About the PWR Act

Enacted with bipartisan support in 2016, the Postsecondary & Workforce Readiness (PWR) Act applies a student-centered and competency-based approach to support Illinois students in preparing for postsecondary education and future careers. The Act implements four aligned strategies, outlined below, 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.

Governor J.B. Pritzker signed Public Act 102-0917 (HB3296) into law on May 27, 2022. HB3296 centers on two of the PWR Act’s core components: the Postsecondary and Career Expectations (PaCE) framework and the College and Career Pathway Endorsements. 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 opt-out after considering several factors. 


Postsecondary and Career Expectations

The Postsecondary and Career Expectations (PaCE) framework guides communities on how to organize career exploration and development, college preparation and selection, and financial literacy requirements.

College and Career Pathway Endorsements

The PWR Act established a new system for school districts to award College and Career Pathway Endorsements on high school diplomas, which reflect that a student has completed an individualized learning plan, engaged in a career-focused instructional sequence, participated in work-based learning, and demonstrated readiness for college-level reading and math

Transitional Instruction

The PWR Act establishes a new statewide system for transitional math and English instruction that increases college readiness for high school seniors and reduces remedial education needs.

Pilot of Competency-Based High School Graduation Requirements

The PWR Act establishes a pilot program for voluntary school district participation in a competency-based education model, allowing students more flexibility to progress as they demonstrate mastery of concepts.


The Success Network’s Leadership Communities are leading implementation of the PWR Act across Illinois.

EdSystems supports the implementation of transitional instruction and the College and Career Pathway Endorsements and drives alignment of emerging policy frameworks.

Illinois Community College Board resources for the four components of the PWR Act.

Illinois State Board of Education resources for the four components of the PWR Act.

Jon Furr, executive director of Education Systems Center, provides an overview of the PWR Act’s four components and its implementation.

Access the full Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act as passed by the Illinois General Assembly. Public Act 99-0674 was signed into law on July 29, 2016 and amended in 2018 by Public Act 100-0599.​​​