About Us

P20 Events


Visit ENGAGE! for a listing of the engagement and outreach activities happening on campus.     


At NIU, P-20 is a way of operating - a commitment to university-wide collaboration on activities that improve education throughout the northern Illinois region.


President John Peters launched NIU’s P-20 initiatives in 2002 as a partnership between NIU Outreach and the Provost’s Office to be advised and supported by the deans of five colleges. The Center for P-20 Engagement was established in 2008 by Great Journeys Strategic Planning and charged with coordination of P-20 activities that involved multiple colleges with external partners.

What's in a Name?

What does “P-20” mean?  What does “Engagement” mean? 

  • P-20 refers to education and training at all levels from pre-school (P) through graduate studies (20) in schools, community colleges, workplaces, and other community settings.
  • Engagement requires mutually beneficial relationships between the university and its partners. Engaged partners learn from each other, discover new knowledge, and enjoy benefits that include meeting community needs, increasing economic vitality, and improving quality of life across the region.


The P-20 Center connects resources, expertise, research and services to external partners. We manage about 25 programs, projects, and activities that are organized around four P-20 goals.  


As a university-wide organization, the P-20 Center works with faculty and staff in five colleges (Education, Engineering, Health and Human Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Visual and Performing Arts); more than 25 centers, offices, and institutes; and with external partners in school districts, community colleges, governments, and businesses.

Leadership and Management   

Vice-President Anne Kaplan (Division of Outreach, Engagement, and Regional Development) and Vice Provost Anne Birberick co-direct. The P-20 Council, composed of deans from five colleges, provides advice and support. Associate Director Marilyn Bellert manages day-to-day operations.