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60% x 2025 Goal for Illinois Update

Adopted in 2008, Goal 3 of The Illinois Public Agenda for College and Career Success embodies the 60 x 25 Goal: “increase the number of high-quality postsecondary credentials to meet the demands of the economy and an increasingly global society.”

The 60% x 2025 Goal is an Illinois Goal:

  • • The Illinois P-20 Council formally established the goal in 2009: to increase the proportion of adults in Illinois with high-quality postsecondary degrees and credentials to 60% by the year 2025.
  • • Measuring the progress has been accomplished in consultation with state agencies serving both education and workforce development.
  • • There are two primary and complimentary ways to measure progress towards the goal:
  •     1. Examine the ‘stock’ which involves developing estimates of the educational attainment for all Illinois residents. This is traditionally done using the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
  •     2. Examine the ‘flow,’ which has traditionally been measured by certificate and degree production at Illinois colleges and universities. This does not account for the overlap (multiple degrees by an individual) nor the individuals from outside the state who move to the state having already earned a high-quality degree.

Tracking the Trend in Illinois*

Graph #1

Illinois Education Levels*

Graph #2

*Excerpted from the Lumina Foundation’s A Stronger Nation Illinois policy brief. Starting in 2014, the attainment information included an estimate of individuals with certificates.

Degree/Credential[1] Production by Sector Compared to Projected Need to Reach 60% Goal

Graph #3

Although the private for-profit sector experienced a year over year increase in degree/certificate production from 2016 to 2017 (+1,592), production is significantly below that sector’s high-water mark of 28,359 in 2011. Until 2017, the community college sector was the only sector to demonstrate yearly growth in degree/certificate production; however, that sector experienced a slight decline in degree/certificate production in 2017 (-1.1%). Meanwhile, over the past few years degree production at public universities and private not-for-profit institutions has remained roughly flat. Reaching the 60% goal will require greater credential production across all sectors as the “needed” line continues its upward trajectory every year.

Difference between Actual Credential Production and Projected Need

Graph #4

1 Includes 1-2-year certificates; associate degrees; bachelor’s degrees; and 2-4-year certificates. Source: IPEDS Completions.

Illinois Board of Higher Education. (September 2019). 60% by 2025 Goal for Illinois Update (IBHE DataPoints 2019-03). Springfield, IL.