Impact page

To fulfill our mission of highlighting Chicago’s educational and professional opportunities, we strive to work towards three main objectives:

  • Elevating the city as a higher education destination.

  • Developing a talent pipeline of Chicago-area students and graduates.

  • Utilizing our collective institutional resources to help improve the lives of all of our citizens.


“Chicago is…America’s Urban Campus!” The logo and tagline for America’s Urban Campus was inspired by the fact that the City of Chicago proper boasts one of the highest concentrations of post-secondary students in the U.S.

The idea for this tag line grew out of a conversation with the AUC University presidents, provosts and chancellors in January 2017. They urged the AUC member representatives to work collectively to develop messages and visuals that tell the story of why over 210,000 students have chosen our city for their undergraduate and graduate education.

We also share the journeys of some of those more than 210,000 students to highlight the transformative experiences Chicago has offered them; see our social media channels Link to Instagram account. to learn more about the impact higher education has had on our city’s young people. And check out our hashtags: #Americasurbancampus and #ChiHigherEd.

And, we’ve also got hard data to back up the importance of Chicago's higher education sector in producing the talent, jobs and support for the city as a whole. We commission studies like this one done in 2018 entitled, “The "Economic, Social and Cultural Contributions of Chicago's Universities and Colleges". We’re sharing this data through our partnerships with Chicago city government, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Choose Chicago, and World Business Chicago to emphasize the importance of higher education’s talent to the region’s economy.

AUC Institutions

Talent Pipeline

A primary mission of our AUC institutions is to produce graduates across all disciplines who are prepared for tomorrow’s workforce. In an increasingly complex, technology-driven economy, talent has become the primary issue for corporate growth and re-location. Educating talent for an inclusive, diverse workforce is a priority for AUC and for the city of Chicago itself.

Learn More About Events.

We’re working towards this by partnering with the City of Chicago, The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, World Business Chicago, the Illinois Technology Association and industry to promote events showcasing the diverse talent educated at our institutions. Our work is coordinated through AUC’s Chicago Higher Education Career Services Executives Collaborative, (CHECSEC) consisting of of the Career Services Directors of our members:


Thy Nguyen

Associate Vice Provost for Career Services
Illinois Institute of Technology

Erik Friedman

Associate Dean of Career Services and Industry Relations, Columbia College of Chicago

Career Service Directors:

Terrance Hopson

Assistant Dean, Careers and Continuing Education
Harold Washington College, CCC

Meredith Murphy

Director of Career Planning and Placement
Harry S. Truman College, CCC

Ingrid Prioleau Byrd

Director, Career Planning and Placement Center
Kennedy-King College, CCC

Toya Johnson

Director, Career Planning & Placement
Malcom X College, CCC

Charlene Haymond-Bussell

Director, Career Planning & Placement
Olive-Harvey College, CCC

Dr. Julie MacCarthy

Director, Career Planning & Placement
Richard J. Daley College, CCC

Joe Reaves, MA LCPC

Director, Career Planning & Placement
Wilbur Wright College, CCC


Mary Laundry

Director, Student Affairs and Career Services
Adler University

Kathryn Kaysen Jackson

Director, Alumni Career Services
University of Illinois Chicago

Charles Kelley

Associate Director of Career Services
Chicago School of Professional Psychology

LaCael Palmer-Pratt

Director of Career and Experiential Learning Center
Chicago State University

Stephanie Krah

Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Success
City Colleges of Chicago

Karyn McCoy

Assistant Vice President, DePaul Career Center
DePaul University

Jane McGrath

Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management and Career Center
DePaul University

Carolyn Stevenson

Cooperative Education Director
East West University

Colleen Reaney

Director of Executive and Professional Education Center
Loyola University Chicago


Natasha Kohl

Director of Career Development, Undergraduate College
National Louis University

Kris Pierre

Director of Career Development & Community Partnerships
Northeastern Illinois University

Mark Presnell

Executive Director of Career Advancement
Northwestern University

Carrie Roath Ernst

Director of Education
Robert Morris University

Rosalee Shemmer

Dean of Career Services and Professional Experience
School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Kate Schutta

Director, Career and Professional Experience
School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Jennifer Wonderly

Director, Career and Professional Development
Roosevelt University

Rachel Ward

Deputy Director, Career Advancement and Director, Student Services
University of Chicago

We have also established two partnerships to help our institutions’ students find internships, micro-internships and jobs. The Chicago Opportunity Exchange, sponsored by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, matches students to companies based on a profile of the job or internship opening. Parker Dewey has established a partnership with America’s Urban Campus and our member institutions to offer micro-internships (those lasting four to six weeks) to provide students with real-life but limited internship experiences.


Attendees at 2019’s ThinkChicago/Lollapalooza sponsored by Chicago/NEXT of World Business Chicago. Students selected from AUC institutions got to meet tech industry leaders and attend the nationally famous music festival


Improving the lives of all our citizens.

America's Urban Campus (AUC) presidents and member representatives discussed the complex, intertwined problems of poverty, racism and violence throughout 2016, and decided on 2017 to take action. First, AUC assembled a snapshot of the activities currently undertaken by our institutions to address these issues. Second, AUC convened a working session of the institutions’ faculty, staff and students and other organizations, governments and community groups to make recommendations for strengthening the partnerships addressing the issues. This work resulted in the development of a heatmap showing the geographic location of the programs run; by AUC universities in Chicago Neighborhoods.

Memos for Chicago’s new Mayor

Responding to the request by Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot's transition team, America's Urban Campus developed memos to inform the new administration of the universities' work to create a diverse and inclusive workforce for Chicago--very much in line with the Mayor-elect's values: equity; diversity and inclusion; transparency; accountability and transformation.

The memos address:

  • Building a diverse and inclusive talent pipeline for Chicago's employers.
  • Expanding paid internships for students of color and first-generation students attending Chicago's universities and colleges.
  • Leveraging the universities' presence in the neighborhoods to promote economic development and reduce violence.

AUC is now working with Mayor Lightfoot’s administration, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, World Business Chicago, and others on strategies to implement the ideas in these memos.

Campus Meets Comminuty.

​In 2018 and 2019, AUC joined with Illinois Campus Compact, Asset Based Community Development, University of Chicago and University of Illinois Chicago to host “Campus Meets Community: Sustaining Reciprocal Partnerships.” These conferences attracted 100 community organizations and university representatives and yielded relationships and best practices for universities to use going forward in their community engagement initiatives.

Campus Meets Community