Our Mission

Shape and strengthen education and workforce systems to advance racial equity and prepare more young people for productive careers and lives in a global economy.

Education Systems Center (EdSystems) is a mission-driven policy development and program implementation center based within Northern Illinois University’s Division of Outreach, Engagement, and Regional Development.

Our primary focus is Illinois, while also working with national and international partners. Through our State university home, we are able to forge longstanding leadership roles with state agencies and intergovernmental bodies such as the Illinois P-20 Council.

We strategically work at the State and local levels to ensure policies are created and implemented in meaningful ways. We focus on three substantive priority areas: College and Career Pathways, Bridges to Postsecondary, and Data Impact and Leadership.

5 Characteristics Define Our Approach


We prioritize advancing racial equity in educational and employment experiences and outcomes for Black and Latinx youth. Learn more.

Mission-Driven, Data-Informed

We are compelled by our mission to serve young people, and recognize that using data is essential for shaping effective decisions.


We work to ensure a diverse range of stakeholders are engaged in the processes we lead.


We view cross-sector partnerships as essential to effective system transformation.


We focus on delivering results while also holding the vision of our projects.

We partner with Northern Illinois University affiliates, including:

We collaborate with trusted external partners, including:



We're grateful for generous supporters who invest in our work, including:

Logo: Bridges to Brighter Futures
A collaboration between Kinship Foundation and The Chicago Community Trust


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