PM 21-02-07: Vocational Training

WAG 21-02-07

revised textVocational Training prepares the client for a specific type of work. The program may be offered by a public community college, public or private university, or private business/technical school. The program usually results in the receipt of a Certificate of Achievement or Completion and/or prepares the client to obtain a license. If the program results in an Associate or Bachelor's Degree, see PM 21-02-08.

Allow one hour of study time for each hour of class time when figuring participation hours. 

Who may participate in the activity: 

A client may participate in Vocational Training when:

  1. The program is accredited under requirements of Illinois law.
  2. The client needs additional training to qualify for employment which will make the family self-supporting. For employed clients, the program must result in an increase in the client's earnings upon completion.

    When the client has an Associate degree, license, or certificate, do not approve training unless, due to a change in the economy or occupation, there are no jobs available in the client's field. If the client has a Bachelor's degree, do not approve further training. 

  3. The client has a high school diploma or GED, if required for training or employment in the chosen field. If the client has not completed high school, co-enrollment in Basic Education and Vocational Training is encouraged.
  4. The client has the ability and interest needed for success in the program. This is determined by test results, educational/training background, and talking to the client.
  5. The client must be enrolled full-time, as defined by the school, or as many hours as practical for the family situation. Proof of participation (i.e., attendance statements, educational records and reports) must be provided monthly or more often if requested.
  6. The client's program is needed for employment in a recognized occupation.
  7. Jobs are available in the chosen field in the area where the client intends to work. Use published job market data, such as Horizons, to determine availability.
  8. When 2 or more programs are available, the client's program is the least costly in supportive services or takes less time to complete.
  9. The client must apply for all available educational benefits, such as the Pell grant and scholarships from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. They must also apply for any scholarship or grants identified by the education or training facility. Application for educational loans is optional.

What the activity requires:

  1. The client must maintain satisfactory progress as defined and reported by the educational facility. The client must keep a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of C or above if the school issues grades.

    If the client's GPA falls below a C in an academic term, the client must improve to a cumulative GPA of C or above by the end of the next academic term. They may have more than one academic term below a C average during enrollment as long as the terms are not consecutive.

    When grades are not used, satisfactory progress is determined by the written policy of the school.

    Proof of satisfactory progress must be provided at the end of each term, or twice a year if the program continues for 12 months. The client is responsible for submitting the progress report unless it is submitted by the school. 

  2. Proof of participation (i.e., attendance statements, educational records and reports) must be provided monthly or more often if requested.

    The client must participate the assigned number of hours each week unless special circumstances prevent the client from doing so. 

  3. The client must complete all scheduled program hours each academic term to maintain satisfactory progress, except in the following situation.

    If the client withdraws from one or more scheduled courses during an academic term, they must complete all scheduled hours during the next academic term. The client may withdraw from one or more scheduled classes in more than one academic term if they are not consecutive terms. 

  4. Curriculum changes must be consistent with the Responsibility and Services Plan.

Work requirement after 12 months of participation:

Most Vocational Training programs are completed within 12 months. To encourage successful completion, there is no additional work requirement during the first 12 months of participation in the program.

After 12 months, the client may continue in the program, but they must also be employed, or be engaged in a work activity. The work requirement may be met through participation in Employment, Self-Employment, Work Experience, Work-First, Community Service, or Job Search/Job Readiness.

Paid work-study is considered Employment. 

Approve unpaid activities which are required by the institution to complete the educational program as Work Experience. Examples of unpaid activities include practicums, clinicals, externships, or internships such as student teaching.

The work requirement and how to include it in the RSP, depends on the type of case as shown in the table below.

Type of case: Participation Target Minimum Core Requirement Work Requirement RSP Guidance

One Work-Eligible

child under 6

20 hours 20 hours 10 hours

Approve up to 10 hours in Vocational Training; and

Add at least 10 hours in a different Core activity (not Bachelor/Assoc Degree Program).

One Work-Eligible

child 6 or older

30 hours 20 hours 20 hours

Approve up to 10 hours in Vocational Training; or

Approve the vocational program as Job Skills; and  

Add at least 20 hours in a different Core activity (not Bachelor/Assoc Degree Program).  

Two Work-Eligible 35 hours 30 hours 20 hours

Approve up to 15 hours in Vocational Training; and

Add at least 20 hours in a different Core activity (not Bachelor/Assoc Degree Program).