Advance Illinois

BCG’s Center for Illinois' Future helped Advanced Illinois devise a long-term education strategy to boost college-graduation rates.

Advance Illinois

In 2008, Illinois schools needed a new approach: Student achievement lagged US and global averages. Only 20% of ninth-graders ultimately graduated from college, and the college-graduation rate for nonwhite students was less than 10%. Leaders at the education advocacy organization Advance Illinois turned to BCG to create a long-term strategy to drive transformational change and improve outcomes for Illinois students.


BCG Solution

After conducting a thorough assessment, BCG created and helped secure approval for Advance Illinois, a new nonpartisan advocacy organization that would drive school policy change in Illinois. BCG created a long-term business plan for the organization, including policy priorities, a three-year budget, and a five-year activity map. The BCG team served as the interim staff until an executive director could be hired.


With Advance Illinois established, the state’s schools now have a long-term plan for success. An executive director has been hired to help give Illinois schools a fresh approach. More than a dozen prominent board members have been recruited, including the state’s governor and leading Congressional representatives.

Even after the project concluded, BCG has continued to help Advance Illinois with grant writing, securing three years of funding. We also helped the organization select a PR agency and design a launch plan that will serve the program well into the future.

About Advance Illinois

Advance Illinois is a bipartisan education advocacy organization that works to improve education policy in Illinois to ensure that all students are prepared for college or a career. Since helping launch Advance Illinois in 2008, BCG has collaborated with the organization to drive policy change and serve the interests of students throughout Illinois.