The Illinois Career Pathways Dictionary was first published in 2018 as a first-of-its-kind resource for policymakers and practitioners alike. It includes the overarching State definition for career pathways and terms essential to career pathway programs and system elements. These definitions were developed and refined through research, stakeholder engagement, and thoughtful alignment to a variety of efforts—especially the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Illinois Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan, and the Illinois Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (PWR) Act. Representatives of key State entities and committees pertaining to Illinois’s broader education and workforce systems thoroughly reviewed each definition.
Since the dictionary was first published, career pathway policy and practices (including the 2022 passage of Public Act 102-0917; HB3296) have evolved. Thus, an interagency group re-convened to revisit the dictionary and make relevant updates. This website is the most up-to-date version of the Illinois Career Pathways Dictionary, including definitional updates, resource links, and implementation guidance.