What is the Illinois Equity in Attainment Initiative (ILEA)?

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 28 two-year and four-year, public and private non-profit colleges and universities across the state. These institutions 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.

  • Announcement: ILEA cohort release their 2020 Equity Plan on August 20, 2020

    Read More

  • BY INVITATION ONLY:
    2020 ILEA Virtual Summit
    October 21 - 23

ILEA Core Beliefs

Illinois Equity in Attainment Initiative (ILEA) member institutions subscribe to a core set of beliefs that are foundational to how we understand our role in addressing the college completion crisis on our campuses. ILEA colleges and universities believe:

  • Colleges and universities are responsible for graduating all degree seeking students efficiently, and consistent with supporting students’ short and long-term goals

  • All college students can graduate with the right information, tools, and supports

  • Racial and socioeconomic completion disparities are unacceptable and should be eliminated with urgency

  • Solutions and resources exist to close the equity gaps in higher education

  • The actions that colleges take or fail to take as it relates to student persistence and completion matters to students’ overall trajectory in college

ILEA Core Beliefs

Illinois Equity in Attainment Initiative (ILEA) member institutions subscribe to a core set of beliefs that are foundational to how we understand our role in addressing the college completion crisis on our campuses. ILEA colleges and universities believe:

  • Colleges and universities are responsible for graduating all degree seeking students efficiently, and consistent with supporting students’ short and long-term goals

  • All college students can graduate with the right information, tools, and supports

  • Racial and socioeconomic completion disparities are unacceptable and should be eliminated with urgency

  • Solutions and resources exist to close the equity gaps in higher education

  • The actions that colleges take or fail to take as it relates to student persistence and completion matters to students’ overall trajectory in college

  • Announcement: ILEA cohort release their 2020 Equity Plan on August 20, 2020

    Read More

  • BY INVITATION ONLY:
    2020 ILEA Virtual Summit
    October 21 - 23

ILEA College & University Commitments

In order to build a strong learning community focused on ensuring all students are reaching their attainment goals, and that these efforts are happening comprehensively across ILEA colleges with a sense of urgency, the ILEA partner institutions have made the following commitments to impact collective student success:

  • Publicly commit to eliminate racial and socioeconomic disparities in degree completion, thereby increasing overall graduation rates

  • Undertake these efforts in partnership with PCC without sacrificing quality and excellence or raising admissions standards

  • Dedicate a senior team of committed faculty and staff to this effort

  • Set annual growth targets & annually report progress to PCC

  • Work with PCC to develop comprehensive, college-specific Equity Plan to achieve targets

  • Implement and scale effective, evidence-based practices

  • Share findings in communities of practice and other forums

Partnership for College Completion Supports

In order to support ILEA partners in their bold efforts to undertake policy and practice change to address longstanding racial and socioeconomic inequities on their campuses, the Partnership for College Completion commits to support their work by:

  • Virtual and in-person conferences, workshops, and webinars related to evidence-based practices to remove barriers to and provide supports for racial and socioeconomic equity on college and university campuses

  • More in-depth trainings and experiences for institutional leaders and their teams of faculty and staff to deepen their practice and enhance their impact

  • Access to research, resources and information about institutional policy and practice change for equity in higher education

  • Ongoing coaching and individual support from PCC ILEA Equity Program Managers

  • Creating structures and opportunities to share findings across the ILEA learning community

Network of Partners

The Partnership is cultivating an evolving network of partners whose services, expertise and insights are leveraged to support the development and implementation of ILEA members' equity plans in service of their goals and based on their needs.

ILEA Colleges and Universities

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