Voices and Viewpoints

Supporting Completion Goals in Illinois

by Marci Rockey / Feb 8, 2016

The Illinois 60 by 25 Network recently gathered in Springfield for their annual meeting. The coalition of business, funders, non-profit representatives, and educators gathered to recognize and enhance the work occurring throughout the state within regional leadership communities. These communities are tasked with improving career pathway systems and post-secondary degree completion rates in their respective regions to realize the goal of 60% of the state’s residents possessing a post-secondary degree or credential by 2025. Identified session tracks included Employer Engagement and Work-Based Learning; Structuring Education Systems; Community Engagement; and Diversity, Inclusion, and Access. 

Community colleges are, no doubt, critical to these efforts. The Pathways to Results program has a long history of engaging employers and educators in collaborative partnerships to identify equity gaps in outcomes and implement practices to close these gaps. Much of the work occurring within the regions aligns with strategies identified within PTR projects including an upcoming brief on work-based learning. As we look to the future of realizing the 60 by 25 goal, PTR is a tremendous asset to assist community colleges and their partners in approaching this goal from an equity lens to improve not only access to pathways but successful outcomes for all students.

The annual meeting was sponsored by Advance Illinois, ISAC, Career Cruising, The Joyce Foundation, College Board, Lumina Foundation, Education Systems Center at NIU, and Telligen Community Initiative. 

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