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Illinois Board of Higher Education

Officer Infomation & Search

News Release


Jonathan Lackland

        Candace Mueller

May 23, 2014


Board will hold discussion on ways to encourage more adults to attend college complete a degree for improved job opportunities in Illinois

 SPRINGFIELD – At its Board meeting on June 3, the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) will turn its attention to a large group of Illinoisans who are key to ensuring Illinois’ economic prosperity — adult learners.  Currently, too many adults have not completed a college degree or postsecondary credential of marketable value, representing 57.5 percent of the adults in Illinois’ workforce.  Without these adults’ participation as better educated and better trained workers, employers will have difficulty filling two-thirds of the new and replacement jobs in Illinois over the next decade that will require college credentials.  Adults who must be recruited include those who should be encouraged to come back to college.  More than one out of five adult Illinoisans have attended college, but stopped out before getting a degree. Among adult learners are the thousands of veterans returning from military service in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Their experiences and skills need to be recognized by higher education institutions for credit towards a college credential.  In fact, most adults returning should receive that same type of credit.

Dr. Karen Hunter Anderson, Executive Director of the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), Dr. Scott Campbell, Vice-President for Higher Education at The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), and Dr. Elaine Maimon, President of Governors State University  will lead a discussion with IBHE on best practices colleges and universities are employing to educate Illinois’ current workforce and increase college completions for more adults.

“The Board is launching new priorities for its work to support achievement of the State’s goal that 60 percent of Illinois’ adults have a postsecondary degree or credential by 2025,” Lindsay Anderson, IBHE Chair, said.  “I am pleased that this meeting will bring attention to the Board’s priority for increasing adult college completions aligned with Illinois’ economic needs. The IBHE is committed to leading the way forward by identifying effective policies and programs to streamline the pathways to college completion for more Illinoisans.”

Using the analyses on educational progress in Illinois over the last five years of the implementation of the Illinois Public Agenda for College and Career Success, the IBHE has identified priorities and established action teams to improve college affordability, reduce achievement gaps for underserved low income, first generation, Latino and African American students enrolling in college, increase adult college completions, and improve utilization of  IBHE’s state leadership role to identify state and campus policies and effective programs that are proving successful.

Other expected Board actions to further the Board’s priorities will include:

  • affirming a joint statement of the three state higher education agencies, IBHE, ICCB, and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, in support of the Illinois State Board of Education’s implementation of the New Illinois Learning Standards and the PARCC assessment for high school students; and
  • supporting a resolution encouraging Illinois colleges and universities to implement at scale the Guided Pathways to Success (GPS) programs that have proven to improve student success, especially for low-income and underserved college students. IBHE is currently overseeing this work at three Illinois colleges with the support of Complete College America.

The IBHE will meet at 1 p.m. on June 3, in the University Dining Room at Lewis University in Romeoville.


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