Three high-school students sitting at a table picking locks

Runway 606

Pilot Your Future Career Success

Runway 606 is a first-of-its-kind program aimed at providing Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students with a clear, accelerated pathway to high-demand, well-paying careers. 

Why Runway 606?

Today’s students need new types of pathways to higher education and great careers in STEM and other in-demand fields—pathways that reduce barriers to entry as well as their financial commitment. Their educational experience also should be innovative and holistic, providing integrated math and leadership training alongside career mentorship and college readiness prep. 

How Does It Work?

Runway 606 offers an accelerated pathway for CPS high school students, allowing them to transition faster from high school to a master’s degree, potentially reducing the time by two or more years.

Students take City Colleges of Chicago courses (dual enrollment) during their junior and senior years of high school. Through this pathway, they can earn their associate’s degree upon the time of their high school graduation or reduce the time to an associate's degree after high school graduation, and within four years, earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Illinois Tech.

The cybersecurity degree pathway is offered currently, and the opportunities don’t stop with cybersecurity. Because this early college program for CPS students in Chicago focuses on math readiness, career readiness, leadership, and other twenty-first century career skills, students will be prepared to pursue careers in a wide range of fields where STEM preparation is essential. 

Throughout their journeys, students also receive access to educational resources, mentoring, tutoring, and experiential learning opportunities in high-demand tech fields.

Runway 606 Experience | 2 (Junior and senior year of high school) + 2 (Illinois Tech bachelor's degree) + 2 (Illinois Tech master's degree) = Career opportunities in in-demand tech fields

Who Is Eligible to Participate?

Juniors and seniors in any CPS school who meet the relevant criteria can participate in the dual enrollment Runway 606 cybersecurity pathway. 

How Is Runway 606 Unique?

Runway 606 offers more than a cybersecurity career path for high school students. Its unique features include performance-based admissions, tutoring, mentoring, and other support services to foster college readiness and success. Runway 606 is building a community of support for CPS students to address critical skills gaps in math and science preparation and to de-stigmatize asking for help along their educational journeys. In the first pathway launched, cybersecurity, there are already a wide array of “on ramps,” or entry points, to the pathway as well as a plethora of avenues for student success in addition to the core high-school-to-master’s track. This includes an associate’s degree, certifications, credentials, and a wealth of professional experience to build students’ resumes.

When Is Runway 606 Launching?

A pilot program launched in 2023. This fall 2024, juniors and seniors in any CPS school who meet the relevant eligibility criteria can participate in the dual enrollment Runway 606 cybersecurity pathway.

Applied Cybersecurity ITM CB 800x650

Cybersecurity Degree Pathway

Runway 606 currently offers the cybersecurity degree pathway. Cybersecurity is an exciting STEM professional field that is making an incredible impact on the world. A wide variety of jobs are available across industries; for example, career opportunities for information security analysts are expected to increase by 32 percent between 2022–2032, and people in these positions are expected to earn a median salary of $112,000 per year, well above the national median (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2022). This field represents a gateway to professional success and financial stability. 

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Want to learn more? If you are CPS student, parent, teacher, administrator, or community partner, email