Northwest Educational Council for Student Success (NECSS)

Leadership Community

The Northwest Educational Council for Student Success (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 District 211, Township High School District 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 to structure learning environments where all students have the opportunity to succeed educationally and acquire the knowledge and skills business and industry require.

Lead Intermediary Organization

Northwest Educational Council for Student Success (NECSS)


2121 S. Goebbert
Arlington Heights, Illinois 60005

Phone: 847.718.6800

Regional Focus

Harper College/EFE 70 regions

Areas of Expertise

  • Dual Credit
  • College and Career Pathway Endorsements
  • Employer Engagement
  • Core Curriculum Alignment
  • Credentialing
  • Regional Collaboration
  • Career Exploration

Prioritized Focus Areas

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Health Sciences
  • Information Technology
  • Education

Key Successes

  • Beginning in School Year 2019, students worked towards obtaining college and career pathway endorsements in the Health Science pathways. In FY22, NECSS students achieved 448 of 575 of the state’s total certifications, or 78% of all endorsements issued in the State. The three school districts offer endorsements in five areas: Finance and Business Services; Human and Public Services; Health and Science Technology; Information Technology; and Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology, and Trades.
  • From FY18 to FY22, the NECSS region has seen a 60% increase in dual credit hours earned through Harper College. In FY22, there were 468 sections of dual credit courses taught in the high schools, with 24,582 dual credit hours earned. Over the past five years, regional savings for NECSS students has exceeded $13.6 million by earning over 102,000 dual credit hours.
  • Of the first cohort of Harper Promise recipients who entered Harper College in fall 2019, over 40% completed a credential. Harper Promise-eligible students entering Harper College in fall 2021 completed the requirements for semesters one and two. More than 40% remain enrolled at Harper as continuing Promise scholars for Semester 3 in fall 2022.
  • NECSS was awarded the Scaling Transformative Advanced Manufacturing Pathways (STAMP) initiative through IMA and EdSystems. This grant is intended to increase the number of students who earn the College and Career Pathway Endorsement in Manufacturing across the region, focusing on workplace learning opportunities for students to fulfill the 60-hour requirement of the endorsement.
  • As a leader in transitional coursework, NECSS students were able to enroll in the first cohort of the portable, regional Transitional English course and completed the course in May 2022. Relying on the lessons learned with Transitional Math, the region worked to align with the Illinois Learning Standards of this approved course. Through the Transitional English course, districts can provide students with a strong English foundation for college-bound high school seniors. Successful students who demonstrated the process and content competencies received guaranteed placement at any Illinois community college in fall 2022.

2-Year Goals

Equity for All

Continuing the equity work from FY22, the NECSS Equity for All task force will create and implement an action plan to interrupt systemic barriers around industry-recognized credential attainment, non-traditional pathway participation, and dual credit advisement to increase matriculation.

Regional Alignment

The NECSS Partnership’s dedication to the Power of 15 continues to show in the annual increase of credit hours earned across the region. Over 33% of 2021 graduating seniors earned 15 or more postsecondary credits. The structure of the partnership and commitment to creating opportunities for students have increased the percentage of students graduating with college credit from 67% to 80% since 2016.

The teacher shortage in Illinois is a growing concern, as districts across the state struggle to fill vacancies of those retiring or leaving the field. NECSS is in the third and fourth years of the CTE Education Pathway grants and is focused on recruiting traditionally underrepresented students into the teaching profession. To promote and celebrate the education pathways across the region, the NECSS Grant Committee will hold an education student summit focused on teacher equity in education and the importance of community reflection in the classroom.  Students will hear from a keynote speaker, engage in small group discussions with educators across many sectors, and learn about opportunities within their district.

Community Updates

Trauma-Informed Practices Webinar

Representatives from East St. Louis School District 189 and Township High School District 214 in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago shared how they have implemented trauma-informed practices in their districts in partnership with the Illinois Federation of Teachers and community partners.

NECSS Student Spotlight

Yennifer Velazquez, an Elk Grove High School grad, completed her first year of college with no student loan debt, thanks to Middle College! When Yennifer

D214 Develops PaCE Framework for Counselors

The framework provides counselors with a tool that indicates what is expected for students to ensure they are making progress on meeting college and career readiness standards.

First Illinois Energy Efficient Vehicle Competition Held

Districts 211 and 214, working with partners in the Golden Corridor, the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition, and employers across the region, held the first Illinois Energy Efficient Vehicle Competition on May 8th.