Founded in 1978, The Center for College Access and Success (CCAS) is the largest school improvement organization in Chicago. It has been Northeastern’s presence in downtown Chicago for more than thirty years.  It serves diverse communities in metropolitan Chicago and nearby urban centers. The Center's goal is to create a college-going culture where students develop the skills they need to apply, transition, and eventually graduate from college.

If you are an alumnus of any of the College Bound programs (GEAR UP, Talent Search, Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science), be sure to check in with your advisor regarding TRIO Student Support Services and other activities, scholarships, and incentives to help with successful transition to Northeastern Illinois University.

A Unique Role

The Center for College Access and Success is in the unique position of connecting research, innovative programming, and educational funding priorities. It collaborates across the University to create programs for students that will increase access to postsecondary education, and improve retention and success. The Center implements these programs in pre-K-12 schools supported by grants from local, state, and federal agencies, private foundations, and corporations.

Preparing for Success

All Center for College Access and Success programs are focused on aspects of Preparation, Readiness, Access, and Success as a formula for success in education, career and life. It uses innovative and research-based strategies to strengthen the educational pipeline. Students become academically prepared, enroll in college and persist through graduation, increasing their potential for successful futures.

A Leader in Programs and Resources

During the 37 years of partnership with schools, the Center has demonstrated an exemplary record of success in improving student outcomes. It is expanding participation in the national dialogue about first generation, low-income college goers through the leadership role at the University, in the collaborating schools and districts, and with other educational partners across the country.

Approaches That Work

The Center for College Access and Success brings together teachers, parents, administrators, and staff from community agencies, universities, arts and cultural organizations, and businesses to share knowledge and resources. The Center is successful because it is able to work with all of the stakeholders that create a college-going culture in homes, schools, and communities.

Programs areas include: College Readiness and Access, College Success Support, Out-of-School Time, Parent and Family Engagement, STEM Initiatives, and Professional Development for teachers, administrators and other school and community staff.

Northeastern's Presence In Downtown Chicago

Located at the corner of Halsted Street and Chicago Avenue, the Center for College Access and Success occupies the fourth floor of a loft building just west of downtown Chicago. In addition to the office space, it has a large conference center where it hosts meetings, classes, conferences, and workshops. This location is convenient for its partners and close to its constituents.


Center for College Access and Success

770 N. Halsted, Suite 420  I  Chicago, IL 60642 I  312-733-7330

For more information, visit our website Center for College Access and Success