Three decades ago in 1978, CCA was founded by Executive Director Myra J. Sampson, Ed.D. with the encouragement of other concerned educators and community leaders, to address a growing concern over the number of school dropouts on Chicago’s West Side. CCA first opened its doors in the basement of a local Catholic church where it remained for a month before moving into two rooms in a local Lutheran Church where it remained for 10 years. CCA was the first community-based school in the state to be granted recognition from the Illinois State Board of Education to award the high school diploma.
In 1988, CCA moved to its current location and has continuously upgraded and expanded the facility—even after sustaining a fire—into an ideal learning environment with a full complement of supportive services. One hundred percent of CCA’s teachers are certified. CCA has grown from 7 staff to 27. CCA began with 55 students in its first school year; today there are 190.
In 1986, CCA collaborated with two other schools to create Community Services West (CSW), a supportive services organization that has enabled CCA to maximize its resources and increase services to the community. Through CSW, CCA provides a community-based Upward Bound program for first-generation college bound students.
Click here for a timeline of milestones in CCA history.