Institute for Collaboration

The mission of the Institute for Collaboration is to unite the powerful resources of the university and the greater Aurora community in the areas of education, health and human services, business, and government to address critical community issues, and study and facilitate the development of collaborative leadership.

Founded in 2003 with the support of a $10 million congressional grant, the Institute strengthens Aurora University's tradition of collaboration and service by working together with other community leaders to find innovative solutions to complex educational and social problems at the local and national levels. Directed by a committee of university and community leaders, the Institute for Collaboration seeks to develop nationally replicable programs and models that enhance the well-being and academic achievement of local students. The initiatives also provide valuable opportunities for educational research and serve as laboratories for Aurora University students to practice their future professions.

The Institute was instrumental in the creation of the John C. Dunham STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Partnership School on the Aurora University campus. Opened in 2014, the STEM school serves students in third through eighth grades in the East Aurora, Indian Prairie, West Aurora, and Batavia school districts. It is staffed through a unique professional development strategy that engages teachers from the partner districts as faculty while they complete AU graduate coursework and become leaders in mathematics and science education.

As a fundraising enterprise, the Institute for Collaboration has raised more than $8 million to support its programs.

For more information, contact Executive Director Sherry Eagle at 630-844-4626 or