Reintroducing the Illinois Career Pathways Dictionary

To help transform outcomes for youth and adults across Illinois, Education Systems Center at NIU, together with the Illinois Board of Higher Education, Illinois Community College Board, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, Illinois Department of Employment Security, Illinois State Board of Education, and Illinois Student Assistance Commission, is re-launching the innovative Illinois Career Pathways Dictionary as a new comprehensive and user-friendly web-based resource.

A first-of-its-kind resource, the dictionary was first created in 2018. Fourteen statewide partners collaborated to create the first resource, shared as a PDF, which was geared toward equipping policymakers and practitioners with information and tools to implement high-quality college and career pathways. Since then, career pathways systems and programs have continued to scale across education and workforce systems throughout Illinois. 

Given this continuously improving work around career pathways, as well as new policy incentives to drive scale, such as the 2022 passage of Public Act 102-0917 (HB3296), leaders from state agencies came together with EdSystems to revisit the Dictionary and consider revisions to continue driving alignment across Illinois agencies, advocates, and providers with a shared understanding of workforce and education terms.

The new Illinois Career Pathways Dictionary includes expanded and updated definitions as well as resources and implementation guidance on a new website, pathwaysdictionary.org.

Embracing a New Format: A Web-Based Resource

The new web-based format allows easy navigation and access to a wealth of related implementation guidance and resources. Further, the dynamic nature of a website allows changes to be made in real time, eliminating confusion and keeping everyone on the same page. Website users are invited to share their email to receive notifications of future updates.

Keeping Pace with Change: Expanded and Updated Definitions

One of the key enhancements of the revamped Illinois Career Pathways Dictionary is the expansion and updating of definitions. With the integration of new legislation and a keen eye on evolving best practices, this resource aims to be a reliable and up-to-date reference. By doing so, this resource ensures that users are equipped with accurate and relevant information, allowing them to view definitions and make connections that aid in designing effective education and training programs aligned with career pathways.

Bridging the Gap: Connecting to Implementation Guidance and Resources

Beyond definitions, the Illinois Career Pathways Dictionary serves as a resource bank for practitioners involved in education, workforce development, and career guidance. The Dictionary goes the extra mile by connecting users to related implementation guidance and resources. This means that the dictionary supports alignment across state systems and offers insight and practical advice on how to scale those policies and frameworks effectively. This comprehensive approach ensures that individuals have the necessary tools to translate knowledge into action.

We are excited to share the updated Dictionary and hope our colleagues across policy and practice use it to drive their important work serving Illinoisans. 

Launch Webinar Recording

A launch webinar on October 3, 2023, introduced the new and improved Dictionary. Download the presentation.

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