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The Center offers comprehensive programs for students (including GEAR UP, Talent Search, and Upward Bound Math Science, 21st Century Community Learning Centers) that encourage exploration, demonstrate rigor, and build confidence in their abilities.

Preparing for College

Chicago GEAR UP

Since 1999, CCAS has been awarded six GEAR UP grants to work with students from 7th grade into the first year of college/ postsecondary education. GEAR UP's objectives are:

  • Increase the academic performance and preparation for post-secondary education.

  • Increase the rate of high school graduation & participation in post-secondary education.

  • Increase GEAR UP students and their families’ knowledge of post-secondary education options, preparation, persistence, and financing.


For more information, visit the GEAR UP section.


TRIO Talent Search

The Talent Search program identifies and assists individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. The program provides academic, career, and financial counseling to its participants and encourages them to graduate from high school and continue on to and complete their postsecondary education.

Services include:

  • Tutoring

  • College Tours

  • Student and Parent Workshops

  • Summer enrichment

  • Assistance with college and financial aid applications


TRIO Upward Bound Math & Science

The TRIO Upward Bound Math & Science program is a United States Department of Education Federal grant administered by CCAS. TRIO UBMS at NEIU is funded to serve 75 students from 6 Chicago Public Schools and 3 Cicero/Berwyn high schools. The goal of TRIO UBMS at NEIU is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education.

For more information, visit


21st Century Community Learning Centers

CCAS operates a number of 21st Century Community Learning Centers in Chicago, Cicero/Berwyn elementary, middle and high schools. These centers offer academic, artistic, recreational and cultural enrichment opportunities to students and their families when school is not in session. No fees are charged to families for these programs.

These opportunities focus on:

  • Improving academic achievement in reading, mathematics, and science

  • Helping students meet the Illinois Learning Standards as well as locally developed standards in the core subject areas

  • Complementing the regular academic program

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