Chicago State University

Chicago State University discovers new ways to expand access and support to adult learners
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To extend the university’s mission into admissions and student services, the team at Chicago State University identified an opportunity to reach students who had previously attended Chicago State but had not yet completed their degree.


Initially, they advertised a debt relief program that helped them re-enroll 20-30 students, but they knew that with the right support and resources, they could bring even more students back. Through a partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Chicago State turned to ReUp Education to help.


ReUp met with the team at Chicago State to listen to their pain points and challenges and put a plan in place for bringing students back. Within 10 weeks of launching the partnership, 111 students came back. “We expected that the majority of students weren’t interested in restarting their education, but we were quite surprised at how quickly and excited learners were to have their alma mater reach back out to them through the work of ReUp,” notes Bill Sliwa, Interim VP of Enrollment Management at Chicago State University. “ReUp has served as a guide, partner and collaborator which has helped us to become successful. ReUp has been there to walk us through how to handle everything that comes up.”

Partnering with ReUp led not only to enrollment results but firsthand insights into what their adult learners were thinking. Bill adds: “The insights gained through [Success Coach] Thurston S. and knowing what the learners were thinking, where they were in their life journey, what challenges they were facing, and how we could meet them where they have been incredible.”

The impact of ReUp has had ripple effects across Chicago State, from enrollment services to marketing to academic affairs. The insights and recommendations that have come out of the partnership have sparked conversations about how every aspect of the student experience can be seen through the lens of an adult learner’s experience.


graduation cap
Stopout students re-enrolled in the first 10 weeks of the partnership
$ 0
in recaptured tuition
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“If I was to tell other enrollment leaders what to expect, I will tell them that it’s a no-risk, high-reward program. ReUp is a great extension of their recruitment and enrollment efforts that they may not have thought about or had the bandwidth to handle on their own.”

— Bill Sliwa

Interim VP of Enrollment Management at Chicago State University


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