Since its beginnings in 2002, the Center for P-20 Engagement has collaborated with NIU and community partners on activities that improve education and bring innovation to schools, community colleges, workplaces and other community settings.

Our focus on engagement requires relationships between the university and its partners that serve all of the partners. We learn from each other, discover new knowledge together and enjoy the fruits of collaboration. Benefits include meeting community needs, increasing economic vitality and improving quality of life across the region.

The P-20 Center includes three areas of practice.

  • NIU STEAM Works focuses on connecting resources, expertise, research, and services directly to our communities. Programs include STEM Outreach, STEM Read, SMARTspace@NIU, Huskie Hack, STEMfest, STEM Divas, STEM Cafés, Center for Economic Education and more.
  • Northern Illinois Regional P-20 Network for College and Career Readiness is a large regional organization managed by the P-20 Center. This collaboration of 11 community colleges, 16 school districts, and 12 state education agencies and organizations has built a community of learning to address regional, system-level challenges that affect the success of students.
  • Professional Development Collaborative delivers university expertise and innovations to teachers in the region and around the globe. Professional development in STEAM integration, informal learning, and use of data in the classroom is customized to meet the needs of educators. 

In additional to regional activities, the P-20 Center works closely on state, national and international levels.

To serve students, educators and community members, we promote P-20 engagement through effective operations, communications, and accountability.

The P-20 Center is located in Lowden Hall 307 at Northern Illinois University. Email us at p20@niu.edu or call 815.753.1403.

Our Impact

In 2015-16, the P-20 Center brought in more than $200,000 in external grants and contracts to support more than 30 programs. Through those programs we engaged 

  • 1630 NIU students
  • 448 NIU faculty and staff
  • 3598 P-12 teachers
  • 31,023 P-12 students
  • 14,327 community members
  • 201 international P-12 students
  • 206 international educators and community members

Additionally, our 8 websites were visited by more than 83,425 people and our 5 STEAM Works social media channels have a total of 4,353 followers.