JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Invitation to 2024 CCE Conference


2024 College Changes Everything Conference
Registration Now Open!

Register for the 2024 CCE Conference
July 18, 2024 – Tinley Park Convention Center

You're invited to register now to join other equity designers as we come together at the 2024 College Changes Everything® (CCE) conference – Community Health. The annual conference is the state's foremost college access and success and career readiness event. Diverse stakeholders come 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.

Equity continues to be at the heart of the CCE conference as we strive to ensure all students have opportunities for college access and success and they are career ready. At last year's conference, our collective question was: How do we advance educational equity for Illinois students and parents? This year we consider the role of community health on educational equity. As we champion CCE to highlight how education is an essential component of other policy areas, we need to highlight the role community health plays in advancing educational equity for Illinois students and families. So this year, let's explore these questions: Can you have educational equity without community health? Can you have community health without educational equity? Community health encompasses various aspects contributing to the well-being of a particular population. Community is a multifaceted concept allowing partners to define it based on who their work serves and how they do their work (e.g., geographic, social, cultural, virtual, professional, intentional/specific purpose, economic, interfaith, neighborhood, supportive, and more). Communities can be dynamic, evolving entities shaped by its members' interactions and shared experiences. Partners should approach defining health as it relates to their work in a holistic way that includes: mental, physical, and environmental.

We know from other initiatives supporting educational equity, collective efforts maximize impact and partnerships enhance sustainable solutions. Informed planning leads to effective policies, resource allocation, and tailored programs. While we won't change everything that needs to be changed in the system in one day, we can in one day have an impact on ourselves and scaffold collaboration with others. We make up the system, and change starts with us. Each of us has a perspective and a power to make positive change. At the conference we will leverage the knowledge, expertise, and personal experiences each attendee brings with them to examine how we bring more equity to Illinois students and families. Together we can focus on the DEIA issues needing attention and identify when and how they can be addressed. Please RSVP by registering online. Registration is $40.00, and only credit card payments are accepted via Eventbrite. Space is limited and fills quickly. Please share this e-Message with your colleagues and others in your network so they can register, too. More information about the conference is available on the conference website.

Who Should Attend

The annual conference is the state's preeminent college access and success and career readiness event and brings together stakeholders 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 the 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. 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.


Breakout interest sessions provide timely information and engage the audience in thoughtful discussions on the serious issues we face in reaching the state goal, and are presented by state and national experts and practitioners. The full agenda will be provided later this spring. Topics will include: college readiness; navigating the college-going process; supporting special student populations; student support services; career readiness; changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), and more.

Tinley Park Convention Center and Hotel

The Tinley Park Convention Center is located at 18451 Convention Center Drive, Tinley Park, IL, and is connected to the EVEN Hotel Chicago-Tinley Park Convention Center. We have secured a conference hotel rate of $159.00 before tax and fee charges. You can book a reservation by phone at 708-444-1100 and mention "ISAC/College Changes Everything Conference" to get the rate, or you can book online here. The conference rate is available for reservations made by June 26, 2024.

We look forward to seeing you on July 18, 2024, at the Tinley Park Convention Center, Tinley Park, Illinois. Registration for the conference will open later this spring.

Please share the information in this e-Message with colleagues in your organization and others in your network.

2024 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 Department of Employment Security
  • 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
  • iCan Dream Center

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.


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