The Illinois PaCE Framework was developed with extensive input gathered from stakeholders and subject matter experts to provide guidance to students, families, and educators on what types of experiences and information a student should have in order to make the most informed decision about college and career planning beginning in 8th grade and through high school. The framework is organized around three key areas:
It’s recognized that high schools and communities provide a broad array of college and career readiness activities for students, but they are not always well documented and/or connected to other initiatives within a school, district, or community. The intent of the PaCE Framework is for it to be an organizing tool to help acknowledge and connect areas of success and identify those that may need additional attention or resources. The PaCE Framework was adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Board of Higher Education, Illinois Community College Board, and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission in July 2016.
Examples of activities schools could incorporate to address the three areas include:College Fair Visits
Mock Job Interviews
Career Interest Surveys
PaCE Student Checklist
PaCE + CCRI + CCPE Crosswalk
PaCE + CCRI + CCPE Frameworks
On PaCE to Thrive (PDF)
PaCE Flyer (PDF)
PaCE Support Request Form (PDF)
PaCE Webinar Recording March 22, 2017
Opportunities for employers to engage in supporting PaCE implementation (and college and career readiness in their communities) (PDF)
PaCE Crosswalk for Social Science and Social Emotional Learning Standards Organized by Grade Level (PDF)
PaCE Crosswalk for Social Science and Social Emotional Learning Standards Organized by Standards (PDF)
PaCE Training Opportunities
The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) continues to provide support to schools with the implementation of a PaCE Framework. ISAC’s PaCE support offerings include the PaCE Overview presentation as well as the PaCE Implementation Support series. All ISAC PaCE offerings are available free of charge upon request. Currently, all of ISAC’s support offerings are being conducted virtually.
ISAC’s Professional Development team presented a session on The Purpose of PaCE and Support for Schools during the 2021 College Changes Everything (CCE) Conference. This session discussed how a PaCE-aligned framework can provide flexibility, accountability, and sustainability and ISAC’s support offerings to help schools with the adoption and implementation of a PaCE framework. The session recording can be found on the College Changes Everything website along with other recordings from the conference.
PaCE Implementation Support
PaCE Implementation Support is a series of three, one-hour meetings, that take a school/district team through the implementation of a PaCE Framework. At each meeting, an ISAC staff member will review one of the three implementation worksheets with the school’s implementation team and answer any questions they may have. Upon completion of the implementation support, the implementation team will be equipped to implement their PaCE Framework.
The Pace Overview presentation provides an overview of the PWR Act, an in-depth explanation of the PaCE Framework, the steps involved with developing and implementing your own school or district-specific PaCE aligned framework, as well as available ISAC resources to assist with the development and implementation of your PaCE Framework. This session is recommended for those who would like to build a foundational understanding of the Illinois PaCE Framework.
The PWR Act establishes a voluntary system for school districts to award college and career pathways endorsements on high school diplomas. The endorsement will demonstrate students’ readiness for college and careers and completion of instruction and professional learning experiences in a selected career interest area, and incentivize career exploration and development, particularly in high-demand career fields. College and career pathway endorsements require an individualized learning plan, career-focused instruction, career exploration activities and 60 hours of internships or similar experiences. State agencies and employers are coordinating to identify minimum career competencies to incorporate into endorsement programs.
CCPE Technical & Employability Competencies
College and Career Pathway Endorsement Framework
State of Illinois Career Pathways Dictionary
Webinar: Illinois Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act Endorsement and Competencies Introduction
Webinar: Developing Pathways Using Industry-Aligned Competencies: Illinois Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act Endorsement Competencies in District 100
The Illinois State Board of Education invites interested districts to complete the voluntary process for school districts to award College and Career Pathway Endorsements (CCPE) to high school graduates. To offer the endorsements, districts must submit an application and a report of projected student participation. Visit isbe.net/Pages/College-and-Career-Pathway-Endorsement.aspx to learn more.
New Currency for Endorsements
A growing number of institutions are offering incentives to students who have earned a CCPE, to help attract high school students into the secondary to postsecondary pathways and increase college completion rates for these students.
Model Programs of Study
Download the eight published Model Programs of Study Guides at edsystemsniu.org/guides. Guides are available for the following sectors: Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources; Architecture, Construction, and Energy; Arts and Communications; Education; Finance and Business Services; Health Sciences and Technology; Information Technology; and Manufacturing and Engineering. Throughout the 2021-2022 school year, webinars will be offered for each of the Guides, including an overview and how regions are adopting the recommendations.
