• Parkland College
  • Rend Lake College
  • Kankakee Community College
  • Kaskaskia College
  • Lewis and Clark Community College
  • Lincoln Land Community College
  • Shawnee Community College
  • Southeastern Illinois College

Ginger M. Reynolds, PhD

Senior Fellow

Heather Penczak

Director of Innovation and Implementation

Community College CBE Pilot Project

In alignment with Illinios’ Career and Technical Education Plan (also known as Perkins V) and the Higher Education Strategic Plan, the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) is supporting competency-based education (CBE) development by community colleges. CBE focuses on determining a student’s achievement by evaluating proficiency within a set of learning outcomes and objectives, moving away from traditional time-based constraints. This program is designed to support competency-based education program development in the community college system for the following high-demand sectors: welding and industrial maintenance. Using an equity-guided community of practice approach, this initiative aims to:

  • build capacity in planning and program development,
  • build institutional support, engagement, and knowledge, and
  • guide and support institutions in transitioning to the implementation of a competency-based education program.

Our Role

Together with ICCB, we are supporting several community colleges in a design community to develop CBE programs in both welding and industrial maintenance.

In April 2023, we released “Student Insights into Postsecondary CBE.” Student insights were gathered over the course of several weeks from small focus groups of participants in the CBE Welding Program at Lewis and Clark Community College, conducted by EdSystems. Key takeaways include:

  • Students value CBE’s scheduling flexibility and the freedom to work at their own pace.
  • It is crucial to have someone for students to connect with who understands the program and how financial aid works.
  • To be successful, students have to be motivated and responsible.

The Latest


Extended Model Pathways in Chicago

In fall 2023, EdSystems began work with Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges of Chicago to develop five extended model pathways starting from early college through associate and bachelor degree completion for the following industry sectors: health sciences, information technology, advanced manufacturing, IT, and construction.

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Thought Leadership

Launch-ing Into Policy Innovation for Postsecondary Access and Success

Alongside state and local leaders from across Illinois, we have been engaging in a design thinking process as innovation cohort participants of the Launch initiative. Through this process, we are working to identify systems-level barriers to equitable access and outcomes and develop innovative solutions for pressing challenges in postsecondary transitions and success.

Read More »