Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL)

Est. 1989 - 35 Years Strong!

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

The latest Network News highlights several important higher education events happening in the next few months and this spring, including the ILACEP Summit at Parkland College, the NISOD Regional Workshop at Richland Community College, and the ICTW Symposium at the I Hotel & Conference Center in Champaign.

In addition, discover in this issue how transferring from a community college can be an excellent pathway to attaining a degree from the University of Illinois.

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 Peter Bahr

"Nothing about the start of my life or my early college experiences hinted at where I would be now or what I would be doing."

Peter Bahr and his family


Meet Jewel Bourne

"Attending a community college changed my entire life."

Read the full interview

Jewel Bourne speaking at the June 2023 OCCRL Equity Academy


Meet Erin L. Castro

"While attending a community college was a critical part of my educational journey, I also think it's important to be real about the transition to a four-year institution. My transfer experience was difficult."

Erin L. Castro with her daughter

Meet Keith Wood

"I want to offer words of encouragement to anyone who is on the fence about taking courses at a community college."

Read the full interview

Keith Wood with students