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2    WHEREAS, The Illinois Public Agenda for College and Career
3Success has documented the critical role higher education plays
4in economic recovery and growth, particularly in ensuring the
5State has an educated workforce to meet the needs of business
6and industry; and
7    WHEREAS, The Illinois Public Agenda for College and Career
8Success recommends that the Board of Higher Education, in
9consultation with other State agencies for education,
10employment, and economic development, "increase the number of
11high-quality postsecondary credentials to meet the demands of
12the economy and an increasingly global society"; and
13    WHEREAS, Illinois has committed to the goal that 60% of its
14workforce will hold a high-quality college credential by 2025
15to ensure its economic future; and
16    WHEREAS, Most recent projections from the Georgetown
17University Center on Education and the Workforce are that 70%
18of Illinois jobs will require postsecondary education by 2020;
20    WHEREAS, Currently, only 42.5% of the State's nearly 7
21million working-age adults between the ages of 25 and 64 years



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1hold at least a 2-year college degree; and
2    WHEREAS, There is a critical need for Illinois institutions
3of higher education to increase the number of postsecondary
4degrees in fields of critical skills shortages, such as
5healthcare, construction, computer technology, public safety,
6and mechanical fields; and
7    WHEREAS, Illinois' economic success requires providing
8college credentials aligned with current and future workforce
9needs at the State and regional levels; and
10    WHEREAS, Achieving workforce needs depends upon additional
11strategic State investment in higher education, along with
12improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of the higher
13education system; and
14    WHEREAS, Working age adults attempting to return to school
15to complete certificates and degrees in high-demand fields face
16many barriers to success; and
17    WHEREAS, The Illinois Council of Community College
18Presidents has recommended that the community college system be
19allowed to grant 4-year baccalaureate degrees for nursing and
20other applied career areas; and



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1    WHEREAS, The development of postsecondary degree programs
2should be predicated on evidence of the needs of Illinois
3residents rather than institutional interests; and
4    WHEREAS, The Board of Higher Education has the statutory
5authority and responsibility to review all applications for new
6academic degree programs for public community colleges and
7universities; therefore, be it
10SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that the Board of Higher Education
11establish a Higher Education Commission on the Future of the
12Workforce; and be it further
13    RESOLVED, That the Commission shall be comprised of 11
14members, including one senator appointed by the President of
15the Senate, one senator appointed by the Minority Leader of the
16Senate, one representative appointed by the Speaker of the
17House of Representatives, one representative appointed by the
18Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, and the
19remaining 7 members appointed by the Board of Higher Education
20to represent a cross-section of the education, employment, and
21economic development communities, as well as experts in quality
22postsecondary degree creation; and be it further



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1    RESOLVED, That the Board of Higher Education shall provide
2administrative support to the Commission; and be it further
3    RESOLVED, That the Commission's study shall include, but
4not be limited to the following:
5        (1) examining and analyzing current and projected
6    workforce needs for each economic region of the State and
7    postsecondary degree and credential production capacity
8    and goals;
9        (2) identifying State, regional, and national partners
10    available to support efficient and effective delivery of
11    postsecondary credential and degree programs aligned with
12    regional workforce needs;
13        (3) determining current policies and practices in
14    Illinois being utilized among Illinois' public and private
15    colleges and universities for partnerships for degree
16    completion;
17        (4) examining opportunities for expanding
18    postsecondary certificates and associate and baccalaureate
19    completions using effective and efficient strategies and
20    partnerships among high schools, technical schools,
21    community colleges, and 4-year colleges and universities;
22        (5) developing distance and online learning, as well as
23    competency-based credits to serve place-bound and adult
24    learners, including military personnel and veterans;
25        (6) examining incentives for students to enter and



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1    complete degree programs in critical-needs areas,
2    particularly aimed at underemployed and displaced workers;
3        (7) examining improvements in student advising,
4    including articulation, transfer, and acceptance of
5    credits to streamline the education pipeline to the
6    workforce;
7        (8) providing incentives, including financial
8    assistance, for working adults and individuals with
9    substantial college credit, but no degree, to complete
10    college degrees;
11        (9) analyzing best practices implemented in other
12    states for incentivizing certificate and degree
13    completion, including incentives for students and for
14    colleges and universities; and be it further
15    RESOLVED, That the Commission shall report to the General
16Assembly and the Governor 6 months from the formation of the
17Commission; and be it further
18    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
19delivered to the Governor, the chairperson of the Board of
20Higher Education, the chairperson of the Illinois Community
21College Board, the chairperson of the State Board of Education,
22the chairperson of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission,
23the chairperson of the Employment Security Advisory Board, and
24the president of each public and private college and university



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1in the State.