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Initiative

Community College Pathways is focused on developing strategic partnerships and relationships with educational organizations and aligned entities (particularly those focused on computing and data) such as community college and university partners, non-profit organizations and service providers, K-12 administrators, corporations, foundations, and others in the community to collaboratively advance DPI’s goal of increasing the throughput of Black, Latinx, female, and other minoritized populations into computer science, data science, and related fields of study at Illinois institutions.

Our Plan

Community College Pathways is focused on developing, implementing, and managing community college pathway programming that contributes to increased capacity for Black, LatinX, female, and other minoritized populations in computer science, data science and related tech fields, as well as promoting a more coordinated pathway into tech from K-12 to community college to baccalaureate degree.

 

Community College Pathways programming includes summer courses, dual credit and dual enrollment efforts, bootcamps, workshops, guest speakers, field trips, work-based learning, problem-based learning, and other immersive learning experiences.

Programming

Community College Pathways

Digital Bridge

The Digital Bridge Program is a free summer speaker series designed to support incoming and current City Colleges of Chicago students along their progression into computing and tech-related careers. Discovery Partners Institute, Wilbur Wright College and World Business Chicago’s ThinkChicago launched the Digital Bridge Program in 2021 to build a deeper and more diverse pool of Illinois students interested in pursuing technology pathways, computer science and/or engineering, as well as to introduce students to members of Chicago’s dynamic tech community and provide opportunities for students to participate in interactive talks with local entrepreneurs.

The Digital Bridge Program takes place during the summer months in Chicago and offers both in person and online participation. The series provides deep dives into Chicago’s tech community and offers students connections to technologists, entrepreneurs, business, and civic leaders with companies such as Bosch, Enzyme by Design, Inc., Petrichor Global, MHub, Nature’s Fynd, and others. Students also participate in group and reflection activities designed to help them hone in on their career interests, as well as identify the skills needed to be successful in their chosen technology field.

Registration begins in March of each year and runs through mid-June. For more information about the program or to register for the free series, contact Dr. Stephanie DeCicco, Associate Director for Community College Pathways, Discovery Partners Institute at decicco@uillinois.edu.