Chicago College and Career Advising Credential (CCCAC)

Do you work with youth?

Do youth ask you for advice on their education and career plans?

Do you want up-to-date postsecondary pathway information and support with guiding youth on transitions?

The Chicago College and Career Advising Credential (CCCAC) is a six-day interactive cohort training in which you will:

  • practice youth-centered coaching strategies, such as goal setting, overcoming goal setbacks, and cultural responsiveness
  • hear guest speakers discuss different progressive postsecondary pathway options (college, military, apprenticeships, job training, and service/gap year)
  • try out tools that will help youth explore their passions and find corresponding pathway options that are right for them
  • examine ways in which racial inequities affect coaching practices and identify ways to limit implicit biases
  • join a growing group of CCCAC alumni who continue to learn and network at events

This training is intended for adults who work with youth in schools, at organizations, or in the community (e.g. youth coaches, school counselors, job developers, faith leaders, parents, librarians, after school instructors, etc.)

What are progressive pathways?

Progressive pathways allow individuals to alternate between and combine periods of education/training and employment, and thereby progressively build toward college and career success over an extended period of time. 

For further program information, scroll down to the bottom of the page to see tabbed information.

Questions? Contact Dana Horstein at or 312-252-0460 x304

CCCAC Update

CCCAC in-person cohort trainings are currently on hold due to COVID-19. During this time, Chicago Jobs Council is working hard to develop an online CCCAC training. Demonstrate your interest in future in-person/online CCCAC trainings and events by completing a short Interest Form. In doing so, you will be among the first to receive updates about new CCCAC training dates in 2021.

Credential Information:

Training Details

Training Formats and Schedule: CJC intends to run in-person and/or online cohort trainings again in 2021. The in-person CCCAC cohort training meets biweekly for 6 days from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. We are currently developing a new CCCAC online curriculum. There is an application process to be admitted into both types of trainings.

No more than two (2) individuals will be accepted into the cohort from a single organization. For additional information about training groups of people from your organization on CCCAC, see the Group Training Options tab.

Facilitation: The training is delivered by Dana Horstein, CCCAC Program Manager. Many guest speakers are also invited to share their expertise on the postsecondary pathways.

Location and Food: In-person trainings are located at Chicago Jobs Council Office (29 E. Madison, Suite 1700-C Chicago, IL 60602). Breakfast and lunch are provided.

Group Training Options

Customized Training Option: If you wish to have groups from your organization trained in the near future, please inquire about a customized training. CJC conducts customized trainings in which content is adapted to fit your participants’ needs and the local context. Trainings can be conducted at CJC or an off-site location. 

Train-the-Trainer Option: CJC also looks forward to developing a train-the-trainer option. For this option, an organization sends selected staff member(s) through a multi-day train-the-trainer training, so that they can conduct their own CCCAC trainings internally. In addition, organizations are strongly encouraged to send potential trainers through the 6-day CCCAC cohort training before applying for the train-the-trainer option.  

For more information about either option, contact Dana Horstein at

Credential Features

  • Participant-centered: learn through peer interaction and content that engages multiple learning modalities (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile)
  • Cohort Learning: benefit from a small group of learners that remains the same throughout the training
  • Guest Speakers: hear from youth who have completed postsecondary pathway programs, as well as from pathway program representatives
  • Current Youth Coaching Best Practices: learn current best practices, such as cultural competency and trauma-informed care
  • Group Capstone Project: create systemic change with postsecondary planning by developing a group capstone project based on training content, and sharing this content with others in your professional or personal community

CCCAC Background: A Collaboration with Youth Guidance and Chicago Public Schools

This iteration of CCCAC, which is designed for a broad audience of youth-serving “guides,” has been developed by Chicago Jobs Council and Youth Guidance and builds on a previous revision the two organizations completed for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) in Fall 2019. CPS originally adopted the CCCAC curriculum in 2016 to train their high school counselors on the best strategies for advising students on their post-secondary pathway options.

Chicago Jobs Council moves people out of poverty through employment using on-the-ground expertise, advocacy and capacity-building. Through it’s Frontline Focus Training Institute, it has a 16-year history of providing trainings for workforce professionals. Youth Guidance creates and implements school-based programs that enable children to overcome obstacles, focus on their education and, ultimately, to succeed in school and in life. It serves more than 13,000 students in Chicago Public Schools.

CCCAC is supported by the Progressive Pathways Fund (Pro Path Fund), whose vision is that all of the region’s young adults making the transition from secondary to post-secondary have the information, guidance, and available options they need to successfully access pathways that lead to post-secondary success and family economic stability. The Pro Path Fund is situated within the Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance, a collaboration of over 30 education and workforce funders, whose mission is to collaborate with employees and other workforce stakeholders to increase employment, earnings and racial equity for underprepared workers in the Chicago region.

CCCAC Timeline and Curricular Overview

In the linked document, you can take a look at the evolution of CCCAC in a timeline that spans from 2014-2020. You can also view curricular themes, as well as each of the session titles in the 6-day training. 

Program Cost

If accepted into the cohort, a participation fee is required.

  • $250 per individual not from an organization
  • $500 per individual from an organization
  • $750 per 2 individuals from an organization

We understand that organizations and individuals may be under different financial pressures due to COVID-19.  Scholarships are available for the training program. Please contact Dana Horstein, Program Manager, for more details about our scholarship policy. She can be reached at or 312-252-0460×304

Application Update

Due to COVID-19, applications for the CCCAC training will not open for Fall 2020.  If you are interested in a future in-person/online CCCAC training, please complete a short Interest Form. By doing so, you will be among the first to receive updates about new CCCAC training dates in 2021.

Application Criteria

The Chicago Jobs Council has an explicit and expressed commitment to reduce racial and gender disparities.  As such, we plan to prioritize participants of color, women, and individuals from organizations located in under-resourced neighborhoods. To further ensure diverse representation in the cohort, only up to two members from a given organization will be accepted into the cohort.

To successfully complete the Credential Program, applicants are expected to:

  • Attend all six training days in their entirety
    • Applications include a Statement of Commitment from the applicant, the applicant’s supervisor, and the applicant’s executive director. All statements must be signed for the application to be considered complete.
  • Complete extension assignments between sessions, such as watching videos, answering reflection questions, and continuing work on a group project (approximately 1-1.5 hours between each training day)
  • Be open to collaboration and personal growth