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Northeastern Illinois University's Center for College Access and Success creates support systems for

first-generation students, their families, and their schools to make their dream of a college education a reality.

A message from our Interim Director


"My vision for CCAS is to increase the NEIU footprint in the

PK-12 community and build partnerships to increase college access while collaborating with the NEIU Student Success and Retention team and campus departments to foster and drive student success. CCAS will embark on strategic planning in the upcoming months as a community to establish initiatives and programs that will support students, families and educators to achieve our mission and vision, while establishing a pipeline into NEIU.

I would also like to take the opportunity to formally announce

the Center for College Access and Success is moving! After 29 years of service at the 770 N. Halsted location, the University has decided to relocate CCAS to the NEIU El Centro campus in Avondale. To be readily available to the constituents we serve, CCAS members will also be located at the Main Campus in the North Park neighborhood and the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies in the Bronzeville area."


Irma A. Ortiz
CCAS Senior Director

Middle, Secondary, and 

Postsecondary Students


College readiness initiatives — mentoring, tutoring,

AP preparation, dual enrollment coaching, college and

career advising, support for postsecondary enrollment

and success—prepare middle school, secondary and

postsecondary students each year for college enrollment,

persistence, graduation, and careers. These initiatives

are funded by federal, state, corporate, and foundation

grants including GEAR UP, Talent Search, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math & Science and 21st Century Community Learning Centers. With support from CCAS staff, each year

an increasing number of students successfully transition from middle to high school, graduate from high school, enroll and

persist in postsecondary education.

Families and Communities


Parents and other family members are engaged as equal

partners in learning and teaching. Each year, leadership development, advocacy and postsecondary education

planning experiences help nearly 4,000 families increase

their awareness of opportunities in higher education to

create systems that will support their children’s postsecondary success.

Teachers, Administrators,

Faculty and Staff

Each year over 750 teachers, counselors and administrators

participate in professional development, endorsement courses, and conferences led by CCAS staff and faculty from Northeastern Illinois University and Loyola University. All focus on strategies to improve STEM, literacy, biliteracy

support artistic practices and provide special education 

services for low-income, first-generation students.


CCAS programming is funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Education, Illinois Board of Higher Education, Illinois State Board of Education, The Chicago Community Trust/HIVE Chicago, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, and the Revada Foundation


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