Center for Access & Attainment > About > Partnerships


College Connect student engages the audience in her art exibit

The Center for Access and Attainment fosters relationships with community and educational organizations that share the goal of enhancing pathways to college for students from diverse cultural and socioeconomic groups in Chicago.

Such partnerships have been the foundation of DePaul's outreach strategy with the goals of increasing visibility and awareness about DePaul and creating a pipeline to the university for students underrepresented in higher education.

We have worked with numerous community partners since 1998. Some of our current partners include:
U.S. Department of Education logo

TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) provides advising, academic assistance, mentoring and career-related services to eligible first-generation and low-income undergraduates at DePaul to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants and help students make the transition from college to career. Since 1997, DePaul's SSS program has assisted approximately 2,000 students on the path to timely attainment of the baccalaureate degree.  SSS at DePaul is a U.S. Department of Education TRIO Program supported by 83 percent federal funds and 17 percent in university funds.

TRIO programs have their origins in the federal "War on Poverty" initiatives of the 1960s and 1970s. Their overall goal is to expand educational opportunity by providing a pathway from sixth grade to college graduation for students from low-income and first-generation college families. However, not all colleges and universities offer TRIO programs, which are awarded through a highly competitive grant process administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

International Baccalaureate (IB) logo

Chicago is home to the largest number of International Baccalaureate (IB) schools in the United States, with over 20 CPS high schools carrying the IB Diploma Programme, the Career-related Programme, or both. There are also several elementary schools with the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme. All International Baccalaureate programs are academically rigorous, internationally recognized and work with over 3,700 schools across the world to offer a curriculum that focuses on international perspectives of learning and teaching. Personal and academic reflection, and participation in service-oriented activities are central components of the IB.

DePaul is proud to work closely with Chicago IB coordinators in providing special leadership development opportunities, summer enrichment programs, and professional development opportunities for CPS IB students and teachers. More information on IB offerings in the Chicago Public Schools can be found on the CPS website. For more information about the relationship between DePaul and IB, click here.

GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) logo

GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. Chicago GEAR UP Alliance is a federally funded program whose goals include:

  • increasing students' academic performance and high school graduation rates;
  • providing opportunities and guideance for college preparation for students and their families to build awareness of college choices, preparation required for entry and success, as well as financial literacy.

DePaul partners with the Chicago GEAR UP Alliance in exposing students to post-secondary options as well as widening college access and participation.

Target H.O.P.E. logo

Target H.O.P.E. (Healing, Opportunity, Pride and Empowerment)  is a privately funded college preparation and mentoring program for high school students of color in Chicago. Healing, Opportunity, Pride and Empowerment are the concepts through which the staff implement academic retention strategies, improve opportunities for college admission and increase minority graduation rates in higher education.

Prep To Succeed logo

Prep To Succeed is a nonprofit organization providing free, individualized ACT tutoring to Chicago high school students. Their goal is to help students increase their ACT scores, which will help them get into better colleges and obtain greater financial aid opportunities. Prep To Succeed partners with DePaul and we host their mentoring workshops on DePaul's Loop campus.