Postsecondary &
Readiness Act

Supporting Illinois students from high school to college and career

How does the PWR Act help students prepare for life after high school?

Through four student-centered, competency-based strategies:

The Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act (PWR), signed into Illinois law in 2016, takes a student based and competency based approach to helping students achieve college and career readiness. The Act implements four aligned strategies, described in this site, that require coordinated efforts among school districts, postsecondary education institutions, employers, and other public and private organizations. These strategies were developed through an inclusive, multi-year process led by the P-20 Council’s College and Career Readiness Committee to address key barriers to the successful transition of Illinois high school students into college and careers.

Since the initial enactment of the PWR Act, most Illinois school districts serving grades 9–12 have implemented one or more of its aligned strategies. As the result of these and other related policy initiatives, Illinois has seen measurable improvements in the number of public high school students accessing early college credit, and fewer students taking remedial coursework in college. The PWR Act continues to shape the work of Illinois’ educators, employers, and communities to prepare more students for college and careers, and this site is intended to serve as a resource for all involved with the Act’s implementation.

Advancing the PWR Act: Public Act 102-0917

Governor Pritzker signed Public Act 102-0917 (HB3296) into law in May 2022. The legislation builds from the PWR Act and many years of dedicated work by communities statewide to develop and implement high-quality college and career pathways systems that ensure students are prepared for whatever comes after high school. 

This new law advances the work laid out in the PWR Act by centering on two of its core components: the Postsecondary and Career Expectations (PaCE) framework and the College and Career Pathway Endorsement system. While districts across Illinois have already adopted both of these frameworks, HB3296 establishes new expectations for districts serving students in the relevant grades (6–12 for PaCE and 9–12 for endorsements) to either implement these frameworks locally or to formally opt out.