OCCRL's 30th Anniversary Celebration

Office of Community College Research and Leadership

Has it really been 30 years? From humble beginnings in the College of Education at Illinois to now fulfilling our ambitious mission of using research and evaluation methods to improve policies, programs, and practices that enhance community college education in Illinois and nationwide, the Office of Community College Research and Leadership is excited to celebrate three decades of growth in research and leadership with campus colleagues along with students, affiliates, and friends who currently work with us or previously collaborated with us.

Please join us by signing up for the day's festivities described below!

9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Morning of Service - Booker T. Washington (BTW) STEM Academy (this program is open only to BTW staff/students) 
College and Career Awareness Kickoff Workshop

As part of OCCRL’s public engagement efforts, we will be holding the first of three workshops on college and career awareness with fifth graders at Booker T. Washington (BTW) STEM Academy. OCCRL is committed to advancing educational access and equitable student outcomes across diverse youth and adults. One way of fostering increasing educational attainment beyond high school is engaging directly with students in earlier grades. In our college and career awareness workshop series at BTW, we will build awareness about going to colleges, introduce students to various career options, do individualized and group exploration of interests and underscore who they aim to be and are in the process of becoming and encourage planning ahead designed for primarily for elementary/middle school students. Additionally, our visits will include classroom speakers, members of OCCRL, and campus and local community members in careers that students aspire to and spark inspiration about their journeys to “becoming.”

Noon – 1 p.m.
Lunch and Learn Brown Bag: 
From the Community College to the PhD - Exploring Transfer Student Pathways to Graduate School
College of Education, Room 22

Community colleges enroll roughly 12 million students in credit-bearing courses, and nearly half of all undergraduates attend community colleges, yet many aspire to degrees beyond the baccalaureate. This lunch and learn brown bag event will feature a panel of former community college transfer students who are Ph.D. candidates or holders. The speakers will discuss how they navigated undergraduate study, utilized the transfer function, and the role the community college played in their doctoral aspirations and pursuits. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.

1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Movies that Matter Matinee: Documentary Student Athlete
College of Education, Room 22

The HBO Sports documentary Student Athlete is an examination of the complex rules of amateur athletics in America and how they affect uncompensated athletes and their families. From LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment and Steve Stoute’s United Masters, the feature-length presentation is directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (HBO’s Oscar winners Saving Face and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness) and Trish Dalton (Bordering on Treason). The discussion to follow our viewing of the film will explore issues of fairness and integrity, stratification in collegiate sports, the role of Division III schools and the transfer function in college athletics, gender equity and inclusion in sports, as well as equitable outcomes and completion among student athletes. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.

4:15 – 6:00 p.m.
Cheers to 30 Years!
College of Education, O’Leary Learning Center, Room 10

The Office of Community College Research and Leadership, founded in 1989, is one of the oldest community college research centers in the country. For three decades we have conducted research, evaluation, and provided professional development in Illinois and beyond. We study and advance programs, policies, practices and scholarship that seek to move diverse youth and adult students in, though, and out of community colleges to further education and gainful employment. We cordially invite you to a cocktail party to celebrate 30 years of accomplishments and aspirations in furthering educational excellence, public engagement, and the extant knowledge base on community colleges. A brief program will commence at 4:30 p.m. RSVP required. Hors d'oeuvres, desserts, and assorted beverages will be served.

Contact: Sal Nudo217-300-1985