort.

CREATE AN OUT-OF-THE-BOX CURRICULUM AND LESSON PLANS—The HSLE has worked with high-school representatives across the state and in Aurora, Rockford, and Chicago Public School districts to discuss anticipated curriculum needs. These conversations revealed that basic foundational support is needed in order to offer up-to-date curriculum informed by educators at the university level as well as representatives from the health sciences industry. The HLSE is thus exploring some “out-of-the-box” curriculum and lesson plans, as well as pursuing funding for a curriculum designer/manager to work with schools to improve their existing curricula and lesson plans. Priority is given to courses based on the work of the Illinois State Board of Education and the Pathways Resource Center.


DELIVER RESOURCES AND SUPPORTS FOR LOCAL PATHWAY SYSTEMS—A long-term priority for the HSLE is helping provide the tools and supportive services schools need to successfully educate students in the health sciences:
      • Increased access to technology: Working with industry partners, the HSLE will change the way students learn about health science technology by increasing access to and knowledge about technological skills students need to succeed in these fields.
      • Teacher development: Working with education and industry partners, the HSLE will heighten opportunities for teachers to develop their own skills, empowering them to create meaningful class-time connections for students.
      • Personalized education: By helping schools find the tools and resources that work for them, the HSLE will support better educational planning for students.
      • Better access to classrooms, equipment, and e-Learning opportunities: Because many schools don’t have immediate access to labs, health science classrooms, and e-Learning resources, the HSLE will work with individual schools to provide access to health science-related resources. This will allow schools to expand their health science curricula in meaningful ways.

EXPAND QUALITY WORK-BASED LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES—Partnering with industry leaders, the HSLE will provide real-time information on internships, work-based learning opportunities, and student challenges that empower students to have meaningful work-based experiences that will support their career development.

ANALYZE PATHWAY PERFORMANCE: Working with industry, education, and community stakeholders, the HSLE will monitor and adapt the pathway models to suit local community needs.