ILP helps students plan future

By Nola Sizemore nsizemore@civitasmedia.com

August 25, 2014

Demonstrating some aspects of the Individual Learning Plan (ILP), an online portfolio that enables students to develop and reflect on their academic, personal and career exploration activities and make plans for the future, Harlan Middle/High School counselor Candi Banks said this program is now available for Harlan Independent School students.

At a recent meeting of the Harlan Independent Board of Education, the newly-hired Banks, who will be heading up the ILP program, said it is fully integrated with the career cruising career guidance system.

“The ILP tool allows parents or guardians to view the information your child has stored in his or her ILP. It helps parents learn more about the careers and schools that your child is interested in,” said Banks. “The information entered by students for most sections of the ILP is read-only. Parents can view their child’s work, but cannot change it.”

She added assessments are used to help students identify career interests, skills, abilities and learning styles.

Banks said the program includes comprehensive college and financial aid information with search tools to help each student find the right college and the right scholarships for them individually.

Superintendent C.D. Morton said if you have waited until your student is a senior to look for scholarships, “you waited too late.”

“Some of these scholarship listings on the ILP start back in seventh grade with things you need to do,” said Harlan High principal Britt Lawson. “There are tons of money being given away that students are not tapping into. When we went to this training we really wanted to tap into this.”

Lawson said every student will receive an ILP when they are in sixth grade and it follows them through their senior year.

He said the ILP also includes job search preparation including developing a plan, networking, writing resumes and cover letters and preparing for interviews. He added a resume builder will help students create, format and print professional looking resumes.

“One of the best things on the ILP, besides the scholarships, is helping student determine what career they are interested in,” said Banks. “They learn a lot of information about themselves as well.”

Morton said Banks will be available to talk with students or parents about this program from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday.

“If students or parents are having trouble finding scholarship or getting information she will be available. She’s obviously available at other times as well to students,” said Morton. “So, just call and make an appointment. We can be very flexible with that to make her available to assist with this.”

Morton ended by saying he has asked Banks to post every scholarship that has come through Harlan Independent Schools on line to help students and parents.

“We have another link that will take students and parents to a database where they can search for the kind of scholarships they, as an individual, may want,” said Morton. “We want to help students as much as we can access these scholarships and help them get the information completed.”

Nola Sizemore may be reached at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @Nola_hde