Despite improvements in high school graduation rates and college matriculation rates for Illinois students, college completion rates have remained flat and achievement gaps between groups have persisted or widened. Differences in degree completion rates between racial or socioeconomic groups within a single institution are often at least 10-20 percentage points and sometimes as high as 30-35 percentage points. Our colleges and universities are not serving all students equitably.
In October 2018, the Partnership launched the Illinois Equity in Attainment Initiative (ILEA), our signature effort to galvanize direct and urgent action with a group of approximately 25 two-year and four-year, public and private non-profit colleges and universities across the state. These institutions will publicly commit to the PCC’s goal to eliminate racial and socioeconomic achievement gaps by 2025 and aggressively prioritize increasing completion rates on their campuses.
In joining the Illinois Equity in Achievement Initiative, member institutions are asked to adhere to a core set of beliefs that will guide our collaborative efforts, make institutional commitments that will propel the work forward on their campuses, all while receiving support from the Partnership and each other.