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CPS’ Aarti Dhupelia Joins NLU, Will Lead Professional Pathways Program Tells WBEZ it's an extension of the work she's done at CPS


Aarti Dhupelia will join NLU Sept. 28 as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives.

Aarti Dhupelia, a high-level Chicago Public Schools official charged with motivating high school students to enroll in college, graduate and achieve career success, is joining NLU as the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. She will lead the Harrison Professional Pathways Program, NLU’s reinvention of college into an innovative high-tech, high-touch approach to make a quality four-year undergraduate education affordable to almost everyone.

Dhupelia told WBEZ Radio’s Becky Vevea the job is a natural transition from her position as  Chief Officer of the Office of College and Career Success.

Read the WBEZ interview with Dhupelia and NLU President Nivine Megahed.

“It’s really an extension of the work I’ve been doing in CPS, because I’ve really been focused on how do we prepare students to be successful in college, career and life,” Dhupelia told WBEZ in an interview which aired Friday morning.

Dhupelia will manage the strategic direction and leadership of the Harrison Professional Pathways Program, which debuts this fall, as well as other initiatives that reenvision undergraduate programming and support students’ growth and development. Dhupelia’s prior work engaging and accelerating Chicago Public School students toward success in college, career and life is invaluable as NLU launches this new model of undergraduate education. She assumes her new role on September 28.

Dhupelia brings a wealth of relevant experience to this new role. For the past eight years, she has held several important leadership roles for Chicago Public Schools including: Chief Officer, Office of College and Career Success; Deputy Chief of Staff for the Chief Executive Officer; Executive Director, Office of School Improvement; Director, Department of Early College and Career Education; and Director, Department of Career and Technical Education.

In her most recent role as Chief Officer for the Office of College and Career Success, she was responsible for ensuring that every student was engaged, on-track and accelerating toward success in college, career and life. As part of this work she drove strategies around attendance and truancy, drop out re-engagement, out-of-school time, social and emotional learning, college and career planning, and early college and career acceleration coursework. Prior to her tenure at CPS, she worked as a strategy consultant for Marakon Associates, a management consulting firm that serves Fortune 500 companies.

“With Aarti’s experience paving the way for CPS students to attend college, I have great confidence that she will maximize the potential of the Harrison Professional Pathways Program,” said Nivine Megahed, Ph.D., president of NLU. “I look forward to working with her to make quality higher education more accessible and affordable for all.”

“National Louis is taking the lead as an innovator in creating new models for undergraduate education to make earning a college degree a reality for today’s students,” said Aarti Dhupelia. “That’s a passion and mission with which I’m truly aligned.”