University of Illinois Urbana‑Champaign

Consortium to Improve Access to Degree Completion Pathways in Illinois

Published: November 23, 2021

This summer, Gov. Pritzker signed HB 2878, establishing the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity to strengthen access to high-quality child care in Illinois. The legislation designates an investment of $200 million to be directed by the consortium toward training, mentorships, and scholarships for the child care workforce to pursue advanced credentials over the next two years.

The Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity, initially proposed through the Illinois Board of Higher Education strategic planning process, is an agreement between Illinois public universities and community colleges, and any private institution that chooses to participate, to cooperate via regional hubs to improve access to associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees and certificates; Gateways credentials; and other licensure endorsements.

Consortium efforts will prioritize the current early childhood workforce, including working adults who require programs of study that offer flexibility in times of the courses offered, where they are offered, and their format.

The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD) are collaborating to convene an advisory committee to guide the the consortium.

Find out more about the consortium