Welcome to the Health Science Learning Exchange

A crisis is looming in the health sciences. By 2020, the number of available health care-related jobs will grow dramatically—in fact, the 10 careers with the highest expected growth fall within the health sciences. Meanwhile, dramatic changes in healthcare reform reveal major trends that affect students, educators, and healthcare providers: an aging population has more complex and chronic health needs, patients are becoming more culturally and ethnically diverse, and communities and regions with the highest need face severe shortages of healthcare providers.

The health science industry of the future offers plenty of opportunity for job seekers. But employers ask: Will there be enough qualified workers to fill those jobs? Educators ask: Are students learning what they need to know to fill those positions?


The Illinois Health Science Learning Exchange (HSLE) is preparing students for the expanding opportunities awaiting them in college and careers in health care, mental health, biomedical research, informatics/ health information technologies, and elder care—and giving employers a larger role in guiding the education of tomorrow’s healths science employees. Part of the Illinois Pathways Initiative, the HSLE supports school districts, community colleges, universities, and employers to build local career pathways that help learners explore and follow their academic and career interests in the health sciences.

Formed in 2012 after the Illinois State Board of Education selected the University of Illinois at Chicago as one of the state’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Learning Exchanges, the HSLE improves coordination and delivery of resources, work-based learning opportunities, career guidance, and partnerships that support local STEM programs. The HSLE was originally funded by a U.S. Department of Education Race to the Top grant, and exchange administrators are actively seeking continued sources of funding to expand the program.

Whether you’re a school district looking for resources for your students or a potential business or community member looking to get more involved in this important work, we invite you to explore this site to learn more about the HSLE. To become a member, get involved, or contribute resources, please contact us today! We look forward to your joining us in moving our state forward in addressing our health science workforce needs.