Illinois Student Advisory Council Launches Student Voices Microsite with ISBE

The Student Advisory Council (SAC), which provides feedback and insights to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), launched a new Student Voices microsite at www.isbe.net/studentvoices to create space for students statewide to ask and answer questions about preparing for their futures.

The microsite links to resources such as the Illinois Reality Check personal budgeting application, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission’s guide on paying for college, the Illinois PaCE: Postsecondary and Career Expectations framework, and ISBE’s resources for dealing with health topics such as bullying.

“The members of the State Board and I deeply appreciate the good work and leadership of the Student Advisory Council and the value their voices bring to the table,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The thoughtfulness they have put into this project shows just a small fraction of their contributions to ISBE and to their school communities. This new microsite provides a critical vehicle for including student voices in the conversation about improving workforce development and career pathways.”

The microsite originated from the SAC’s yearlong project on college and career preparation that they presented to the State Board at last week’s board meeting. The SAC identified post-high school readiness as a common source of stress for themselves and their peers.

“There’s not a single student unaffected by the overwhelming state of our current transition process,” said Neha Arun, a junior at Carterville High School and member of the Student Advisory Council. “School counselors are stretched so thin that students are not getting the one-on-one guidance they need. We hope the Student Voices website can help fill a gap in delivering resources and create space for students to express their shared worries and questions.”

The microsite provides opportunities for any student to share information and experiences with each other through questions, answers, photos, and quotes.

“A school’s culture and socioeconomic status often determine the types of information students receive,” said Kathleen Rock, a senior at Byron High School and member of the Student Advisory Council. “Increasing the availability of information about diverse options and ways to prepare can help decrease inequity across Illinois. We want to improve students’ abilities to choose and prepare for their next step after high school, whether technical education, service in the Armed Forces, or college.”

The members of the Student Advisory Council are a diverse group of active students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and teamwork abilities. Applications for the 2018-19 Student Advisory Council are available at www.isbe.net/studentadvisory.

View the full list of 2017-18 members, many of whom are available for comment, at www.isbe.net/Lists/News/NewsDisplay.aspx?ID=1125.