Student Advisory Council

About the Student Advisory Council

The most effective change is grounded in the experiences of and inputs from those most impacted by any system. The Illinois 60 by 25 Network Organizers – Advance Illinois, Education Systems Center at Northern Illinois University (EdSystems), and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) – are establishing a Student Advisory Council to gather feedback on how students experience various initiatives that the Network supports. Network Organizers also seek to understand what kinds of supports would be helpful to students as they navigate the education system.

The Council will gather on a regular basis to share their perspectives to inform the 60 by 25 Network’s efforts and statewide policy more broadly, deepen their own knowledge on issues that advance educational equity, and strengthen their understanding of the education policy and practice landscape in Illinois. 

About the Illinois 60 by 25 Network

Only 52.2% of Illinois residents have a high-quality college degree or postsecondary credential, while most employers say they need employees with some postsecondary education. The Illinois P-20 Council established a goal for Illinois to increase the number of adults with high-quality college degrees and postsecondary credentials to 60% by the year 2025. While the P-20 Council and State agencies monitor this goal and focus on State policy to support it, this alone will not drive the local efforts needed to ensure students seamlessly progress to and through postsecondary education and into the workforce.


The Network Organizers launched a statewide support infrastructure – the Illinois 60 by 25 Network – in 2013 in recognition of the emergence of local initiatives across Illinois to increase postsecondary attainment. The goal of the Network is to support communities to increase meaningful and equitable postsecondary attainment through a combination of peer-to-peer learning opportunities including an annual convening, technical assistance, and funding, among other strategies.

Postsecondary education is education obtained after high school (e.g., community college, 4-year college/university, trade school). A credential is a certificate that is recognized by employers or a license recognized by a state and demonstrates that students have the knowledge and skills to engage in higher education and career opportunities after high school.

Student Advisory Council Role, Responsibilities, and Accountability

The Student Advisory Council will consist of 12 members who are expected to participate in up to three meetings per academic year. Council members who are unable to attend meetings should notify the Network Director in advance. Members who miss more than two meetings over the course of the academic year and/or are unable to actively participate may be asked to step down to ensure the Council has functional student input. 

In addition to the three virtual meetings per year, council members are encouraged to attend the annual Illinois 60 by 25 Network Conference as possible to increase their familiarity with the Network and its mission. The 2021 conference will take place virtually on February 22-25.

Who Should Apply?

The Illinois 60 by 25 Network seeks Student Advisory Council members who reflect the diversity of students in the State. The ideal member embodies the following:

  • A current high school student at a public school in one of the Illinois 60 by 25 Network Leadership Communities (see the list of current Leadership Communities
  • An openness to new ideas and desire to learn
  • Willingness to share their knowledge about and experiences with education

What Can You Expect as a Member of the Student Advisory Council?

  • Meaningful opportunities to contribute to recommendations to improve educational experiences and outcomes for students across Illinois 
  • Leadership development opportunities
  • Access to a Network of leaders from around the state and opportunities to learn about diverse careers in the education sector 
  • A $100 per meeting stipend as part of your participation

What Is the Time Commitment of the Student Advisory Council?

Membership in the Student Advisory Council is a two-year commitment. However, the inaugural cohort will run from January 2020 through May 2022 with a subsequent cohort beginning in June 2022. Council members are welcome to renew their involvement for consecutive terms. To ensure continuity, Council members will serve staggered terms. In the first year, six members will serve for five months and roll off the Council in May 2021. Six new members will replace them and serve from June 2021 to May 2023. However, future cohort members will be staggered each year.

To be in good standing, members are expected to attend virtual meetings or communicate conflicts in advance. The Network Director will work with members to identify dates and times that work best around school year schedules.

Application Timeline

  • Application Open: October 26 – December 1
  • Phone Interviews: December 9–11
  • Notice of Acceptance: December 16

Advisory Council Meeting: January TBD

2020 Application Form

Thank you for your interest in serving on the Illinois 60 by 25 Network Student Advisory Council. Please complete the application questions by December 1, 2020. If you have any questions, please contact Edith Njuguna, Network Director, at