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McCormick Center Expands Quality Assessment to Chicago

Twenty-twenty marks the first full year for early childhood classrooms across the state of Illinois to be consistently evaluated with the same set of criteria by a highly-skilled team of assessment specialists.

McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis University was awarded contracts with the Chicago Department of Family Support Services in December 2018, and later Chicago Public Schools, to conduct classroom quality assessments for all Chicago Early Learning programs. These programs are housed in a variety of settings including public schools, community-based sites, and family child care homes.

“We are thrilled to be part of the bridge between the City of Chicago’s early learning programs and those in the rest of the state,” said Dr. Teri Talan, Michael W. Louis chair and senior policy advisor at the McCormick Center. “Now Illinois has a unified quality assessment system. That means the quality of the early childhood programs in southern Illinois, in Chicago, and everywhere between will be consistently measured, providing detailed reports for program staff and coaches to use in continuous quality improvement efforts.”

The McCormick Center is a familiar name to those who build and support the early childhood system in Illinois. The assessment team conducts early childhood classroom and program assessments throughout the rest of Illinois—a role it has played since 2007 when Illinois first launched its quality rating and improvement system. Today that system is known as ExceleRate Illinois. Since then, the McCormick Center has conducted more than 12,000 classroom and program quality assessments through contracts with the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Illinois State Board of Education. The McCormick Center’s assessment work is recognized and used as a model by other states in the design of their quality recognition and improvement efforts.

“Our assesment specialists are motivated by the knowledge that they are provding data to support teaching practices and inform professional learning. Our work in Chicago provides a foundation for coaching classroom teachers and will influence Chicago’s leadership decisions by providing reliable and timely data about the quality of early learning programs in the city,” said Dr. Melissa Casteel, director of assessment city of Chicago, at the McCormick Center.

At the McCormick Center, we improve the quality of early learning programs through professional development, research and evaluation, and public awareness. We are driven to promote greater understanding of the critical role of early childhood leaders in the provision of quality services for children and families.

The McCormick Center has offices in Chicago and Wheeling, Illinois.

Locations
  • CHICAGO DOWNTOWN CAMPUS

    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
    Info » | Directions »
  • ELGIN

    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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  • NORTH SHORE

    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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  • LISLE

    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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  • WHEELING

    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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  • FLORIDA (TAMPA)

    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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