The Urban Leadership Center Anticipating the Needs of the Community
Investing in Our Future
No issue is as critical to the future of Chicago as the education of our children. To meet this challenge, the Urban Leadership Center was established with special funding from the Illinois legislature. Its business is education. Located at 10244 S. Vincennes Avenue in Chicago, the staff have a high degree of expertise in working with local people to identify pressing issues affecting the quality of life of community residents. In turn, they implement programs that address those problems.
What Is the Urban Leadership Center?
The process of school reform has thrust hundreds of Chicagoans into the roles of policymakers, negotiators, and leaders. Citizens are volunteering their time and energy to improve their neighborhood schools. To assist in this effort, the University of Illinois Urban Leadership Center offers expertise and resources in educational policy and leadership, school law, curriculum development, teacher education, instructional research and curriculum evaluation, early childhood education, child care, multicultural bilingual education, vocational, adult and continuing education, and community and neighborhood development.
Working together, multidisciplinary teams of University of Illinois Extension professionals, community leaders, parents, and campus-based faculty combine their talents to help improve public school education in Chicago.
In-depth training is provided to district and local school councils, community leaders, parents, and citizens to better understand and participate in the public school education process.Examples of such training include:
- Increasing schools' awareness and skills in volunteerism to expand the involvement of parents, students, and community members.
- Improving the knowledge and skills of council members and local citizens in the management and governance of public schools.
- Preparing local school council members to develop an appropriate school improvement plan and budget.
- Designing student team-building opportunities to strengthen the linkage among faculty, students, parents, and community.
The Urban Leadership Center
- Helps LSC members understand and prepare for their role as a council member.
- Provides a place to go for relevant, research-based information.
- Is a free service to LSC members and the community.
- Serves as a library and clearinghouse for speakers on leadership training, organizational management, public policy, interpersonal communications, labor relations, student leadership development, and parent education.
- Brings to the community the expertise and resources of the Extension in Cook County and at the Urbana-Champaign campus, as well as the College of Education of the University of Illinois at Chicago.
- Provides a meeting place for the school community and LSC members.
- Assists councils in identifying and securing resources.
- Designs educational programs that promote cooperation and build partnerships.
- Assists in the South End Principals' Organization.
The Urban Leadership Center serves the far South Side communities south of 87th Street including Beverly, East Side, Morgan Park, Mount Greenwood, Roseland, South Deering, Washington Heights, West Pullman, and Pullman.
The Urban Leadership Center Goals
- Improve linkages among parents, community, and schools.
- Increase knowledge and skills of district and local school councils for improving community and public education.
- Increase community residents' awareness, understanding, and involvement in public school and neighborhood improvement and development efforts.