Illinois Career Development Resources

This page provides resources in the following five areas, click on any area to scroll to that point in the page:

Career Pathways

Career Pathways as a Systemic Framework (Download)
This paper is designed to encourage a dialogue about what career pathways mean for the organization of community colleges as they seek to fulfill their workforce development mission.

Strengthening Transitions by Encouraging Career Pathways: A look at state policies and practices
This report presents a sample of state-level policies and legislation that support the implementation of career pathways and other strategies that facilitate education and employment transitions.

Career Clusters
This website shares information on Career Clusters, which are groupings of occupations and broad industries based on commonalities. The sixteen career clusters provide an organizing tool for schools, small learning communities, academies and magnet schools.

Several Task Force members have mentioned WorkKeys as a potential resource for Illinois’ career development efforts. Here are a few websites that explanation of the pieces of Work Keys assessments that are part of the PSAE in Illinois.

Currently Illinois uses only the Foundational Skills assessments of WorkKeys. WorkKeys Foundational Skills assessments measure cognitive abilities such as applied mathematics, reading for information, and locating information. WorkKeys also offers new Personal Skills assessments, which are designed to predict job behavior and measure the full potential of individuals. For more information, please see the WorkKeys assessment website.

Learning Standards

Crafting Effective Career Development Learning Standards
View a paper developed to help career development professionals develop meaningful and effective career development learning standards. The framework is designed to assist users in integrating the structure of NCLB academic standards with the substance of career clusters.

Illinois Task Force Reports

In 2003, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Bureau of Workforce Development began the Critical Skills Shortages Initiative. The goal was to “align regional workforce programs to provide a reliable supply of qualified job seekers for critical skill shortage occupations that pay a good wage and provide benefits.”

Three task force reports emerged from this initiative which outlined root causes and solutions for the critical skills shortage. These task force reports are particularly important, as their calls for “comprehensive career development” played an essential role in the establishment of this Illinois Career Development Task Force. The three original task force reports are as follows:

National Career Development Guidelines

The National Career Development Guidelines, developed and presented by ACRN in 2004, are a framework for building and evaluating comprehensive career development programs for youth and adults in a variety of settings. The state of Illinois adopted the K-12 portion of a previous version of the National Career Development Guidelines, which was created in 1996. They are entitled the Illinois Career Development K-12 Competencies and Indicators.

National Standards

American School Counselor Association’s (ASCA) National Model The ASCA National Model helps counselors and school counseling teams to design, coordinate, implement, manage and evaluate their programs. A series of specific career development competencies for K-12 students are included within the model. Resources containing the model are available to purchase at