College and Career Ready Definitions

“Although readiness includes being prepared to take credit-bearing postsecondary courses in core subject areas, Illinois’ college- and career-readiness objectives also extend to developing employability skills and opportunities for students to pursue a personalized education plan based on their academic and career interests.”


Illinois Department of Education. (2014). ESEA flexibility: Illinois request. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from

Accountability Metrics
  • Student achievement status on state tests
  • Student growth on state tests
  • Student  English language acquisition
  • Four-year graduation rate
  • Additional graduation rates (five or more years)
  • Participation in advanced course work, including AP or IB classes or dual enrollment
  • Performance in advanced course work, including AP or IB exams and dual enrollment course grades
  • Performance on college entry exams such as SAT, ACT, ACCUPLACER, or COMPASS
  • Career preparedness performance, including earning credentials or certificates, performance on WorkKeys, and grades in career and technical education courses
  • Measure of school climate and culture
Source: Center for American Progress. (2016). Explore the Data for ‘Making the Grade’. Retrieved from
College and Career Ready Reporting Metrics
State School Report Card1
Perkins IV Consolidated Annual Reports2
ACT scores1
Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State (ACCESS) scores1
Students taking and passing Algebra I by the end of eighth grade1
Students entering ninth grade ready for high school1
Students completing college preparatory (core) coursework1
Students taking dual-credit or honors courses1
WorkKeys levels1
Students receiving WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate1
CTE enrollments2
CTE concentrators2
     o Students completing
     o Students graduating
     o Students entering postsecondary education or advanced training, military service, or employment within two quarters following graduation
Students of students receiving industry credentials1
Chronic truancy rate1
High school freshman on track to graduate1
Postsecondary enrollment1
1. State Board of Education. (2016). Illinois report card. Retrieved from
2. Illinois State Board of Education. (2015). College and career readiness: Perkins. Retrieved from
Dual Enrollment and Early College High School

Dual Enrollment and Articulation

Illinois allows students to earn dual credit in academic and/or CTE dual-enrollment coursework through their high school, postsecondary institution, online, or at another venue such as a career center. Public postsecondary institutions are required to accept these credits (Education Commission of the States, 2015).

Early College High School

The Center for Native Education established two Early College High Schools as part of the Early College High School Initiative (ECHSI). More information about schools participating in ECHSI is available at the ECHSI website (Jobs for the Future, n.d.).

ASPIRA Early College High School was established by ASPIRA, Inc., of Illinois. More information about ASPIRA Early College High School is available at the ASPIRA website (ASPIRA Early College High School, n.d.).


ASPIRA Early College High School. (n.d.). ASPIRA Early College High School. Retrieved from

Jobs for the Future. (n.d.). Schools. Retrieved from

Education Commission of the States. (2015). Dual enrollment – all state profiles. Retrieved from

Career Pathways

Illinois organizes its secondary CTE programs into five “college- and career-ready” areas:

  • Agricultural Education
  • Business, Marketing and Computer Education
  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Health Science Technology
  • Technology and Engineering Education (Industrial)

Within these areas, Illinois implements programs of study within each of the 16 Career Clusters (National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, n.d.).

Citations: National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium. (n.d.). Illinois [Interactive map of state CTE profiles]. Retrieved from


Career Exploration and Career Plans
Illinois does not have a statewide system for career exploration or career plans at the K–12 level.
Alignment Between High School Graduation and State College Admission Requirements

High School and College Alignment


High School Graduation Requirements

College Admission Requirements

English Credits:

4.0 (Writing-focused courses [2.0]; and other language arts [4.0])


Mathematics Credits:

3.0 (including algebra and a course containing geometry content)

3.0 (algebra, geometry, algebra II - trigonometry or higher)

Social Studies Credits:

2.0 (including United States history or combination of United States history and American government)


Science Credits:


2.0 (each with laboratory experience)

Foreign Language Credits:

See Additional Credits

2.0 (OR art)

Arts Credits:

See Additional Credits

2.0 (OR foreign language)

Additional Credits:

1.0 (from among art, music, foreign language, or vocational education)


Total Credits:


None specified (N/S)



Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or ACT®


Illinois State Board of Education

Illinois State University


The above requirements went into effect starting with students who entered the ninth grade in the 2008–09 school year.



Early Warning Systems

Illinois may have a state-specific Early Warning System, but the system is not publicly available.