Leadership Community

Northwest Educational Council for Student Success (NECSS)

NECSS is a secondary and postsecondary regional educational collaborative. It brings together influential champions, provides resources to support planning processes and has created an infrastructure to allow for collective impact. This partnership focuses on student success and opportunities, teacher qualifications and professional development, and enriching collaboration among all district partners and the local communities.

NECSS partners include Township High School Districts 211, 214, Community Unit School District 220, Harper College and Education for Employment (EFE) 070. Each entity plays a vital role in ensuring students are college and career ready at the secondary and postsecondary education levels. Consortium members work together structuring learning environments where all students have the opportunity to succeed educationally and acquire the knowledge and skills business and industry require.

Regional Focus

Harper College/EFE 70 regions

Areas of Expertise

  • Dual Credit
  • Employer Engagement
  • Core Curriculum Alignment
  • Credentialing
  • Regional Collaboration
  • Career Exploration

Prioritized Focus Areas

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Health Sciences
  • Information Technology
  • Education

Key Successes

  • Since 2014 there has been a significant increase in dual credit courses offered in the region. In FY20, there were 351 sections of dual credit courses taught in the high schools, 129 high school dual credit instructors, and NECSS students saved $3.4 million by earning dual credit through Harper College.
  • The first cohort of Harper Promise recipients completed their freshman year in School Year 2020. Over 56% of the Harper Promise eligible students entering Harper College in fall 2019 completed the requirements for semester one and two, and remain enrolled at Harper as continuing as Promise scholars for Semester 3, in fall 2020.
  • NECSS was awarded a Career and Technical Educator Pathway Grant which focuses on the recruitment and completion of students, particularly students from underrepresented populations, in the education pathway.
  • Beginning in School Year 2019 students were able to work towards obtaining college and career pathway endorsements in the Health Science pathway. The region continues to extend the endorsement opportunities in manufacturing, Business and IT in School Year 2021.
  • Students in the first cohort of the portable, regional Transitional Math course, completed the course in May 2020, despite the impact of COVID-19. Relying on the solid footing of the partnership to remain flexible and remain aligned with the Illinois Learning Standards of this approved course, the region was able to provide a mathematical foundation for 444 college and career bound high school seniors. Successful students who demonstrated the process and content competencies, received guaranteed placement at any Illinois community college.

2-Year Goals

  • Equity for All: The NECSS Partnership will convene a task force to identify equity in access to credentials in Healthcare, Information Technology, and Education through Harper that lead to high wage, high need employment, and greater economic mobility. The task force will evaluate program data through a lens inclusive of diversity and racial equity to assess regional practices and policies on recruitment, placement, persistence, and completion of sub-population groups. This analysis will provide the partners with the information needed to address any gaps in equity.
  • Transitional English: To meet the provision of the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act (PWR ACT) on Transitional Instruction, the NECSS Partnership embarked on developing its second, regional, portable course, Transitional English. Designed to reduce remediation rates, increase equity and access for underrepresented student populations, Transitional English will smooth transition to college. The anticipated implementation of this regional Transitional English course is Fall 2021.

Community Updates