Little Village Education Collaborative


The Little Village Education Collaborative (LVEC) was established in 2014 to focus on implementation of the educational strategies of the 2013 Little Village Quality of Life Plan. LVEC works to connect the key players impacting the education system in the community in order to evaluate the current state of this system, plan strategic improvements for the future, and support legislative changes that expand educational access and opportunity from birth to old age. Central to LVEC’s approach is a community “cultural wealth” framework that is based on the recognition of parents’ and students’ cultural wealth, and that challenges the current “cultural deficit” framework that our educational system has adopted to explain and respond to issues related to educational attainment in low-income communities of color like Little Village. Representatives include stakeholders from community-based organizations, local public schools, early childhood centers, higher education institutions, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) local Network 7 and the City Colleges of Chicago. Four subcommittees – which focus on early childhood education, elementary and middle school, high school to post-secondary readiness, and adult education – adapt and advance LVEC’s goals.

Core Values



LVEC is intentionally structured to empower its members and move its mission forward. Its subcommittees implement and revise strategies that are outlined in the 2013 Little Village Quality of Life Plan. All members convene quarterly in order to align the work of subcommittees and reinforce broader goals.

INNOVATIVE: LVEC convenes a diverse range of stakeholders and promotes unique methods of collaboration. This encourages the development of innovative and comprehensive ways to address educational issues in Little Village.

PARTICIPATORY: LVEC seeks to be inclusive of all stakeholders. It uses a participatory approach that embodies respect, trust, transparency, “human goodness” and social justice.


For more information about LVEC, contact

LVEC Research

LVEC has engaged in innovative community-driven research focused on increasing understanding of the educational system in Little Village. Its 2015 report outlined the strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities of the local adult education provider network. One central challenge identified was that, without collaboration and coordination, the existing network of adult education providers lacked a strong and effective pipeline into careers and career training, and organizations struggled to establish their own “niche” within the field. Other challenges included limited availability of upper level adult education courses, missed opportunities to track student level data consistently across sites, a small percentage of adult education students accessing resources outside of the community, and low enrollment and retention of male students.


LVEC’s 2017 report combined several sources of qualitative and quantitative data to compose a landscape of the college qualification, access and enrollment of high school students attending Little Village schools. The report found a fluctuating college enrollment rate even while high school graduation has steadily increased, and a low application rate among students who were deemed by Chicago Public Schools to be moderately or highly qualified to attend a four-year institution. It identified key challenges faced by students and their families, including complex college application processes, high school environments that lack post-secondary support and rigorous academics, and the inability of families to pay for even low-cost options like community college. The report also illustrated how the path to college for Little Village students requires constant navigation of dominant White, middle-class culture and the educational institutions that reinforce it. Finally, it highlighted some of the key factors supporting successful high school graduation and transition, including on-one-one adult attention, the development of writing and public speaking skills, and self-advocacy. Both reports have been fundamental in shaping LVEC’s work and that of its members, and LVEC will continue to produce relevant community-driven research moving forward.

Download LVEC reports:

  • 2017: Little Village College Enrollment Report: Where Data Calls for Social Change

  • 2014: Landscape of Adult Education in Little Village


2017 Partners Included:

​Chicago Public Schools:

Little Village CPS Elementary Schools

  • Lazaro Cardenas Elementary School

  • Rosario Castellanos  Elementary School

  • Daniel J. Corkery Elementary School

  • Joseph E. Gary Elementary School

  • G. D. Kanoon Magnet School

  • Little Village Academy

  • Francisco I. Madero Middle School

  • Cyrus H. McCormick Elementary School

  • Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez Elementary School

  • Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy

  • John Spry Community School

  • Telpochcalli Elementary School

  • Eli Whitney Elementary School

  • Emiliano Zapata Elementary Academy

Little Village CPS High Schools

  • Little Village Lawndale High School Campus

    • Infinity Math, Science and Technology

    • Multicultural Academy of Scholarship (MAS)

    • Social Justice (SOJO)

    • World Language

  • Spry Community Links High School

  • Farragut Career Academy

Chicago Public Schools' Central Offices:

  • Network 7

  • Office of Language and Cultural Education

  • Office of Family and Community Engagement (FACE)

City Colleges of Chicago:

  • Richard J. Daley, Arturo Velasquez Institute

  • Harold Washington

  • Malcolm X

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago

Central States SER

Dominican University

Equip for Equality

El Valor

Erie Neighborhood House

Gads Hill Center

Illinois Action for Children

Latino Policy Forum

Northeastern Illinois University

  • El Centro

  • Proyecto Pa’Lante

Saint Augustine College

University of Illinois at Chicago

  • Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services (LARES)

  • Community Relations

  • Latin American Studies

  • Latino Cultural Center

Universidad Popular

Telpochcalli Education Community Project (TCEP)

The Learning Center

Tolton Center

Little Village College Enrollment Report: Where Data Calls for Social Change

Adult Education Report