2023 College Changes Everything Conference

Save the Date: Week of July 13, 2023
Call for Proposals

2023 CCE Conference – DEIA: The Work We Need to Do

Back in person on July 13, 2023!

We hope you will join us for the 13th annual College Changes Everything® (CCE) Conference live and in person on Thursday, July 13, 2023, at the Tinley Park Convention Center, Tinley Park, Illinois. The annual conference is the state’s preeminent college access and success and career readiness event. Diverse stakeholders work together and learn from each other 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.

Since the first CCE conference, equity has been an underlying tenet of this annual convening, as it brings together caring professionals who want to ensure all students have opportunities for college access and success and are career ready. As we continue to emerge from the global pandemic that disrupted the lives of our students and the way in which we support and serve them, it’s vital we take this opportunity to examine and assess how we are doing in our collective work around Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) – e.g., what has been working and why; what hasn’t worked and why not; what changes did the pandemic bring that we want to keep. Why wait for another global event to push our DEIA work forward? Conference participants will have the opportunity for collaborative engagement where we draw upon each other’s expertise, experience, and wisdom to contribute to a peer-to-peer learning environment.

Call for Proposals: Due March 3, 2023

We invite you to help make this conference a valuable professional development experience by submitting a conference interest session proposal. Please click here to access the session proposal form. Presenting at the CCE conference is a terrific way to support and engage in active learning with colleagues, share your knowledge and stories with a diverse audience, and enrich your own professional growth.

As the conference draws a broad group of professionals and stakeholders, we welcome proposals that cover a wide range of topics related to college access and completion and career readiness. Such topics might include, but are not limited to: college and career readiness; student retention, persistence, and completion; programs and services for underrepresented students; educational equity; student wellness and emotional support; career and technical education; partnerships; career development experiences; education, business, and the economy; college costs, financial aid, and affordability; and community stakeholder engagement. In support of the conference theme, session proposals should also explain how the information will be shared through an equity lens.

Each 50-minute session should provide in-depth information, practical ideas, and best practices for the audience and demonstrate positive steps taken and lessons learned. Conference attendees appreciate the opportunity to hear from the students being served by the program(s) and/or service(s). To that end, we encourage you to include students in your sessions when possible.

  • Deadline – Priority consideration will be given to completed session proposal forms submitted by Friday, March 3, 2023. Complete the proposal form now.
  • Non-Commercial Policy – Please note that sessions are to be non-commercial forums. Individuals should refrain from using brand names or endorsing specific products. Sessions are not to be used as a place for direct promotion of products and services.
  • Conference Registration – Presenters must register for the conference, and the registration fee is $40.00. Conference registration will open later this spring.
  • Presenter Compensation Policy – The CCE conference does not provide any compensation for individuals accepted to serve as conference interest session presenters. This includes compensation for travel-related expenses and hotel accommodations.

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; and policymakers and elected officials interested in higher education and career readiness. The conference also serves as an opportunity for stakeholders to improve their practice of collaboration and collective leadership as we work toward the state's 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.

Tinley Park Convention Center

The Tinley Park Convention Center is located just 30 miles from downtown Chicago at 18451 Convention Center Drive, Tinley Park, IL 60477.

Please share information about the conference with colleagues in your organization and other partners.

2023 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
  • 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