Pathways School Readiness Framework & Tracker
Education Systems Center at NIU is offering a free project management tool and accompanying tracker to support school districts, intermediary organizations, and school leaders develop action plans for implementing college and career pathways in a deliberate and sustainable manner. Learn more and download.
The 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. A major barrier to postsecondary persistence and completion is remedial education, with students enrolling in remedial courses completing approximately 13% less of their courses compared to non-remedial peers, and having substantially lower outcomes related to graduation rate, advancement rate, and credit accumulation. Many Illinois high school graduates require remedial courses in math, reading and communication courses. The State has established a statewide implementation systems for Transitional Math and has recently released Transitional English draft materials for review developed by a Transitional English Competency Development Group.
ISBE, ICCB, and IBHE, in consultation with the Statewide Portability Panel, have established criteria and procedures for approving Transitional English courses for statewide portability which are now available.
If a Transitional English course meets the statewide portability criteria and adheres to the Statewide Transitional English Course Parameters, Competencies, and Policies, a student who successfully completes the course with a C or better will receive guaranteed placement at any Illinois community college into the appropriate outcome course(s) upon successful completion of the course. The guaranteed placement will expire no less than three years from the date of the student’s high school graduation. Public and private universities may voluntarily agree to provide guaranteed placement into the outcome course(s). 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.
In 2018, the Transitional Math Implementation Plan was created through a collaborative effort by the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Community College Board, and the Illinois Board of Higher Education. ISBE understands that the pandemic created unique challenges and barriers to the implementation of transitional math programming for some school districts, and is pleased to share with you that the state-approved virtual course is under development for school districts to utilize in the fall of 2022. The current implementation plan is being updated to integrate more flexibility for implementation policies at the local level and make changes that are necessary due to the pandemic. School districts will be allowed additional time to implement transitional math so they will be in compliance with the law. The updated implementation plan will be released once details pertaining to the approved virtual course are finalized.
How are these courses different from typical math programs?
These transitional courses are one element of a comprehensive strategy to increase college and career readiness. The career-oriented courses are modeled after successful college and career readiness programs in high schools, like McHenry County College. Additionally, transitional math programs will be delivered through local secondary/postsecondary partnership agreements. The partnership agreements ensure that students receive curriculum on par with local colleges and enable students to develop familiarity with local colleges.
In contrast to an education model focused on “seat time” (the amount of time a child spends in a class), a Competency Based Education (CBE) allows students more flexibility to progress as they demonstrate mastery of concepts. The PWR Act establishes a pilot program for voluntary school district participation in moving from “seat time” graduation requirements to competency based high school graduation requirements. The Act includes a streamlined waiver process for pilot districts of laws and regulations that may restrict the competency based system’s implementation. The pilot is limited to 12 school districts per year in the first two years of implementation, and 15 school districts per year after.
Education Systems Center at NIU and Chicago Public Schools are pleased to announce the launch of the Chicago Equity-Centered Innovation Forum (CEIF). CEIF will promote models of student-centered personalized instruction, competency-based approaches, performance assessments, project-based learning, and other emerging innovations. It will identify, support, and amplify models for addressing systemic inequities that are unlikely to emerge from schools making more incremental changes. Learn more…
Fostering Relationships for Recovery: Lessons from a CBE Pilot School
Competency-based education means different things at different schools, but at Benito Juarez Community Academy, a Chicago neighborhood public high school, it means a focus on equity—and that means prioritizing social-emotional skills, or developmental/adaptive competencies, as well as academics. Keep reading…
Competencies focus more on what students know and are able to do rather than courses or seat time. CBE is one strategy under the larger approach of student centered education.
Student centered education tailors the supports to students’ needs based on the skills and the competencies the student has. This method aims to develop learner independence and autonomy by putting more responsibility in the student’s hands. Student centered education requires students to be active, accountable participants in their own learning and with their own pace of learning.
In contrast to an education model focused on “seat time” (the amount of time a child spends in a class) a student centered, competency based approach allows students more flexibility to progress as they demonstrate mastery of concepts. This model better positions schools to provide individualized support to students at multiple levels of academic achievement. Students in CBE classrooms are better engaged because their course material is personalized and relevant to their abilities.
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