College and Career Pathway Endorsements

Illinois’ College and Career Pathway Endorsements system is a cornerstone strategy of the Postsecondary & Workforce Readiness (PWR) Act to increase the number of Illinois high school graduates prepared for postsecondary education and future careers. To earn an endorsement on a high school diploma/transcript, a student must complete an individualized learning plan, engage in a career-focused instructional sequence (including early college credit), participate in work-based learning, and demonstrate readiness for college-level reading and math. Students earning the endorsement will develop technical and essential employability competencies, earn in-demand credentials, and be prepared to launch rewarding careers.

The College and Career Pathway Endorsements system has been incorporated into Illinois’ Every Student Succeeds Act Plan, Perkins V Plan, and Model Partnership Agreement for dual credit under the Dual Credit Quality Act.

Our Role

Over the past several years, EdSystems and a national nonprofit, JFF, have worked with state agencies, employers, and other public and private stakeholders to identify essential employability and technical competencies for the College and Career Pathway Endorsements’ seven career areas.

Since 2017, EdSystems has sought out districts willing to implement College and Career Pathway Endorsements. As a result of our work, school districts across Illinois are now adopting the endorsement framework.

  • For the Class of 2021, 5 districts awarded the endorsement to 47 graduates.
  • For the Class of 2022, 36 districts awarded the endorsement to 596 graduates.
  • For the Class of 2023, 39 districts awarded the endorsement to 1,072 graduates.

Due to HB3296, which passed in 2022, more school districts are expected to implement College and Career Pathway Endorsements in the coming years. EdSystems supports school districts looking to partner with their local career centers, colleges, and employers to scale the endorsement system successfully.

EdSystems partnered with Southern Illinois University’s Center for Workforce Development to develop a web-based tool that communities use to submit information on their local systems to ISBE per the PWR Act’s requirements. This tool requires communities to consider and document each aspect of their endorsement system and also provides an important inventory of pathways implementation across the state.

For more details on the College and Career Pathway Endorsements, go to the PWR Act website or ISBE’s webpage.



Interim Director of Pathways
Director of Innovation

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