What is 60 by 25?

Illinois students should be graduating high school ready with the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in life after high school—college and career. Today all high school graduates need some postsecondary education and/or training if they are to have options and opportunities in the job market. In Illinois, 8 of 10 employers say they need employees with some postsecondary education. Currently only 40% of Illinois residents have a high-quality post-secondary college or career credential. These realities in Illinois have driven communities to look for broader solutions to what are increasingly seen as systemic problems in the education-to-employment continuum.

The Illinois 60 by 2025 Network is an ever-emerging network of communities in Illinois that are committed to the goal of ensuring that 60% of all adults have a college or career credential by 2025.


The 60 by 25 Network is designed to meet the needs of communities that are working together to provide rigorous, real world learning in and out of the classroom. A coalition led by Advance Illinois, Illinois Student Assistance Commission, and the Education Systems Center at Northern Illinois University has come together to create a community of practice to help local and regional teams accelerate progress toward the 60% by 2025 goal.

Through this Network, local community teams and statewide partners (such as the Illinois P-20 Council and Illinois Board of Higher Education) are working together to align policy, use data, and mobilize leaders around a common agenda. Participating teams also have access to technical assistance and resources.

We invite your community to seek designation as a 60 by 25 Network Leadership Community. Leadership Communities are eligible to receive targeted technical assistance, capacity building, and funding to support community-level approaches to career pathway system development and increasing post-secondary degree and credential attainment. Apply to be a Leadership Community using this form.



Going into its 5th year, the Illinois 60 by 25 Network has become a powerful peer-to-peer learning system for Illinois communities to improve college and career readiness and postsecondary completion rates. On August 30th, the three organizations that lead the Network (Advance Illinois, EdSystems and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission) convened stakeholders from across the public, private, and non-profit sectors to serve as a Guiding Team to help guide, advise, and shape the direction of the Network in the future. Read more here.



Advance Illinois is a nonpartisan, nonprofit founded to be an objective voice for a public education system that prepares all students for college, career and democratic citizenship.


Education Systems Center at NIU provides strategic counsel, policy development and program management services for public and nonprofit partners to build globally competitive education and workforce systems throughout Illinois, across the U.S. and in Sub-Saharan Africa.


The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is the state’s college access and financial aid agency with the mission of making college accessible and affordable for Illinois students.