What We Do

One of the primary missions of the Institute is to strengthen the capacity of Illinois private colleges and universities to boost the educational quality of K-12 and higher education in a cost-effective manner. The following are examples of recent Institute initiatives:
  • Project Connect -- multi-year projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education designed to help Illinois private colleges and universities improve teaching and learning through use of the Illinois Century Network, a high-speed telecommunications artery and program of network services dedicated to improving educational opportunity at all levels.
  • Project Health Professions -- an initiative funded by the Small Business Administration to provide training to address workforce shortages in nursing and allied health professionals in the state of Illinois.
  • Project K-12 Workforce -- a demonstration project funded by the Small Business Administration to strengthen the capacity of the K-12 education community to retain and support new teachers qualified to meet the demands of the Twenty-First Century. To achieve this goal, the project expanded the Living Library, an innovative web-based resource launched by the retired teacher and student programs of the Illinois Education Association.
  • Cross the Finish Line -- a demonstration project funded by AT&T. Designed to test a college completion program that provides financial assistance to underserved adults who are within 30 credit hours of earning their degree, but were unable to finish the program due to financial hardships.
  • Teaching with Primary Sources -- A project undertaken in collaboration with the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities and funded by the Library of Congress to help K-12 teachers better utilize the Library's vast collection of digitized primary sources to enrich classroom instruction. With a special focus on visual literacy, the project is designed to meet the needs of all learners across the curriculum -- including history and social studies, language arts/English, science, English-language learners, and those with special needs.
  • Investing in the Future:  An Educational Initiative to Serve Illinois Private College Graduates --  This program provides investor education to graduating seniors, recent graduates, and the broader alumni population of a network of 58 private colleges and universities.  The focus is on helping graduates navigate the confusing array of investment options available to them as new employees and on assisting the needs of alumni with investor education materials suited to their life stage. Conducted over a two-year period, the project will include the development of an interactive website (the Investor Ed Portal) and a mobile app for smart phones and tablets (the Investor Ed App), both of which will connect the target population with existing, high-quality investor education content well suited to their life stage, interests, and needs.
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