Academic Model

Academic Model

Our Model

For more than 20 years, NLCP has provided students and graduates with the tools needed to attend college and be vibrant and contributing members of their community. Every day, we prepare our students academically and socially for college. How? With a talented team of teachers committed to meeting the need for high-quality public education in one of Chicago’s historically undeserved neighborhoods.

We take a holistic approach to our academic model – one that “grows up” with students as they advance through each grade level culminating with graduation. NLCP challenges students personally and academically to get them ready for college, but does it from the heart—with high expectations, collaboration and commitment. This spirit underscores everything we do.

NLCP sets high expectations and asks every student to hold themselves to a higher standard. Our curriculum is demanding in preparation for life in college and beyond. We believe the real world starts now. Every student works on an extended research project, every year. Pushing limits, while learning how to think deeply and write persuasively, is an important skill no matter where their academic careers may take them. Students go on visits to colleges, spend summers at leadership camps and work with mentors from Chicago’s business community.

Learn more about our rigorous, supportive path to college.

Beginning on day one of high school, NLCP partners with families to clear a path for students to earn their college degree. Since most of our students are on track to be first-generation college students, NLCP is intentional about not only preparing them socially and emotionally for college, but explicitly walking them through the process to get them there. Throughout, we offer student leadership opportunities at every grade level.

9-10 Grade Focus Area: High School Support

  • Starting in students’ freshman year, NLCP organizes college visits in the first weeks of school and establishes its rigorous, college-going culture.
  • In sophomore year, in addition to regular curriculum, NLCP offers mandatory drama therapy coursework designed to provide students with a social and emotional toolkit. NLCP also offers its Phoenix Rising program, enabling sophomores to spend summers on college campuses.

11-12 Grade Focus Area: College Prep Support

  • At the junior year level, NLCP provides SAT prep and empowers students to do thorough research on colleges and universities.
  • By 12th grade, NLCP students take a college seminar, which explicitly walks them through the college application and financial aid process. They also complete a capstone Senior Project, researching, writing and presenting a college-style research paper in response to a question centered around an issue of their interest. This initiative also pairs students with mentors who are college graduates and professionals from the working world and is part of our commitment to equip scholars to be college ready.

College-Going Alumni Focus Area: College Completion Support

  • NLCP is unique in the depth of support we provide to students after they graduate and once they are on a college campus. A key first step of that ongoing support process is NLCP’s Alumni Fellow Program, which pairs recent grads with on-campus mentors.
  • NCLP also maintains an emergency college fund to provide alumni with support for expenses such as housing, tuition assistance and books – averaging $600 per student receiving assistance.
  • NLCP is the only school in Chicago that offers a full-tuition college scholarship to qualifying alumni who attend partner schools of NLCP’s Phoenix Pact program. To date, the program has 30 partner college and universities and has awarded $4.2M in scholarships to 425 qualifying alumni since the Phoenix Pact launch in 2000.

Learn more about the other side of our approach – our web of student support by clicking here.