Broadening Access to Higher Education
DeVry University is driven by a mission to help bridge the gap for students between their academic career and their vocations. We prepare learners to thrive in their careers by providing an education crafted with exceptional care, innovative programs and technological advancements in mind.
We translate this same level of care to our commitment to the public good. Our university is dedicated to serving the public, providing access to higher education, helping higher-ed institutions extend access to their programs and partnering with other organizations to help best prepare students for the working world. Here are some ways we support our mission to do what’s best for the community at large:
Helping Provide Access to Higher Ed with the Illinois Board of Higher Education
Helping Provide Access to Higher Ed with the Illinois Board of Higher Education
Proprietary Advisory Committee
The Illinois Board of Higher Education Proprietary Advisory Committee (IBHE PAC) consists of member institutions in the higher education space. These institutions are dedicated to serving a diverse student base in an effort to ensure equal access to higher education.
As a member of the IBHE PAC, DeVry University is committed to supporting the state’s goal of 60 by 25, helping 60% of adults in Illinois earn a college or career credential by 2025. DeVry serves on the PAC to help forge new opportunities in higher education. DeVry’s associate national dean of Accreditation and Academic Quality, Paula Ure, volunteers her time to support a variety of student-focused initiatives including those that help students address readiness in math and English, support dual credit and collect data to assess student needs. This service helps improve access to higher education for students in Illinois.
The IBHE PAC members are committed to serving a diverse student population and the needs of a variety of communities in Illinois and beyond. The 15 member institutions included in the September 2019 IBHE PAC Institution Impact Report represented 59,508 enrollments as reported for Fall 2017 IPEDS data.
“Serving on the PAC and supporting the work of the IBHE is of critical importance to pave the way for more equitable and accessible educational opportunities for our residents,” says Ure. “I’m proud of the work we do, serving on a committee for IBHE and being part of a larger mission to help deliver higher education to the stakeholders we collectively serve – students, companies, public bodies and the general public.”
Faculty Advisory Council to the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE)
The Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) to the IBHE serves every institution in Illinois, including four-year schools, public and private schools and for-profit institutions. This council advocates for 58,000 faculty members throughout the state in an effort to help provide access to high-quality education. Council members also participate in six working groups:
- Equity and Anti-racism
- Competency-based Education
- Performance-based Funding
- Student Mental Health
- Dual Credit/Online/Remote Education
- P-20 Outreach
The P-20 Outreach working group is of notable interest, supporting individuals from pre-K through doctoral programs. The working group promotes faculty-initiated programs that support P-20’s goals to help maximize student attainment of education and provide contributions to society.
Dr. Shawn Schumacher, a senior professor of English and Humanities, has represented DeVry and volunteered his time to the FAC—with the goal to improve access to education from birth to adulthood—since 2008. “The faculty committee is a brain trust of members from organizations across the state who aim to provide students who are interested in higher education the means to afford it, and then provide the best quality education possible,” said Schumacher, also Chair of the Faculty Advisory Council to the Illinois Board of Higher Education. “Our goal is to create a better teaching and learning environment for all of our students. We extend our planning outside of the classroom by trying to advocate for changes or educational policy that would be beneficial to faculty and students throughout the state.”
Providing access to high quality education is a driving force at DeVry University. In addition to serving college students, DeVry helps prepare qualified 11th and 12th grade students to thrive in a modern global society through the Advantage Academy high school in Chicago, Illinois, and Decatur, Georgia. Founded in 2004 in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, this program is open to high school sophomores, and gives them the chance to earn an associate degree in Network Systems Administration or Business at the end of four years of high school. This dual degree program has:
- Ranked in the top 100 in Illinois in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 Best High Schools report (Chicago Campus), which also reports our graduation rates
- A diverse student body, including low-income students, English language learners and those with individualized education plans, to name a few
- Zero Cost: this program is offered at no cost to the student—DeVry University, in partnership with the public school district, covers University tuition, books and technology fees
- Board-certified public support teachers dedicated to serving the community and exemplifying our commitment to Student Care
- A curriculum developed to help students learn the skills to bridge the gap between high school and college and their future in the workforce
- Been included in Newsweek’s Top STEM High Schools 2020 list (Chicago Campus)
Community Educational Service
We take our position as a higher education thought leader seriously. We extend the experience of our various experts to assist other local and national educational institutions and local organizations through the Advantage Academy by:
- Helping Universities Create Dual-Credit Programs: DeVry’s Chicago and national leadership met with such high schools and universities as the Northeast Independent School District in Texas and the University of Michigan, who were interested in starting their own dual credit programs.
- Contributing to Local Organizations: The Advantage Academy has helped young students through its Robotics Club to help pursue their interests in science and technology.
Care is at the core of DeVry University’s values. We care for our students throughout their entire academic journey; we put thought and care into how we teach and put time and care into being active members of the community.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
In 2020, DeVry University made a one-time donation of $10,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), specifically for their Workforce Readiness programs.
These programs “provide opportunities to explore careers and prepare youth with employability skills for future success,” a goal that aligns with DeVry’s mission to help students succeed. BGCA is doing whatever it takes to build great futures by providing innovative programs designed to:
- Empower those ages 6-16 to excel in school
- Become good citizens and lead productive, healthy lives
- Help explore their interests and passions
- Develop their future employability skills
- Provide opportunities to apply their knowledge to real-world work experiences via internships and apprenticeships.
DeVry supported these programs as one of their corporate sponsors to help Boys & Girls Clubs of America continue these opportunities for kids and teens as the next generation’s future workforce.
Support for Voting Rights and Registration
In anticipation of the November 2020 elections, DeVry partnered with Headcount.org to encourage and impart the importance of voter registration and ranked the #2 school for more voter registrations.
However, we recognize that our right to vote didn’t end with the November 2020 election, which is why we also partnered with Civic Alliance to strengthen our democracy, by encouraging participation in it.