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Friday, February 28, 2014

Northeastern Illinois University Announces Plans to Expand and Enhance Opportunities that Lead to Improved College Readiness, Access and Graduation Rates

CHICAGO – Today Northeastern Illinois University announced a reorganization of its resources at its Chicago Teachers’ Center (CTC). This change will position Northeastern to better serve its community partners and local teachers, as well as further the success of students along the entire educational pipeline—from pre-Kindergarten through college.

Due to the success and growth of CTC’s programming over the past 35 years, Northeastern will update the center’s name to one that better reflects its expanded role in the national dialogue about student access to college and success toward graduation. This new center will be called the Center for College Access and Success.

The Center for College Access and Success will continue CTC’s tradition of creating model programs that translate visions for school improvement into concrete action. In addition to helping students complete high school, this center will focus on ensuring that high school students are ready for college-level coursework, that they have access to higher education, and that they are successful in attaining a college degree. This new center will be led by Wendy Stack, executive director of the Center for College Access and Success and associate vice president for access, research and innovation.

Also, Northeastern is preserving the Chicago Teachers’ Center’s original mission through the establishment of a College of Education Resource Center. The College of Education Resource Center will continue to build the connection between local teachers and Northeastern Illinois University’s College of Education—a leading preparer of teachers, principals and school professionals for more than 100 years. This center will focus on professional development for pre-service and practicing elementary and secondary school teachers. This center also will connect students in Northeastern’s College of Education with teachers in Chicago Public Schools and other local school districts.

Sharon Hahs, president of Northeastern, said, “Leading these efforts is integral to Northeastern’s mission, as we serve many diverse and first-generation students who will benefit greatly from this work.”

Stack added, “We are in a unique position to respond to the needs of our communities and to build a college-going culture through our innovative programs and collaborative partnerships. As we continue to help students become college ready, gain access to higher education and provide the support they need to succeed, these changes will allow Northeastern to further marshal its extensive resources and play an even more enhanced role in both the regional and national dialogues on urban education, attainment, the completion agenda and college pipeline related issues.”

In order to better contribute to the regional and national dialogues on urban education issues, Northeastern plans to enhance its urban education research agenda through increased collaboration.

“Coordinating the efforts of the Center for College Access and Success with the central efforts of Northeastern will allow us to integrate the administration of research,” said Richard Helldobler, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Northeastern. “This will provide us increased opportunities to diversify our research and grant portfolios. We also plan to establish two research fellowships at the Center for College Access and Success to invite faculty to engage in research leading to publication and dissemination.”

While this reorganization of the Chicago Teachers’ Center will allow Northeastern to more effectively serve the community, Northeastern does not anticipate any immediate impact on the Chicago Teachers’ Center’s partners. All services will remain the same, and offices will remain in their current location, 770 N. Halsted St. in Chicago.

Hahs said, “I commend the work of the Northeastern Illinois University Chicago Teachers’ Center for building the foundation from which these new initiatives will flourish. Through the reorganization process, Northeastern is proactively impacting and improving the pipeline to college and strengthening the skills of teachers in the classroom.”

Helldobler added, “This exciting initiative is only possible because of President Hahs’ leadership and dedication to urban education. Her vision of strengthening the educational opportunities leading up to college will only improve the success of students at Northeastern and beyond.”

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