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​The Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act includes a process for school districts to award College and Career Pathway Endorsements to high school graduates. Students earn endorsements by completing an individualized learning plan, a career-focused instructional sequence, and professional learning opportunities.​​

 Career Pathway Crosswalk with Career Clusters

Endorsement Area
Related Career Clusters
(From National Career Cluster Framework)
AFNR (Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources)
  • Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources
A&C (Arts and Communications)
  • Arts (Performing and Visual), Audio/Video Technology and Communications
FBS (Finance and Business Services)
  • Business Manangement and Administration
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Hospitatlity and Tourism
  • Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics (Logistics Pathway)
HPS (Human and Public Services)
  • Education and Training
  • Government and Public Administration
  • Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security
  • Human Services
HST (Health Sciences and Technology)
  • Health Sciences
IT (Information Technology)
  • Information Technology
METT (Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology, and Trades)
  • Architecture and Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • STEM (particularly Engineering and Technology Pathway)
  • Transporation, Distribution, and Logistics (Transpotation Technology)
  • Energy​​

Postsecondary & Workforce Readiness Act

 The Framework

Each student completing an endorsement must have an individualized plan, which includes college planning linked to early understanding of career goals, financial aid, resume, and personal statement.

Awareness, exploration, and preparation activities that provide opportunities for students to interact with adults in their workplace.

Two years of secondary coursework, or equivalent competencies, that articulate to a postsecondary credential with labor market value.  Must include at least 6 hours of early college credit.

Ready for non-remedial coursework in reading and math by high school graduation through criteria defined by district and local community college.

College and Career Pathway Endorsement FrameworkPDF Document

 CCPE Application Process

  1. Each school district must submit their CCPE Application to the CTE department at ISBE to gain access to the current PWR Platform. This step is completed by school districts one time for access to the current platform. Districts that already have access to the current PWR Platform continue to have access without contacting ISBE.
  2. ISBE provides access to the school district to the online platform and school districts begin to build their plan(s) for each career pathway. Districts should submit the CCPE Plan Approval Form to the CTE department at ISBE when they have completed building their plan(s). Districts with plans that have been approved (or conditionally approved) in the previous school year(s) MUST submit the CCPE Plan Approval Form each year. The plan(s) must be submitted for approval no later than December 15 of the school year the district intends to award the Endorsement.
  3. Plans will be reviewed for compliance and ISBE will notify the district of its approval status no later than February 28 of the submitted school year. After the school district’s formal plan(s) is approved by ISBE, ISBE will send the official seals of each Career Pathway Endorsement the school districts are issuing.
  4. School districts are required to annually report on the students receiving Career Pathway Endorsements via an excel sheet sent by ISBE to eligible districts. These reports will be sent to Heather Lueken at ISBE via email no later than July 31st.

College and Career Pathway Endorsement Process InfographicPDF Document​​​


​As specified in state statute (110 ILCS 148/80), to earn a College and Career Pathway Endorsement, a student shall satisfy all of the following requirements:

  1. Develop and periodically update an individualized plan for postsecondary education or training, careers, and financial aid. This individualized plan shall also include student development of a resume and personal statement with student reflection on attainment of Adaptive Competencies. The Eligible School District shall certify to ISBE that its individualized planning process spans grades 9 through 12 and includes an annual process for updating the plan.

  2. Complete a career-focused instructional sequence, including at least 2 years of coursework or equivalent competencies within an Endorsement Area or, for students attaining a multidisciplinary endorsement, multiple Endorsement Areas. An Eligible School District must consult with its regional education for employment director on the establishment of the career-focused instructional sequence. For all areas other than for multidisciplinary endorsements, the Eligible School District and a Local Community College shall certify to ISBE and ICCB that the career-focused instructional sequence is articulated to a certificate or degree program with labor market value, with opportunities for ongoing student advancement. ISBE and ICCB may adopt requirements for certifying that the instructional sequence meets the requirements of this paragraph (2). This certification must be re-certified at least once every 5 years thereafter. Commencing in the 2022-2023 school year, students must earn at least 6 hours of credit through early college credit courses within the career-focused instructional sequence.

  3. Complete a minimum of 2 Career Exploration Activities or one Intensive Career Exploration Experience, a minimum of 2 Team-based Challenges, and at least 60 cumulative hours of participation in one or more Supervised Career Development Experiences.

  4. Demonstrate readiness for non-remedial coursework in reading and mathematics by high school graduation through criteria certified by the Eligible School District and a Local Community College to ISBE and ICCB. The criteria shall align to any local partnership agreement established pursuant to Section 55 of this Act and may allow the demonstration of readiness through various methods, including assessment scores, grade point average, course completions, or other locally adopted criteria.​​​

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