Postsecondary & Workforce Readiness Act

Supporting students from high school to college and career.
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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:

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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?

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

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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.