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Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies

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The Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies (CCICS) is one of Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU)'s campuses. It is a focal point for the African-American community and provides educational opportunities within a culturally comfortable and easily accessible setting.

The Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies (CCICS) was established by Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) in 1966 as an outgrowth of its concern for and commitment to Chicago‘s inner city communities. Since its inception, CCICS has focused on the analysis of institutions, systems and people with a direct impact on the quality of life in the inner cities of the U.S. and elsewhere in the world by creating programmatic and research initiatives. CCICS demonstrates NEIU's urban tradition of education, research and service. 

The curricular thrust of the undergraduate and graduate programs of CCICS is to prepare those who work and live in the inner city to understand and act upon the expressed interests of residents of the inner city and to participate fully in the richness of the African and African-American cultures. Since the beginning, the approach has been interdisciplinary with effective curricula and a philosophy, which re-examines every research issue, problem, assumption and question from an African-centered perspective, rather than from the traditional, European-centered viewpoint. This discipline encompasses a research methodology and worldview, which achieves different results when applied to present day inner city populations, and leads to new relationships between human and natural resources in the Chicago metropolitan area and worldwide.

CCICS staff assists prospective students and their families with the admission and financial aid processes to get started on their academic journey at Northeastern. CCICS houses the bachelor's and master's programs of Inner City Studies Education, as well as an undergraduate minor in Inner City Careers. CCICS provides comprehensive academic support and co-curricular programs for students. CCICS serves nontraditional, part-time and returning adult student populations as well as traditional first-year and transfer students. CCICS also offers the general education program of Northeastern to students who are interested in taking day or evening classes.

In keeping with Northeastern's mission, CCICS provides a quality education at an affordable price.


Since 1966, CCICS has been a leading center of scholarship and activism in this country. Located on Chicago’s South Side in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood, CCICS has worked toward the forward progression of African American culture and life.

In the beginning, CCICS opened its doors with a graduate program in Inner City Studies with the purpose of training and preparing more teachers to work in inner city schools. An undergraduate program was added in due time. In the early 1970s, an emphasis on cultural enrichment and interconnectedness across the African diaspora was added to the teacher training curriculum.

CCICS is named after Dr. Jacob H. Carruthers, who came to Northeastern and the Center for Inner City Studies in 1968. Dr. Carruthers eventually became the Director of the Center and played an integral role in formulating the curriculum that would go on to benefit many Inner City Studies Education students in the years to come. The building was named after Dr. Carruthers in 2004, after his passing that same year.


CCICS has two computer labs, equipped with more than 30 computers (PCs and Macs) with online access to the main campus, the Internet and libraries around the world.

CCICS houses a branch of Northeastern's Ronald Williams Library. CCICS’s library houses the most extensive resource center on African-American issues in the Midwest. In addition, it contains master theses of CCICS graduates that document a multitude of African-centered research and studies compiled on politics, education and history of the culture of African-Americans since the late 1960s.

CCICS is home to two chartered student organizations: 1) the Inner City Studies Major Club, and 2) the UTATU Collective.

Student Disability Services (SDS) are available at CCICS. SDS provides academic and technical assistance to students and works closely with faculty to facilitate student access. We provide students with physical and learning disabilities reasonable accommodations and services in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To apply for services students must self-identify disability by submitting documentation based upon diagnosed need from appropriate professionals.

Carruthers Center

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