Illinois Geographic Alliance Strategic Plan Goals and Objectives
The Illinois Geographic Alliance has established the goals and objectives described below for the time
period October 1, 2015, to November 1, 2020.
Goal 1: To relaunch and reorganize the IGA under the new leadership structure.
Objective 1.1: Review the existing IGA Articles of Operation and develop a new
organizational policies and procedures document for IGA.
Objective 1.2: Create IGA committees, select committee chairs, and seat committees
to work on specific projects and initiatives.
Goal 2: To Improve communications and visibility of IGA.
Objective 2.1: Develop and maintain an updated digital membership directory and
distribution system with contact information for all IGA members.
Objective 2.2: Develop a new e-Newsletter circulated to IGA members on a quarterly
basis. Explore the possibility of developing brief (1-2 page) specialized newsletters for
targeted IGA audiences (e.g., teachers, legislators, donors) on an annual or biannual
Objective 2.3: Increase the visibility of IGA on social media sites through the creation of
public profiles on popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Goal 3: To recruit new IGA members and increase membership.
Objective 3.1: Recruit pre-service and non-tenured K-12 teachers, informal educators,
and university faculty for membership in IGA through targeted recruiting and
mentoring activities by active IGA members and Steering Committee members.
Increase IGA membership from current membership numbers by 25% after Year 2, and
50% after Year 5.
Objective 3.2: Recruit teachers from related disciplines (e.g., environmental science,
history) with targeted recruiting events, and through promotion of the Illinois Online
Atlas of Illinois for K-12 Classroom and accompanying lesson plans.
Objective 3.3: Recruit members from professional organizations, non-for profit, and
other non-academia or state agencies beyond educational institutions through
conference exhibits and other opportunities.
Objective 3.4: Reach out to past IGA members to entice them to once again become
active in the organization.
Goal 4: To support K-12 geography teachers with resources and professional development
opportunities, including the continuation of already established workshops/events and
exploring the development of new workshops/events.
Objective 4.1: Schedule an official launch date for the IGA Illinois Online Atlas of Illinois
for K-12 Classroom for Fall 2015 with promotional announcements sent via e-mail to
Objective 4.2: Develop additional lesson plans and maps to expand content in the
Illinois Online Atlas of Illinois for K-12 Classroom.
Objective 4.3: Expand use of the Illinois Online Atlas of Illinois for K-12 Classroom by
increasing website page hits (as measured by Google Analytics) by 25% from current
level in Year 1, 50% in Year 2, and 100% in Year 3.
Objective 4.4: Develop and support projects to generate new teaching resources, such
as the recently initiated IGA AP Human Geography video project.
Objective 4.5: Work with pre-service college/university teaching students to develop
geography lessons for K-12 teachers that are consistent with the Illinois Learning
Standards. Pre-service teaching students will be recruited from geography teaching
methods courses in Illinois colleges and universities.
Objective 4.6: Support teacher professional development through workshops on
various geography-related topics (e.g., AP Human Geography, GIS). Hold at least one
AP Human Geography workshop/conference/event each year and at least one GIS
workshop/conference/event each year for teachers.
Objective 4.7: Develop a mentoring program for experienced teachers to share “best
practices” with junior teachers.
Objective 4.8: Develop specific teaching resources that will enhance geographic
education (e.g., lesson plan sharing, updating existing lesson plans that are already on
the IGA website, teacher field day activities, Geography Awareness Week events). This
will be accomplished through the creation of IGA working groups.
Objective 4.9: Support teachers in professional development by providing
opportunities to attend and present at geography-related conferences (e.g., IGS,
ILGISA, and NCGE). Aim to recruit and support at least two IGA member K-12 teachers
to attend and present at a local or national geography-related conference each year.
Objective 4.10: Increase participation in K-8 geography events such as the Illinois
Objective 4.11: Explore the development of an annual Geography Bowl for high school
students in coordination with IGA partners.
Objective 4.12: Expand Geography Awareness Week and Geography Night events at K-
12 schools throughout the state through supporting grants. Aim to award at least five
small grants each year to support Geography Awareness Week and Geography Night
Objective 4.13: Partner with neighboring state geographic alliances to coordinate joint
Objective 4.14: Support professional development opportunities and certifications for
K-12 teachers organized by our partners, such as the National Geographic Educator
Goal 5: To encourage and support the expansion of AP Human Geography and GIScience in
Objective 5.1: Continue to offer the annual Advanced Placement Human Geography
conference and increase overall attendance.
Objective 5.2: Continue to support GIS education for K-12 teachers by offering at least
one GIS workshop for teachers in the state each year.
Goal 6: To develop new collaborative partnerships with organizations in Illinois, and
strengthen existing partnerships.
Objective 6.1: Continue partnership with the Illinois Geographical Society (IGS), and
develop additional avenues of collaboration (e.g., IGS conference sessions for K-12
teachers sponsored by IGA).
Objective 6.2: Continue partnership with the Geographic Society of Chicago (GSC) (e.g.,
Geography Bee Reception), and develop additional avenues of collaboration.
Objective 6.3: Explore collaborations with the Illinois GIS Association (ILGISA), Illinois
Department of Education, Illinois Council of Social Studies (ICSS), Teaching with
Primary Sources Project (IL-TPS), Scientific State Surveys at the University of Illinois
Prairie Research Institute (Geology, Natural History, Water, Sustainable Technology
Center), IMPACT, and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program.
Objective 6.4: Develop additional partnerships with Geography Programs, including
student Geography Clubs, at other Illinois universities and colleges to create a broader
network of expertise for IGA.
Goal 7: To increase political advocacy to promote geography education in Illinois K-12
Objective 7.1: Develop a political advocacy plan.
Objective 7.2: Increase communications and contact with elected officials through an
annual visit to legislative offices in Springfield and invitations to policy-makers to
attend geography-related events (e.g., Geography Awareness Week events, Geography
Bee, GIS Day).
Goal 8: To create a stronger financial base, which will increase opportunities for IGA to
accomplish its goals and objectives.
Objective 8.1: Develop a fundraising plan.
Objective 8.2: Identify specific corporate sponsors in the state and develop
relationships for possible future fundraising activities.
Objective 8.3: Leverage fundraising training available from Illinois State University and
National Geographic Society.
Goal 9: To develop outreach activities/events aimed at increasing geography awareness
among the general populace of Illinois.
Objective 9.1: Develop one public outreach activity/event (e.g., radio segments on
local public radio stations) for Geography Awareness Week.
Objective 9.2: Explore additional public outreach opportunities to promote geography
through popular media outlets.
Objective 9.3: Complete required Alliance Network projects as instructed from
National Geographic Society (e.g., 2016 BioBlitz project) aimed at increasing general
Objective 9.4: Develop a bicentennial action plan (e.g., develop activities/events, seek
sponsors, public relations) for the 2018 Illinois Bicentennial.
Objective 9.5: Coordinate with state agencies and other NGOs in the planning of the
2018 Illinois Bicentennial.