Young people learning in teams on computers


Director of Innovation and Implementation
Innovation Manager

Career Development Experience Toolkit

Career development experiences are 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 outlined in the Illinois Career Pathways Dictionary.

Our Role

In October 2019, EdSystems 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 by developing essential, entrepreneurial, and technical employability skills.
  • Provide guidance, tools, and frameworks to offer a career development experience, a required component of the College and Career Pathway Endorsement framework that is also included in Illinois’ College and Career Readiness Indicator, as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan.
  • Highlight best practice examples of how organizations accomplish this on the ground and spark thinking for other communities on how these examples might be modified to fit into their unique context.

These materials provide guidance regardless of where an organization might be in establishing and delivering career development experiences. Each toolkit section 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 2021, EdSystems released a Companion Piece to provide resources to address the needs of stakeholders outside of a traditional high school setting. In 2022, the team released a Facilitation Guide.

Project Resources

The Latest


Awareness to Action: 11th Annual Success Network Conference

Join us Thursday, February 29, 2024, for the Illinois Education and Career Success Network’s 11th annual conference, themed Awareness to Action: Promoting Equity in Education and Careers. This year’s in-person, one-day conference will be held at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Illinois.

Read More »
I-WIN Events

Learnings From North Kansas City: Creating an Inclusive Work-Based Learning System

Join I-WIN on Wednesday, February 21, 11 a.m.–12 p.m., to learn from North Kansas City Schools about their approach to ensuring a comprehensive and effective professional learning experience for students at every grade level, including the establishment of leadership structures and councils, operational and communication/tracking systems, teacher supports, and innovative opportunities for business-industry collaboration. 

Read More »