Career Education Corporation and Chicago Urban League Partner to Bring STEM Education to Local Schools

Career Education Corporation has awarded a $50,000 grant to the Chicago Urban League in support of the Urban League’s efforts to increase African American participation in future careers based in science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM. The grant was announced Oct. 31 at Benjamin E. Mays Academy in Chicago, where the Urban League hosts a leadership development program for middle school students. The announcement, which was part of a special school assembly, featured local doctors, engineers and other professionals who have turned their STEM education into successful careers.

"Our nation has fallen behind the rest of the world in STEM education achievement. Unfortunately, achievement in these areas is worse among African American students. We see the results in the preparedness of some students entering our postsecondary schools. So we’re proud to work with the Chicago Urban League to improve the emphasis on STEM subjects and careers among local middle schools students," said Walter Pryor, vice president of government affairs for Schaumburg, Ill.-based Career Education Corporation. "More students need to see that studying science, technology, engineering and math can lead to interesting and rewarding careers."

“We are grateful to Career Education Corporation for their partnership and for making this tremendous investment in our children,” said Andrea L. Zopp, president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. “An education curriculum with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math can lead to a promising career. African American children are being left out of their future jobs because of a lack of exposure to STEM. We must change this trend and our NULITES program is one of the best programs to introduce STEM to young people. This support from Career Education Corporation builds on our 95 year tradition of creating educational, economic, and social opportunities with the power to transform people’s lives.”

STEM education will be integrated into the Chicago Urban League’s curriculum for the National Urban League Incentives To Excel and Succeed (NULITES) program in January 2012. The NULITES program, a National Urban League initiative that the Chicago Urban League has operated since 2007, works with local middle school students to develop leadership and academic skills to ensure success in high school, a successful transition into college and ultimately graduation with a higher education degree.

STEM education and career exploration will be added to NULITES activities that include educational seminars, financial workshops, high school preparation sessions, community service projects and field trips. Since its local inception, students in the Chicago Urban League’s NULITES program have consistently demonstrated increases in academic performance, leadership and social skills, and high school preparation. NULITES programs are currently offered at Benjamin E. Mays Academy and Charles S. Deneen and Elihu Yale Elementary Schools.
In an inspiring demonstration of what lucrative opportunities are available to those who pursue STEM careers, the grant announcement featured several local professionals who motivated more than 100 students to take advantage of STEM education. Special presenters at the Mays Academy assembly included:

Jason Coleman, an engineer who is the Executive Director of Project SYNCERE, an organization that introduces students to the STEM fields;

Octavia Hooks, manager of community affairs at the Museum of Science and Industry;
Dr. Daniel Johnson, Section Chief, Academic Pediatrics, Associate Chair for Research, Associate Professor, The University of Chicago Medical Center;
Carmen Patton, an executive in research and innovation in the ethnic development division of L’Oreal; and
Dr. Karriem S. Watson, Clinical Research Specialist, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Illinois Medical Center.

In addition to curriculum and guest speakers, the Career Education Corporation-supported NULITES STEM component will include a variety of hands-on activities that will give students first-hand exposure to STEM careers. Those opportunities will include visits to the Museum of Science and Industry and Microsoft offices.

About the Chicago Urban League
Established in 1916, the Chicago Urban League works for economic, educational and social progress for African Americans and promotes strong sustainable communities through progressive advocacy, effective collaboration and innovative programming. For more information, visit www.thechicagourbanleague.org.

About Career Education Corporation
The colleges, schools and universities that are part of the Career Education Corporation (“CEC”) family offer high-quality education to a diverse student population of more than 100,000 students across the world in a variety of career-oriented disciplines through online, on-ground and hybrid learning program offerings. The more than 90 campuses that serve these students are located throughout the United States and in France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Monaco, and offer doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees and diploma and certificate programs.

CEC is an industry leader whose institutions are recognized globally. Those institutions include, among others, American InterContinental University (“AIU”); Brooks Institute; Colorado Technical University (“CTU”); Harrington College of Design; INSEEC Group (“INSEEC”) Schools; International University of Monaco (“IUM”); International Academy of Design & Technology (“IADT”); Istituto Marangoni; Le Cordon Bleu North America (“LCB”); and Sanford-Brown Institutes and Colleges. Through its schools, CEC is committed to providing high-quality education, enabling students to graduate and pursue rewarding career opportunities. For more information, see CEC’s website at www.careered.com. The website includes a detailed listing of individual campus locations and web links to CEC’s colleges, schools, and universities.

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