Who We Are

A unique public-private partnership for student success

The Health Science Learning Exchange (HSLE) is focused on supporting school districts, community colleges, universities, employers, and other stakeholders to build local career pathway systems that empower learners to explore their academic and career interests in the health science field. Student success depends on partnering with education and the private sector, and the HSLE is committed to improving how public and private investment is coordinated across the health science sector in Illinois.


The HSLE is part of the Illinois Pathways program and one of the state’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Learning Exchanges. Under the direction of Paula Allen-Meares, Ph.D., former Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Chicago, UIC assumed the lead role in developing health science STEM learning exchanges in Illinois.

“UIC is one of the top 200 research universities in the world and home to the largest college of medicine in the U.S.,” Allen-Meares said when the HSLE was formed in 2012. “Many startups have sprung from our research. With our broad reach and deep understanding of the health sciences and the market, UIC is well-suited and proud to lead the HSLE for the future of Illinois and its citizens.”

UIC coordinates a statewide member network of businesses, employer associations, education partners, and other stakeholders. These networks provide to the school districts of Illinois various resources to support students and their teachers in their pursuit of careers and the development of curriculum respectively in the health science field.

The Health Services Learning Exchange connects three groups with the resources they need, giving each constituency a stronger role in building a better future for Illinois healthcare:


Illinois Pathways was launched in 2012 in response to a growing cross-sector sentiment that education and job opportunities were not matched to one another. A career pathways approach takes existing education and workforce services from a variety of disconnected programs and reorients them into a structure that focuses on students in need of education and training and their future career paths. Illinois Pathways consists of two strategies: first, to support local career pathway systems development that empowers students to explore their academic and career interests in STEM fields; second, to launch new statewide, public-private partnerships known as STEM Learning Exchanges that better coordinate investments, resources, and planning.


Illinois STEM Learning Exchanges are a new way to think about education: a public-private education partnership that supports and serves local-level STEM programs of study. Exchanges are arranged around career clusters and work to coordinate and reduce investments and transaction costs among statewide networks of education partners, businesses, industry associations, and labor organizations, as well as improving tracking of local and statewide performance. Besides the HSLE, other STEM exchanges include Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources; Energy; Finance, Information Technology; Manufacturing; and Research and Development, among others.