ul 2.12.13 Partnership is deeply rooted in National Louis University’s history: from its founding in 1886, which launched the modern American kindergarten movement; to the 1897 birth of the PTA; the 1925 founding of Mary Crane Nursery School; and countless collaboration with hospitals, corporations, schools and not-for-profit organizations since then. NLU’s partnership goals include a commitment to bringing together communities of practice and advocacy around important educational and societal issues. When successful, NLU’s outreach and partnership outcomes are streamlined into current programs; partners’ needs are met; research and grant work increases; and, most of all, we become leaders in establishing models and garnering broad support effecting real change. 

Learn more about NLU's partners ...

Education Program Partnerships

  • Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL): NLU is the university partner in this groundbreaking program to train teachers to make a difference in Chicago’s “turnaround” schools. Students earn a master’s or doctoral degree from NLU while completing a yearlong residency in the classroom. Chicago Public Schools have hired more than 300 graduates of the NLU AUSL program, many of whom are now training the next generation of urban teachers.
  • Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) Educational Leadership: Over the last seven years, more than 160 Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) Charter School Network school leaders have earned their M.Ed. degree from NLU, as well as leaders from other charter schools across the country.
  • Illinois Resource Center (IRC): Since 1972 the IRC has provided assistance to educators serving linguistically and culturally diverse students. With Support from the Illinois State Board of Education and National Louis University, the IRC has emerged as a major statewide intermediate service agency. The educational endorsement and professional development programs offered through the IRC and NLU have helped thousands of educators through Illinois and the nation to develop effective learning environments for English Language Learners.
  • Golden Apple Foundation: A non-profit organization that works to inspire, develop, and support teacher excellence in Illinois, especially in schools of need. Over the last ten years over 60 NLU National College of Education Graduates have been awarded a Golden Apple Award.

Museum and Zoo Partnerships

  • Shedd Aquarium: Since 1995 NLU and the Shedd Aquarium have had a long standing partnership assisting in the credentialing of Shedd Aquarium science educator professional development and course work. In 2013 NLU and the Shedd have taken their partnership further. Together NLU and the Shedd Aquarium provide a unique online teacher badging program that combines game-like elements and professional development for teachers. For more information click here.
  • Field Museum: Since the late 90’s NLU and the Field Museum have partnered to develop professional development and course work for K-12 Classroom Teachers. The Field Ambassador Teacher Education program at the Field Museum has provided resources for teachers to develop best practices in using museums to support student learning. Since 2013 National Louis University has partnered with the Field to innovate and provide graduate credit for the Field Ambassadors program. We are also in the process of digitizing their “Object Based Learning” work through a custom course on Digital Connections Course for K-12 set to launch in the Fall of 2015. 
  • Chicago Botanic Gardens: Since 1993 NLU and the Botanic Gardens have partnered to bring elementary school teachers professional development and course work. In the 2013 NLU and the Botanic Gardens redesigned their teacher professional development courses work to include a college credit option.
  • Brookfield Zoo: Since 1990 NLU and the Brookfield Zoo have partnered to bring science educators professional development course work. In 2013 the Brookfield Zoo designed a “Genetics” course for teachers which brought world renowned genetics experts from California to work with Chicago Teachers.

Community Impact Partnerships

  • Academy of Parents in Leadership (APL): The National College of Education in partnership with Gamaliel of Metro Chicago in the Pilsen neighborhood, have designed a distinctive Parent-School-Community Engagement curriculum, which focuses on supporting minority parents actively engaged with schools in their communities. Parents can receive college credit for their participation in the Academic of Parents in Leadership training. The APL program is now being offered in partnership with several other community bases organizations in Melrose Park, The City’s South-East Side, and Elgin. For more information on how your community base organization can participate in the APL program, contact Dr. Ignacio Lopez at 312.261.3875 or email
  • El Valor: National Louis University and El Valor have partnered over the last five years to bring MBA and Community Psychology Programming to the Pilsen Community in Chicago. The mission of El Valor’s Leadership through Education Programs is to address the demand for culturally and linguistically skilled personnel in the areas of education, rehabilitation, human services and business.  A goal of our partnership is to develop skilled individuals from the Latino community and assist in preparing them to take on leadership roles in corporations, government, community-based organizations and any field finding itself with an increasingly diverse customer or constituent base. For more information contact Maria Lopez at 312-492-5936
  • The Life Long Learning Institute (LLI): LLI offers both a learning and social community to adults 55+.  Located at the National Louis Skokie campus, members of LLI come from Chicago and many suburban communities including Evanston, Glenview, Northbrook, Wilmette, Highland Park, Deerfield, Winnetka and more.  No tests, no papers and no judgment – people come to LLI simply for the love of learning, and to meet and share friendship with other interesting and interested peers. For more information visit our LLI website or contact Joan Marks at 224.233.2366 or email

Field Experience Host-Site School Partnerships

  • NCE Office of Field Experience: Clinical experiences within our Teacher Preparation Programs is a critical component to the development of teacher candidates, equally important are the field based supports pre-service teachers receive. Clinical Experiences for our College of Education candidates could not be possible if it were not for the generous commitment of our Host-Site School Partnerships.  The National College of Education values the commitment of its host-site school partners. Host Site School Partners receive several value-added benefits that include a networked model of professional development, tuition reimbursement, and curriculum support. For more information on how to become a Host-Site Partner contact Dr. Ignacio Lopez at 312.261.3875 or email

For more information about our partnerships or to become an NLU partner, contact Dr. Ignacio Lopez, Unit Director NCE Partnerships and Community Engagement, at 312.261.3875 or



    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
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    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of the city's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to six classrooms, this location features a conference room, a computer lab with high-speed Internet access, an extensive research library and comfortable student lounges.

    5110 Eisenhower Boulevard Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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    NLU's Milwaukee campus has a proud history of serving graduate students in education in southeastern Wisconsin. Nearly one in five certified Wisconsin teachers looks to NLU for graduate education programs – more than any other university in the state. In addition to classrooms with high-tech media equipment, the campus offers a state-of-the-art computer lab with wireless Internet access and an extensive IDS research library.

    12000 West Park Place, Suite 100
    Milwaukee, WI 53224-3007
    (414) 577.2658
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