Illinois State Fact Sheet

CTE State Overview

At the secondary level, CTE is delivered through comprehensive high schools; CTE-focused secondary schools, which are schools that center secondary academics around specific careers; and area career centers, which provide supplementary career training to area high school students and adult learners.

At the postsecondary level, Illinois delivers CTE through its community college districts.

CTE Program Excellence

With 25 percent of Illinois jobs based in agriculture, the Chicago High School for Agricultural Science (CHSAS) plays an important role in training a key part of the state’s workforce with its innovative curriculum, stellar student engagement and effective dropout prevention strategies. Opened in 1985, CHSAS combines core academic subjects with courses in agribusiness and plant and animal sciences to provide cutting-edge career pathways in animal science, agricultural mechanics and technology, agricultural finance, horticulture and food science. Courses are taught by industry professionals, and campus facilities include a working farm, a greenhouse, an atrium and a food-science lab. Students can expand their technical training through summer employment opportunities and internships at the University of Illinois and Michigan State University. All CHSAS students are also members of the National FFA Organization, which increases students’ leadership abilities, life skills and career achievements. Despite the fact that much of the student body comes from low-income families, the great majority of CHSAS students meet or exceed state academic standards. As of 2011, the school also boasted a 92 percent graduation rate, compared to 70 percent citywide, and 83 percent of CHSAS graduates go on to college. Because of its innovative curriculum and effective student engagement strategies, CHSAS has received the Award for Instructional Innovation by Business Week, as well as the 2006 Emerald Award for Implementation of Postsecondary Educational Programming. (Profile adapted from the ACTE Issue Brief, CTE’s Role in Urban Education)

Wheeling High School in Illinois offers a great example of using local industry partnerships and data to decide on programs and shape curriculum. To support its career pathways in advanced manufacturing and engineering, the school has been fostering partnerships with local manufacturers through an Industry Partnership Team that has grown from a handful of employers in 2008 to around 50 from the Chicago area in 2014. In addition, Wheeling staff has used data from the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and worked closely with the Village of Wheeling’s Economic Development Director. According to Dr. Lazaro Lopez, Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning for Township High School District 214 and previously the principal of Wheeling High School, data and industry input helped the school decide, at the height of the recession, to invest in these career pathways because of the local community’s needs. (Profile adapted from ACTE Techniques Magazine)

Enrollment Data

(OCTAE 2012-2013)

Secondary: 300,983

Postsecondary: 187,590

Student Performance

(OCTAE 2012-2013)

96 percent of CTE high school students graduated

79 percent met performance goals for technical skills

75 percent of CTE postsecondary students met performance goals for technical skills

Perkins Funding


Illinois received $40,495,776 for Fiscal Year 2014, about $1.6 million more than in 2013 and $8.6 million less than in 2010.