In June 2014, Northern Illinois University (NIU) convened a small group of community college presidents, school district superintendents, and key state leaders to explore establishing a Northern Illinois P-20 Network. The purpose of the network was to improve college and career success for our students through regional collaboration. Initially funded by a grant from the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the Northern Illinois P-20 Network was also set-up to support the activities of the Illinois P-20 Council. The council’s primary goal is to increase the proportion of Illinoisans with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60% by 2025.
Since its inception, executives from community colleges, school districts, and education organizations have worked together on professional learning and through focused workgroups to achieve the goal of having at least 60% of Illinois adults who hold high quality degrees and credentials by 2025. While the specific initiatives through which this work takes place evolve over time, the original function of the P-20 Network as a professional think tank of thought leaders who can accomplish this goal through collaboration remains unchanged.
Today, the Illinois P-20 Network seeks to unite educators and other stakeholders across Illinois and across the various organizations that are responsible for formal education and learning of all kinds for people of all ages.
The Illinois P-20 Network is facilitated by the Center for P-20 Engagement at Northern Illinois University as part of its Division of Outreach, Engagement, and Regional Development. The P-20 Network is facilitated by Dr. Laurie Elish-Piper, Dean of the College of Education, and Dr. Jason Klein, Director of P-20 Initiatives. For more information and/or to get involved, please email P20Network@niu.edu.