In 2020-21 the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) contracted with Northern Illinois University (NIU) Center for Governmental Studies (CGS) to do an in-depth study of the economic impacts of the Illinois Community College System (ICCS). The ICCS Economic Impact Study (EIS) report includes the following components:

  • An environmental scan demonstrates the need for and value of community colleges as a key component of state and regional workforce initiatives. External factors such as demography and the labor market are examined and highlights how the ICCS is well-positioned to meet community need and quickly place students in occupations and industries in demand.
  • A student-level outcome analysis highlights the substantial return on investment from community college certificates and degrees. Subgroup analysis on student demographics, types/lengths of certificates and degrees, and areas of study are examined.
  • An economic impact analysis establishes the importance of community colleges as economic engines and employment hubs in their host communities.

The statewide Economic Impact Study and supporting materials are provided in the links below. The district-level EIS reports are available through each community college’s Public Relations division and/or Institutional Research division.

For any questions related to the report contact Nathan Wilson, ICCB Deputy Director for Research at or 217-558-2067.

Legislative and media inquiries should be directed to Matt Berry, ICCB Chief of Staff at or 217-785-7411.