About the Collaborative on Early Adolescence (CEA)


The Collaborative on Early Adolescence (CEA) will create a nationally recognized model for collaboration between universities, schools, and communities to promote the optimal development of young adolescents. Through a portfolio of comprehensive services and sustained engagement with students, educators, parents, community members, and NIU scholars, the CEA will improve academic, social, emotional, health, cultural, and civic outcomes for students and will inform NIU's academic, certification, and professional development programs.


In collaboration with educators, scholars, community members, and adolescents, the CEA implements the following activities:

Organizational Development

  • Develop productive, interdisciplinary relationships with NIU colleagues who are working in the field of early adolescence
  • Develop partnerships with local schools, districts, regional offices, and other educational and community organizations

Partnership Activities

  • Identify and address local needs
  • Conduct research and write grants
  • Design relevant and sustainable programs for implementation in schools and the community
  • Evaluate school- and community-based programs
  • Inform educational decision making and practices with empirical methods and data


  • Exchange information from research literature and best practices
  • Inform improvements to teacher education programs, including pre-service preparation and in-service professional development

We listen to our partners and work with them to address their needs! Please contact us if you would like additional information about how the CEA can help you identify and address the unique needs of adolescents in your school or community.