POSTSECONDARY & WORKFORCE READINESS ACT

Supporting Students from High School to College and Career
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The Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act (PWR), signed into law in 2016, takes a student based and competency based approach to helping students achieve college and career readiness. Being equipped to attend college and obtain meaningful employment is a top priority in Illinois education, because many students are currently graduating unprepared:
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HALF OF ILLINOIS HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES WHO ENROLL IN COMMUNITY COLLEGE REQUIRE REMEDIAL EDUCATION
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EMPLOYERS REPORT THAT RECENT HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES OFTEN LACK CRITICAL SKILLS FOR SUCCESS

HOW DOES PWR HELP STUDENTS BECOME PREPARED?

THE POSTSECONDARY AND WORKFORCE READINESS ACT IMPLEMENTS FOUR STRATEGIES:

POSTSECONDARY & CAREER EXPECTATIONS (PaCE)

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:

  • Career Exploration and Development
  • Postsecondary Education Exploration, Preparation, and Selection
  • Financial Aid and Literacy

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

Latest Updates

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission’s (ISAC) Division of Capacity Development and Training continues to provide support for the implementation of the PaCE Framework. If you are looking for a general overview, you can request a virtual PaCE introduction via webinar. A recording is also available on ISAC’s PaCE Website.

ISAC also offers the PaCE Implementation Leader training via webinar. This training is for professionals interested in gaining a better understanding of how to assist their schools in implementing the Illinois PaCE Framework or serve as a liaison between their school and ISAC, if the school prefers to create and implement a customized framework. For more information on when the PaCE Implementation Leader Trainings will be offered, to request a PaCE Overview webinar, or if you are interested in learning more about Illinois PaCE and related resources, visit isac.org/pace. For questions and inquiries please contact isac.pace@illinois.gov.


College & Career Pathway Endorsements on High School Diplomas

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.

Latest Updates

EdSystems’ Partners Receive ISBE CTE Education Career Pathway Grants
Last month, ISBE announced that it awarded Career and Technical Education (CTE) Education Career Pathways Grants totaling nearly $2 million to eleven regional entities to recruit and support future educators at high schools and vocational centers across the state. Four of the eleven regional entities benefitting from these new grants are part of the initial Scaling Education Pathways (SEPI) in Illinois and College and Career Pathway Endorsement (CCPE) cohorts.

Leading up to the announcement, Education Systems Center (EdSystems) presented to ISBE information on the SEPI Model and advocated for the alignment of the RFP to the College and Career Pathway Endorsement Framework, which includes strategic dual credit, work‐based learning, and postsecondary partnerships.

Join us in congratulating the following pathway partners for continuous statewide leadership and initiative.

  • City of Chicago Public Schools EFE System #010
  • NW Education Council for Student Success EFE System #070
  • Des Plaines Valley EFE System #030
  • Sauk Valley Community College

New CCPE Pathway Partners
This past spring, EdSystems sought out districts willing to commence implementation of the State’s College and Career Pathway Endorsement and continue over the next three years. Currently, EdSystems is steering a network of over 100 high schools and dozens of school districts across the state that are implementing endorsement systems aligned to the PWR Act. This network provides a foundation for future scaling through continued alignment of funding, policy, and support at the State level.

Five new districts across the State have stepped up to lead on the CCPE. These districts will implement pathway endorsements in six of the seven statewide endorsement areas and represent 21 high schools across the state. These new districts are:

  • Grayslake CUSD 127
  • Naperville CUSD 203
  • Plainfield D220
  • Vandalia ONE, Vandalia CUSD 203
  • Vienna High School D133

Transitional Instruction


Pilot of Competency Based Graduation Requirements

TRANSFORMING EDUCATION

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Visit the Illinois 60 by 2025 Network to learn about the goal of ensuring that 60% of all adults have a college or career credential by 2025.

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