Welcome to I-WIN

The Illinois Work-Based Learning Innovation Network is designed to:

  • Highlight and explore innovative models for work-based learning
  • Engage in conversations on creating sustainable, high-quality models that provide broader and more equitable access to work-based learning, building social capital for Black and Latinx students.
  • Build connections among communities to offer best practices, learnings, and resources.
  • Identify needs for state policy changes or support systems.

Join K-12 school districts, postsecondary institutions, employers, and community-based organizations across Illinois as we share learnings about innovative, scalable, and high-quality work-based learning models.

Network Convenings

On May 29, join I-WIN as we discuss insights, best practices, and resources to address challenges to providing credit and teacher allocations for internships.
On May 20, two students presented insights on their paid micro-internship exploring math beyond the classroom setting. We also provided an overview of the general micro-internship model.
How can we ensure high quality, continuous improvement, and equity in work-based learning opportunities? On April 29, 2024, our statewide advisory group shared insights from a new resource for stakeholders, now open for public comment.


Work-Based Learning Fundamentals

Report cover for the "Recommended Technical and Essential Employability Competencies for College and Career Pathway Endorsements," released in April 2020. Cover includes the PWR Act logo and the Seal of the State of Illinois.

Recommended Technical and Essential Employability Competencies

The competencies set forth in this document were developed through an iterative process involving public-private steering committees established pursuant to the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (PWR) Act in order to implement College and Career Pathway Endorsements.

Career Development Experience Toolkit

The Career Development Experience (CDE) Toolkit, released in fall 2019, adheres to the framework of the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act for College and Career Pathway Endorsements. The guide and online resources are designed to serve any organization that seeks to provide rigorous work-based learning opportunities to youth. Career Development Experiences are part of Illinois’ broader work-based learning continuum and refer to a broad array of experiential learning that addresses the components included in the statutory definition of the Career Pathways Dictionary.

Career Development Experience Toolkit Companion Piece

The purpose of this extension is to explore career development experiences (CDE) 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.

Illinois Career Pathways Dictionary

Career pathways in Illinois are administered by a variety of private, state, and local entities; and thus several state education and workforce committees, including an extensive base of stakeholders, developed agreed-upon definitions to ensure alignment across agencies, legal frameworks, and initiatives.

Illinois State Board of Education: Work-Based Learning Manual

This manual provides guidance for creating and improving work-based learning opportunities for K-12 students. Activities are designed to introduce Career Exploration as soon as possible, build increasingly interactive experiences, and maximize student exposure to careers and work-based learning opportunities by the time they complete secondary education.​ This resource is a living document and ISBE would value any feedback or resources as they continue to keep guidance updated.

Sector-Specific Work-Based Learning Continuums

Explore a compilation of sector-specific models across the work-based learning continuum from communities throughout Illinois that offer high-quality experiences in education pathways. Utilize, repurpose, and apply these models to support your design and implementation of work-based learning experiences.

Team-Based Challenge Resource Bank

To support the creation of innovative team-based challenges, I-WIN is providing a statewide resource bank with ideas and examples from Illinois schools. Explore the resources and then download the template.