Office of Community Education Partnerships

Office of Community Education Partnerships

OCEP Staff group photo

A Letter To Our Partners: 

At the Office of Community Education Partnerships, in the School of Education and Social Policy, we are adjusting our plans based on guidance from Northwestern University and our partner school districts and community organizations. This letter is to give you, our valued partners and communities, updated information on OCEP’s work, and to re-affirm our commitment to working with you to improve learning and well-being in our home communities of Evanston and Chicago – and beyond. 

First of all, thank you for your outreach during this time. Your humanity, understanding, and offers to help the schools, community organizations, educators, and youth we serve has been tremendous, and for that, we are grateful. We know you are faced with your own organizational, family, and personal challenges and uncertainties during this time and our thoughts are with all of you.

As most of you know, our lead partner districts, Evanston School Districts D65 and D202, Chicago Public Schools, and Round Lake School District 116 in Lake County are closed. Evanston and Round Lake schools have moved to e-learning models. Our community partners are following similar protocols while providing essential services, oftentimes alongside our school partners, when possible. We will share important information from our school and community partners with you as applicable.

Northwestern University is open and busy making plans to move our students to a remote teaching and learning model for the first three weeks of the Spring Quarter. Many of our leaders, administrators, faculty, and staff are working remotely and continuing to fulfill the teaching, research, and service mission of the university. We are all working hard to protect the safety and health of our community and to sustain academic programs and operational continuity during this time. Please visit Northwestern’s COVID-19 website for the most accurate updates, news, and resources from the University. 

The OCEP team is set up to work remotely and are available by email and phone. We also have the capacity to video conference at any time via Zoom and WebEx. As an OCEP team, we have been working together, testing our remote capabilities and collaboration. We are thinking hard about and working on plans for how we can use our expertise, resources, and partnerships to continue to support schools, educators, caring adults, and youth.

We are committed to our projects with you and some work will continue during this difficult time. However, please be aware that some projects will slow down and be delayed. We will be communicating about potential adjustments to timelines and deliverables. We ask that as we plan and adjust our work together over the coming weeks, we:

  • Work together to balance Northwestern’s guidance and your own organization’s guidance, with school district and community organization policies, guidance, and immediate priorities around instruction and key services.
  • Think together about how we maximize our resources and iterate on and be creative in our collective efforts.
  • Communicate regularly.
  • Work together to understand the realities of our school and community partners and mitigate unrealistic expectations we may introduce to them. 

Again, OCEP and your direct project leads from the OCEP team will continue to provide updates with important information, and Nichole and I are available at any time for any questions or concerns you have. 

  • Nichole Pinkard, faculty director for community education partnerships and associate professor of learning sciences. Email: nichole.pinkard@northwestern.edu. Cell: 773-428-2707
  • Amy Pratt, assistant dean for community education partnerships. Email: amy.pratt@northwestern.edu. Cell: 678-371-2225

With our sincere gratitude for your partnership. Be safe, be well.

Amy and Nichole


Learn about the impact of Dr. Nichole Pinkard's Northwestern Direction.

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OCEP's Mission


OCEP works to bridge the research, practice, and service missions of the School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) and Northwestern University to create initiatives and partnerships that positively impact our home communities of Evanston and Chicago, but that can be shared and scaled far beyond.


Contact Us

Office of Community Education Partnerships

2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Email: ocep@northwestern.edu