Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL)

Est. 1989 - Equity and Inclusion in Education for All

Office of Community College 35 Year Anniversary

An initiative in the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership, OCCRL uses research and evaluation at Illinois to improve policies, programs, and practices that enhance community college education and equity for all learners.

Network News Newsletter

Office of Community College Research and Leadership at Illinois

Brian Becker is highlighted in our Community College Spotlight in the latest Network News. Other items include a throwback podcast with Lauren Hassan from 2021, the State Opportunity Index, and plenty of news and events in higher education.

Democracy's College podcast by the Office of Community College Research and LeadershipOCCRL has created many podcasts over the years highlighting the expertise and experiences of students, scholars, and practitioners in the P-20 education field. Discover the numerous Democracy’s College, Student Spotlight, and Scholarly Personal Narratives podcasts that promote educational equity, justice, and excellence for all students.

Meet H.M. Kuneyl

"I consider myself a community college success story."

Read the full interview.

H.M. Kuneyl


Meet Stacey Robinson

"My fiancée was pregnant and told me that she wouldn’t marry a man without an education. It was the perfect opportunity to enter higher education again."

Read the full interview.

Stacey Robinson


Meet Marissa Vasquez

"I knew college was important but lacked the specific guidance to navigate the education system on my own."

Read the full interview.

Marissa Vasquez with newspaper


Meet Andy Woods

"I would love to combat the stigma that junior college isn't a worthy option for the first two years of college."

Read the full interview

Andy Woods and his daughter, Jenna