2021 College Changes Everything Conference

Save the Date: Week of July 12, 2021

2021 CCE:   Fostering Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging for the Success of All Learners

Please mark your calendars for the 2021 College Changes Everything® (CCE) conference taking place the week of July 12, 2021. This annual conference is the state’s preeminent college access and success and career readiness event.  In light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the uncertainty about whether an in-person event in July will be possible within the  Restore Illinois Plan framework, the 2021 conference will be a virtual event with online sessions throughout the week of July 12th. The call for proposals has closed, and we will have an agenda available later this spring.

As with our in-person conferences, this online event will showcase best practices, collaborations, and resources available to promote and support student college and career readiness, and to help Illinois reach its Goal 2025 – to increase the proportion of adults in Illinois with high-quality degrees and postsecondary credentials to 60% by the year 2025.  For our state to reach this goal, stakeholders from all facets of a student’s community must work together to support and provide them with the knowledge and opportunities to be successful along their  education pathways, and as they transition to employment.  Despite the limited face-to-face opportunities to interact with our colleagues, the needs of our learners, institutions, and communities continue to be urgent and pressing, and it is important to come together to connect and facilitate learning with stakeholders across our state.

This year’s conference theme is Fostering Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging for the Success of All Learners.  Learners from underserved and historically underrepresented populations experience are not just experiencing problems directly resulting from the pandemic, but the pandemic has also elevated existing inequities. It’s critical we take steps now to examine and address the short and long-term outcomes of our policies, programs, and structures, as well as grapple with those key issues and the tensions they raise as we strive to meet the needs of all learners. The CCE conference provides an opportunity for stakeholders to identify actionable solutions to strengthen our work to increase education and career opportunities for all learners-- allowing them to contribute to stronger communities and a robust and more inclusive workforce and economy.

A key strength of the conference is in bringing together a diverse audience from across the state to focus on educational opportunity and student success: college access practitioners; high school leaders, counselors, and case managers; college and university leaders and administrators; employers and workforce development professionals; policymakers and elected officials interested in higher education and career readiness; and learners themselves. The conference also serves as catalyst for discussions and an opportunity for attendees to improve their practice of collaboration and collective leadership as we work toward the state’s 60 by 25 goal. We hope you will attend the conference as we stand together as a group of like-minded professionals committed to improving outcomes for all learners.  A conference agenda and registration will be available later this spring.

We understand this continues to be a challenging time for schools, colleges and universities, organizations, and their students and staff as they continue to adapt to changing learning and work environments, in addition to all the other challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We encourage you to visit ISAC's web page, entitled College-Going and Financial Aid Resources and Services During the Coronavirus Outbreak, for information and resources to assist you and your students and families.

Please share the link to this page with colleagues in your organization and other partners.

2021 College Changes Everything Conference Planning Committee

  • Illinois Student Assistance Commission
  • Illinois Board of Higher Education
  • Illinois Community College Board
  • Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
  • Illinois State Board of Education
  • Illinois College Access Network
  • Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities
  • Advance Illinois
  • Education Systems Center at Northern Illinois University
  • Generations Serving Generations
  • ACT Now
  • Women Employed

The College Changes Everything® Conference is sponsored
by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

Helping Illinois reach its Goal 2025: to increase the proportion of adults in Illinois with high-quality college degrees and
postsecondary credentials to 60% by the year 2025