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    A Framework for Equity in Illinois


    Read this latest study authored by the Partnership for College Completion

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Dear Partners, I am so pleased to be writing to you in my new capacity as the second Executive Director of PCC, succeeding our founding Executive Director Dr. Kyle Westbrook last month. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead PCC's talented team in this next chapter, while continuing to expand our work with you – our partners – as you make pro...
Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas, former Associate Vice President of Policy for the Erikson Institute, an academic institution focused on child development where she led the Institute's efforts to create policies supporting young children, families, and communities, currently serves on the Education, Health, Higher Education, Human Rights and Revenue...
In this NewsletterED Letter | Snapshot of Federal Policy | Snapshot of Illinois Policy | State Policy We're WatchingGet to Know Illinois' Leaders | ILEA Happenings | Upcoming Events | Take Action Letter from the Executive Director When we look to solutions to address the urgency of reforming inequitable structures in higher education, we at PCC bel...
Dear PCC Partners, It is my honor and pleasure to be writing to you as the second Executive Director of PCC, succeeding our founding ED Dr. Kyle Westbrook in August. I have worked alongside Kyle over the past five years to build this organization, and it has been the most rewarding experience of my professional life. PCC's talented team; deeply com...
When the organization's first staff— then, its founding executive director Dr. Kyle Westbrook and its managing director, Lisa Castillo Richmond, traveled the state to meet with higher education leaders and legislators, they encountered many small pockets of reform work happening as well as some very promising larger initiatives. However, focused at...
As members of the Illinois Higher Education Network, we applaud Governor Pritzker in signing SB815 into law yesterday. With SB815's creation of a Commission on Equitable Public University Funding, Illinois is a step closer toward not only having a funding model that considers what it takes to ensure institutions have the resources to...
Dear PCC Partners and Friends: We are pleased to announce that Lisa Castillo Richmond, the Partnership for College Completion's (PCC) current managing director, will serve as the next executive director of the organization, effective August 1, 2021. The appointment comes following weeks of engagement by the Board with external stakeholders, includi...
The Partnership for College Completion (PCC) is pleased to see the result of the Illinois Board of Higher Education's (IBHE) very broad-based engagement with stakeholders around the state to ensure that many perspectives informed the development of its new strategic plan. Driven by goals for greater equity, sustainability, and growth, the plan refl...
June 21, 2021 By PETER MEDLIN - WNIJ and WNIU Illinois K-12 education Evidence-Based Funding takes 27 key elements like the number of nurses or low-income students a school has and calculates an adequacy target for each district. Higher-ed institutions in the state have no defined funding formula. A recently passed bill looks to completel...
Kyle Westbrook, Ph.D. Perhaps James Baldwin's most-quoted saying is that "not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed if it is not faced." Explicit in this quote is a call for courage. Implicit in this quote, given the context within which it was written, the early days of the Civil Rights Movement, is a call upon the nation to reckon with it...
Department of Ed Cancels Billions in LoansThe U.S. Department of Education announced that it will automatically discharge outstanding student loans for borrowers with a "total and permanent disability (TPD)," as identified through the Social Security Administration (SSA). Beginning in September 2021, over 323,000 borrowers are expected to benefit, ...
IL State Rep. Katie Stuart Representative Katie Stuart of Edwardsville, a former elementary and high school math teacher and Southern Illinois University math instructor, was appointed this year to the role of chair of the House Higher Education Committee, taking over for Leader Carol Ammons. Representative Stuart, a Democrat who has served in the legislature since 2017, rep...
In this NewsletterED Letter | Snapshot of Federal Policy | Snapshot of Illinois Policy | State Policy We're WatchingGet to Know Illinois' Leaders | ILEA Happenings | Upcoming Events | Take Action | Special Thanks Letter from the Executive Director Taken together, SB 815 and HB 3438 mark important steps towards facing and changing the things th...
Senator Kimberly A. Lightford Representative Carol Ammons Chicago, IL - June 1, 2021 Last night the General Assembly took a critical step towards equitable higher education funding by passing SB815, a bill creating the Commission on Equitable Public University Funding. This bill builds on the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus' landmark education bill that passed earlier this year during January's lame duc...
May 5, 2021 By Elyssa Cherney - CHICAGO TRIBUNE Enrollment declines at Illinois colleges and universities continue to outpace other states, with community colleges shouldering the brunt of the losses, as the coronavirus pandemic looms over another school year, according to new national and state data. The state's community colleges saw enrollment p...
March 22, 2021 By Elyssa Cherney - CHICAGO TRIBUNE Nearly half of all undergraduate applicants declined to submit ACT or SAT scores to Illinois' largest university during the pandemic-altered admissions cycle — the first time in decades that students could choose whether to share results from the high-stakes exams. Now, the University of Illinois a...
In this NewsletterED Letter | Snapshot of Federal Policy | Snapshot of Illinois Policy | Other States' Bills We're TrackingGet to Know Illinois' Leaders | ILEA Happenings | Upcoming Events | Take Action  Letter from the Executive Director One of the most repeated phrases of the last year is that COVID-19 has laid bare inequities in our society...
IL State Sen. Scott Bennett Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign, a longtime advocate for equity in higher education, was appointed this year to the role of chair of the Senate HIgher Education Committee. Senator Bennett, a Democrat who has served in the legislature since 2015, represents an area that includes University of Illinois, Parkland College, and Danville Area Communit...
Kyle Westbrook, Ph.D. One of the most repeated phrases of the last year is that COVID-19 has laid bare inequities in our society. Those inequities may be news to some but have long been the lived realities of millions of people in the United States and in the state of Illinois. Factors that have become apparent to some (inequitable access to digital resources, the finan...
Dear ILEA Partners, It has been wonderful to see many of your faces on Zoom in February as we conclude our first month of substantial ILEA programming of the new year. While we are grateful for the opportunity provided by virtual events and discussions to continue to engage and move our collective work forward during the pandemic, we miss the oppor...

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