Public Accountability Report Public Accountability Report

Illinois Community College Board
(Appropriated Spending in Thousands)
  FY 2021 FY 2020
Reporting Programs Expenditures Headcount Expenditures Headcount
Illinois Community College Board $ 407,236.4 47.0 $ 393,142.6 45.0
Totals $ 407,236.4 47.0 $ 393,142.6 45.0

Totals may not add due to rounding.

Agency Narrative

The Illinois Community College System is coordinated by the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) with a Board comprised of citizens appointed by the Governor. At the college-level, locally elected boards of trustees (the exception is the City Colleges of Chicago with the Mayor of Chicago appointing trustees) set policies that guide their colleges in achieving local and statewide goals with the support of the ICCB. Colleges meet both local and statewide needs for education and workforce development through high-quality, affordable, accessible, and cost-effective programs and services. More information about ICCB and Illinois community colleges is accessible via the ICCB website at

The Illinois community college system covers the entire state and serves nearly 600,000 individuals each year through credit and noncredit courses. Illinois community colleges are multipurpose institutions with the capacity to offer college preparatory courses, short-term continuing education, retraining, certificate and degree programs for high-demand jobs, and associate’s degrees for career preparation or transfer to bachelor’s degree programs. Community colleges and additional providers under the ICCB’s oversight additionally provide adult education, literacy, and English as a Second Language programs, as well as high school equivalency.

The pandemic had a substantial impact on community colleges and the students they serve. Community colleges serve a significant number of at-risk students, and COVID-19 exacerbated issues for that population ranging from fiscal to technological to emotional. Many students struggled with job and income loss, homeschooling of children, food and housing insecurity, caring for family members, and risks as essential workers. Colleges employed substantial adjustments due to the pandemic by moving many courses to remote or online modalities. For in-person instruction, colleges implemented campus measures to ensure a safe instructional environment. Community colleges extended fiscal resources to students through available funding opportunities to mitigate financial constraints and the digital divide to the extent possible.

In 2021, the ICCB engaged in substantial work leading and supporting Illinois’ 48 community colleges, advancing the cause of equity in the system, and meeting the needs of Illinois students. Select initiatives include:

Supporting colleges and providers during the pandemic: During calendar year 2021, the ICCB supported colleges by shepherding the implementation of SHIELD testing on community college campuses, providing additional guidance to colleges on Governor’s Executive Orders, and conveying other public health guidance. The ICCB provided similar support to all 75 adult education programs as well as high school equivalency providers.

Administered Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI) funds: There are over 100 WEI programs offered by 17 participating colleges throughout the state. To date, 5,221 students have been enrolled, including 3,855 African American students. There have been 2,581 community college credentials completed. 

Developmental education reform: The ICCB continues momentum with colleges around scaling developmental education reform by building upon work from Senate Joint Resolution 41 and providing system leadership for upcoming deliverables as part of the Developmental Education Reform Act (DERA).

Customized Apprenticeship Programming in Information Technology (CAP-IT): This initiative focuses on serving those underrepresented in both apprenticeship programming and the IT sector. In the last two years, the participating colleges have served over 550 participants: 34% women, 45% participants of color, and 68% low-income. 

Released the ICCB economic impact study titled "Illinois Community Colleges’ Economic Impacts and Student Employment Outcomes": This study demonstrated that community colleges contribute $3.5 billion to the state’s economy, support over 43,000 jobs, and work with 9,800 unique employers. Community college graduates can expect to earn almost $600,000 more than high school graduates. A community college education yields an average annual rate of return of nearly 27%. Subgroup analysis on student demographics and job disruption (regionally and statewide) caused by COVID-19 also was examined. The study is accessible at

Program approval and review: The ICCB has responsibility for the review and approval of all community college certificate and degree programs. In 2021, the ICCB approved 115 new community college programs and added 745 new courses. There are 1,240 AAS degrees, 970 certificates approved over 30 credit hours, 2,086 certificates offered in the system under 30 hours, and a total of 4,296 approved CTE programs in the system. 

Illinois Postsecondary Profile (IPP): The IPP enables users to follow their interests, easily locate the data they want, and quickly navigate among different views and visualizations. In addition to the Institutional Profiles data path in the original version, the Occupational and Regional Profiles were released in February 2021. Also included with the new IPP version release in February 2021 was the ability for the user to download all data sets within the platform, making it simple to utilize IPP data in other types of software. Throughout the year, project partners have also been generating demographic data and outcomes for the soon-to-be-released fourth data path, the Equity Profiles. The IPP is accessible at

High School Equivalency (HSE) testing: The ICCB administers HSE testing for the state. The State of Illinois served nearly 9,900 individual test-takers in calendar year 2021 and maintained an overall pass rate of 70%. In the spring of 2021, ICCB staff worked with each testing vendor to move from the pilot phase of online testing into a permanent option for each exam.

Administration of the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): This ICCB and Illinois Board of Higher Education co-led initiative allows students to transfer seamlessly across nearly 100 Illinois institutions. During calendar year 2021, the website’s database housed a total of 6,713 active GECC courses and 2,416 active major courses, totaling 9,129 active courses in IAI. The IAI is central to the transfer experience of the 277,500 students enrolled in transfer courses each year. On average, 49,500 students transfer annually.


Looking for more information?

© 2023 Illinois Comptroller's Office All rights reserved