Through collaboration with the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Education Systems Center has released a Career Development Experience Toolkit aligned to the frameworks established in the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (PWR) Act and embedded within Illinois’ broader strategies around scaling high-quality career pathways and work-based learning. Career Development Experiences are both an integral part of the College & Career Pathways Endorsement Framework of the PWR Act and the State’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) School Quality Framework as a College and Career Readiness Indicator. Career Development Experiences prepare young people to be college and career ready through the development of Essential, Entrepreneurial, and Technical Employability Skills and are an essential component of Illinois’ work-based learning continuum as outlined in the Illinois Career Pathways Dictionary.

Resources include:

  • Toolkit Document: A PDF document is available for download and guides readers through each stage of implementation with links to related resources and materials
  • Toolkit Website: The website includes links to all resources and materials referenced in the document and will be updated monthly with additional resources and best practices
  • Customizable Templates: Within the document and website are links to templates that can be customized to reflect the unique context and needs of each community and organization

These resources were made possible through the communities, organizations, and individuals who provided a generous amount of insight and feedback throughout the Toolkit development process. Highlighted throughout the Toolkit are materials and guidance provided by communities across Illinois who are implementing this work, especially those who are Illinois 60 by 25 Leadership Communities. Through active engagement and continuous innovation, these communities have encountered both successes and challenges that have further informed their practices, allowing them to influence and teach others through their lessons learned. It is no small feat to establish all of the components of a Career Development Experience and create an opportunity that ultimately shapes life trajectories and strengthens communities and we applaud those that are engaging in this effort!

We hope that communities will apply, re-purpose, and utilize these resources to provide meaningful and robust Career Development Experiences that ultimately prepare youth to be college and career ready and engage regional stakeholders as stewards for ensuring access to meaningful career pathways.

We would love to hear what you are up to! Please consider sharing any resources or best practices you believe would benefit others engaged in this work through this link to be shared on the Toolkit website.

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