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 reflects the collective thinking of higher education leaders, elected officials, students, faculty, advocates, and many others.

In addition to the process by which IBHE has arrived at its plan, PCC highlights a few key elements that resonate with the organization and likely many other advocacy organizations:

  1. The explicit focus on closing equity gaps along racial lines but also ensuring that students in our rural communities are included in how we’re thinking about equity.
  2. The explicit focus on the need for institutions to develop equity plans or explicit road maps for how they will close their respective gaps in completion
  3. The support for an equitable, sufficient, and stable funding model for Illinois that can turn the tide of our state’s public universities and community colleges, and ensure that our students have access to the education that they deserve.
  4. Finally, the plan call for a long-term goal to increase funding for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) and consequently invest directly in our state’s low-income students and their futures.

PCC is pleased with how comprehensive this plan is in clearly connecting the experiences that our students need with the resources and leadership that are necessary to providing those experiences.

There is much for IBHE to be proud of in this plan and we are excited to offer our support in moving it from planning to implementation in the years to come—putting Illinois on a new course for success in the 21st Century.