Postsecondary & Workforce Readiness Act

Supporting students from high school to college and career.

The Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act (PWR), signed into law in 2016, takes a student based and competency based approach to helping students achieve college and career readiness. Being equipped to attend college and obtain meaningful employment is a top priority in Illinois education, because many students are currently graduating unprepared:

Half of Illinois high school graduates who enroll in community college require remedial education
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Employers report that recent high school graduates often lack critical skills for success

How does PWR help students become prepared?

The Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act implements four strategies:

Postsecondary & Career Expectations (PaCE)

Often, students leave high school without a clear understanding of the skills needed to persist through college and gain meaningful employment. Students need exposure and experience to gain a better understanding of their career interests. School curriculum should allow students to craft an educational plan to meet their goals. Under the PWR act, education agencies must adopt a framework that outlines what students should know about college and career each year from 8th to 12th grade.

The framework must address, in an integrated way:

  • Career Exploration and Development;
  • College Exploration, Preparation and Selection;
  • Financial Literacy and Accessing Financial Aid opportunities.

Examples of activities schools could incorporate to address the three areas include:

College Fair Visits
Mock Job Interviews
Career Interest Surveys

College & Career Pathway Endorsements on High School Diplomas

Transitional Math Courses

Pilot of Competency Based Graduation Requirements

Want to learn more?


Check out these websites for information on College and Career Readiness in Illinois.


Informational Materials on the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act:

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    Visit the Illinois 60 by 2025 Network to learn about the goal of ensuring that 60% of all adults have a college or career credential by 2025.