Transitional English Course
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. Taught by high school teachers with professional development from Illinois Central College, the course covers content competencies in Reading, Critical Thinking and Analysis, and Writing.
Each course builds upon a theme and is organized around six integrated writing sequences:
- Sequence 1: Diagnostic and Writing Basics
- Sequence 2: Narrative Essay
- Sequence 3: Expository Essay
- Sequence 4: Argumentative Essay with Research
- Sequence 5: Persuasive Essay with Research
- Sequence 6: Course Reflection Essay
Transitional English courses do not earn college credit. Passing with 70% or higher guarantees placement in courses requiring an Accuplacer reading score at Illinois Central College until 2023, and at all Illinois community colleges and some universities after.
The deadline for signed Partnership Agreements between Illinois Central College and the high school is March 1 for the following academic year.
Partnership High Schools
- Peoria High School
- Fieldcrest High School
- Washington Community High School
- Illini Central High School
- Roanoke-Benson High School
- Limestone Community High School
- Henry-Senachwine High School
- Illini Bluffs High School
- Manual High School
- Peoria Heights High School
- Richwoods High School
For more information about the course or partner with Illinois Central College to offer the course at your high school, contact Melissa Grunow, associate professor of English and Transitional English Course Coordinator, at [email protected].
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Transitional English?
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.
What are the course competencies?
Statewide Transitional English Course Parameters and Competencies, view the document.
Who is eligible for the Transitional English course?
High school seniors who have completed three years of prior English courses.
Are high schools required to offer this course?
The use of Transitional English courses is on a voluntary basis for school districts. It can be offered as a new course or through the transformation of an existing English 4 course.
Do students get college credit for taking this course?
No. Transitional English is a college- and workforce preparation course. The course can be used as a fourth-year Language Arts class to meet State and local high school graduation requirements.
What is the benefit of taking this course?
Students who successfully complete the course with a “C” (70%) or better both semesters meet the placement requirements to enroll in transfer-level college courses that require a minimum reading score.
What is the content of this course?
Transitional English is a reading- and writing-intensive course. Reading texts are primarily non-fiction centered around a theme selected by the teacher. Throughout the course, students will draft and revise multiple essays that provide them with the opportunity to increase their understanding of and ability to make appropriate choices within various rhetorical contexts. Essay assignments include a diagnostic essay, narrative essay, expository essay, argumentative essay with research, persuasive essay with research, and course reflection essay.
Can students who pass with a “C” or better use the college-level placement at any college or university or just ICC?
ICC is in the process of applying for statewide portability. ICC and participating schools will submit their portability applications October 1, 2023. Once granted portability, the Transitional English course can be used as a reading score placement at any community college and participating university in the State of Illinois. Portability is retroactive, so schools offering the course during the 2023-2024 academic year whose applications are approved will receive portability that year. Portability application is required by the State and agreed upon in the MOU between ICC and the high school.
Is this class offered during one semester or a full school year?
The course is offered for a full year as mandated by the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Community College Board, and the Illinois Board of Higher Education.
Our high school wants to meet the College and Career Readiness Indicator under the Illinois State Board of Education. How does Transitional English fit into that framework?
The state’s accountability system includes a College and Career Readiness Indicator (CCRI) as one of the multiple measures of how well a high school serves its students. Illinois has a goal of 90 percent or more of high school students will be college and career ready by 2032. Transitional English is one of the measures for CCRI Career Pathway Endorsements under the Postsecondary Workforce Act and is one of the ELA Academic Indicator options for students in their senior year.
How long is the course valid for placement into college-level English?
Placement is guaranteed up to three years after the date of the student’s high school graduation date.
Who can teach this course?
Any teacher who is credentialed to teach high school English is qualified to teach this course. All Transitional English teachers are required to participate in curriculum training and professional development provided by ICC, which takes place on the first Monday in June every year.
What kind of support does Illinois Central College provide to participating schools?
ICC provides professional development for high school teachers who will teach the course. This training includes a comprehensive Teacher’s Guide that contains curriculum content and assessment procedures as well as guidance on how to complete the materials to apply for portability. Finally, teachers receive ongoing support throughout the school year to assist with course facilitation and assessment.
What if my teacher cannot attend the training? Can he/she just get the materials from someone else? Could I send another teacher from my school in his/her place?
No. Only teachers who have completed the training in-person can teach the course as required by the State and the participating school’s agreement with Illinois Central College. The materials provided during the training and in the Teacher’s Guide are intellectual property and cannot be shared with schools or individuals not participating in the program.
I want to offer the course at my school. What should I do?
Contact Melissa Grunow, associate professor of English and Transitional English Course Coordinator, at [email protected]. Signed MOUs for 2023-2024 are due April 15, 2023. Thereafter, signed MOUs will be due March 1 for the following academic year.