P.A.C.E. Frequently Asked Questions

The following information may be helpful when comparing programs:

Is the primary emphasis of the program Life Skills?

Life Skills is only one part of the P.A.C.E. program. Our students receive a full post-secondary education that concentrates on the whole person, with instruction in the areas of vocational training, academics, life skills and social skills.

Is it a university program—or a program located at a university but not affiliated with it?

P.A.C.E. is a program of the National College of Education (NCE)—one of three colleges that comprise National Louis University.

Many of the P.A.C.E. academic classes have been designed to parallel their university counterparts—as well as accommodate the learning style of students with multiple learning disabilities. Each course eligible for college credit has been approved by NLU’s University Council—and each P.A.C.E. student has an official university transcript. P.A.C.E. faculty and staff work with the student’s academic ability to teach them concepts for independence. We use the classroom to teach concepts to students, and utilize the dorm, workplace and the community as a laboratory for practicing those concepts.

Is integrating the students into the community a focus of the program?

P.A.C.E. students are expected to be active and engaged members of their community. They take public transportation, eat in public restaurants, work in local businesses, and go to movies with their friends. In addition to living in a residence hall and having access to university facilities, P.A.C.E. students also have opportunities to partner and collaborate with graduate students on university projects.

How important is supervision in the program?

The safety of the students is one of the highest priorities at P.A.C.E.. Students must sign-in and sign-out of the residence hall, and are expected to follow curfews and behavior guidelines.

What role do internships play in the program?

P.A.C.E. students receive college credit for their internships instead of a salary. Their experience is designed using the “student teaching” model—applying what they’ve learned in class “on the job” under the supervision and mentoring of their employer and P.A.C.E. staff. Our worksite partners understand that it is their responsibility to teach our students as many skills as possible—and the P.A.C.E. students understand that their internship is as much about learning as it is doing.

What will students earn upon completing the program?

In addition to a Certificate of Completion, P.A.C.E. students graduate with 1000 hours of on-the-job training.

What You Need To Consider When Choosing A Post-Secondary Educational Program

Choosing the right post-secondary educational program and environment for a young man or woman with multiple learning disabilities isn’t easy. Today, there are a growing number of programs available for you to consider.

That’s the good news—since it means that, as a society, we continue to move forward to build pathways to independence for students with special needs.

However, it also means that comparing programs can be difficult—especially if you don’t get all of the information you really need to make this important decision.

P.A.C.E. at NLU is one of the most respected programs in the country—and its graduates are the best reflection of its successful academic and life skills curriculum. Recognized as a leader in post-secondary education for students with multiple-learning disabilities for over 27 years, its learning environment has been developed to give students the tools they need to lead independent lives.


    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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