Transitional English

What is Transitional English?

The 2016 State of Illinois’s Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (PWR) Act includes a set of strategies to support Illinois students in their transition from high school to postsecondary education, workforce training and careers. One of the central initiatives of the PWR Act was to define competencies needed for high school students to avoid placement into remedial reading and communications courses in college (110 ILCS 148/70). Pursuant to this charge, a combined effort of high school and college instructors, school administrators and state officials developed a high school course called Transitional English.

Transitional English is a year-long course for high school seniors that aims to develop reading, critical thinking and analysis skills for success in college-level courses. A Transitional English course is developed through a partnership between a local school district and Lincoln Land Community College.

An overview of the Transitional English initiative and the course parameters, competencies and policies is provided in the Statewide Course Parameters, Competencies, and Policies document.

Partnership deadline

The deadline for Transitional English course submissions to the Local Advisory Panel (LAP) is Oct. 15 for the fall semester or March 15 for the spring semester. The required documentation must be submitted by the deadline for the course to be considered at the LAP’s fall or spring meeting.

The LAP requires the following documents for review:

  • TELA Syllabus
  • TELA Content Competencies Spreadsheet

Partnership high schools

  • Springfield School District 186
  • Rochester High School

More information

For more information about the Transitional English initiative, contact Laurenn York, LLCC’s Transitional English course coordinator and instructor of English.

Q: What is Transitional English?

A: The Illinois State Board of Education defines Transitional English as follows: Transitional English instruction builds on students’ experiential and academic knowledge to develop skills in reading, critical thinking and analysis, and writing that will enhance their success in college-level courses across majors and career pathways while aligning with the Illinois Learning Standards.

Q: What are the course competencies?

Transitional English courses include content competencies in the areas of reading, critical thinking and analysis, and writing, as well as process competencies in metacognition and essential skills. The Transitional English competencies and performance indicators are discussed within the Statewide Course Parameters, Competencies, and Policies document.

Q: Are high schools required to offer this course?

A: No. The use of Transitional English courses is on a voluntary basis for school districts. The course can be used as a fourth-year language arts class to meet state and local high school graduation requirements, either as a new course offering or through the transformation of an existing English 4 course.

Q: Do students get college credit for taking this course?

A: No. However, students who successfully complete an approved Transitional English course will receive placement into the appropriate courses at any Illinois community college as described in the Statewide Course Parameters, Competencies and Policies document.

Q: What resources should I reference to learn more about Transitional English?

A: EdSystems’ Transitional English Resources; the Statewide Course Parameters, Competencies and Policies document

Q: I want to offer the course at my school. What should I do?

A: Contact Laurenn York, instructor of English and Transitional English coordinator.