Young people learning in teams on computers


Director of Innovation and Implementation

Career Development Experience Toolkit

Career Development Experiences are both an integral part of the College & Career Pathways Endorsement Framework of the Postsecondary & Workforce Readiness (PWR) Act and an essential component of Illinois’ work-based learning continuum as outlined in the Illinois Career Pathways Dictionary.

Our Role

In October 2019, Education Systems Center released a Career Development Experience Toolkit aligned to the frameworks established in the PWR Act and embedded within Illinois’ broader strategies around scaling high-quality career pathways and work-based learning.

The primary purposes of this Toolkit are to:

  • Establish expectations for implementing high-quality, rigorous work-based learning experiences that prepare young people to be college and career ready through the development of Essential, Entrepreneurial and Technical Employability Skills
  • Provide guidance, tools, and frameworks to offer a Career Development Experience, which is a required component of the College and Career Pathway Endorsement framework and is included in the State’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan’s College and Career Readiness Indicator
  • Highlight best practice examples of how organizations are accomplishing this on-the-ground and spark thinking for other communities on how these examples might be modified to fit into their own unique context

These materials serve to provide guidance regardless of where an organization might be in terms of establishing and delivering Career Development Experiences. Each section of the toolkit can be referred to separately or as a whole to inform current practices. All included materials have been made possible through collaboration between EdSystems, the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Department of Commerce, and community partners across Illinois.

In October 2021, the Career Development Experience Toolkit Companion Piece was released. The purpose of this extension is to explore career development experiences and provide resources to address the needs of stakeholders outside of a traditional high school setting including workforce development organizations, community-based organizations, and alternative high schools. This companion piece targets these organizations and employers in order to serve youth more inclusively.

Project Resources

The Latest


Future of Learning Coalition

The Future of Learning Coalition is an alliance working to advance an innovation ecosystem for equitable, student-centered education in Illinois to better prepare future-ready young people and empower them to realize their greatest potential.

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I-WIN Events

Health Sciences Career Exploration Event Showcase

Learn from three Illinois communities that piloted a multigenerational Health Sciences Career Exploration event this past year. These events were designed to provide information on education and career opportunities for both students and families.

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