Our Story

The Center for College Access and Success (CCAS) is Northeastern Illinois University’s center for educational outreach into PreK-12 schools and community. Funded primarily by state and federal grants, we provide innovative programming that increases student achievement, enhances teaching pedagogies, and strengthens communities’ engagement in their schools. Founded in 1978, we are the largest student support and school improvement organization in Illinois.

A Rich History of Innovation and Success in Education

With more than 36 years of experience in PreK-12 schools, we are a leader in strengthening the P-20 educational pipeline for students. Focused on readiness, access and success, the Center brings together stakeholders in the Chicago area to increase college enrollment and graduation rates. We are expanding the national dialogue about student access and success among area colleges and universities, in our program schools, and among educational partners from across the country.


The goal of all of our work is to increase the number of Illinois high school students who pursue and complete a postsecondary degree. Students served by our programs, who are overwhelmingly low-income and minority, are entering college in greater numbers and, having entered, are persisting at higher rates.

Partners and Funders

We increasing impact through collaboration. We leverage funds from multiple sources to increase the benefit to students, parents and teachers. Our work is funded by State of Illinois appropriation, federal, state and private grants, and contracts. As a leader in developing collaborative relationships between schools, universities, businesses, arts and community-based organizations, the Center works with partner organizations to identify and prioritize needs, and design a plan of action.


21st Century Community of Learners

Arts at the Center

Cicero-Berwyn Education Initiative


Talent Search

Upward Bound Math & Science

Experiential Learning

Motivational Interviewing

CenterSpace Workshop Calendar

Professional Development Workshop Series

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathemathics (STEM)

iMathination Conference

Inquiry and Design Institute

Young Adult Literature Conference

Bilingual/English as a Second Language Endorsements


Center Adminstration

Grant Programs

Parent Resources




Center for College
Access and Success

770 N Halsted, Suite 420
Chicago, IL 60642
fax 312-563-7210