One Million Degrees accelerates community college students' progress on career pathways to economic mobility.


Formerly the Illinois Education Foundation, One Million Degrees was founded in 2006 by a group of social entrepreneurs who understood the specific challenges facing a uniquely overlooked student population – community college students.

Recognizing the fact that most of these students were failing and determined to change the odds, our founders developed a unique and highly successful program providing the kind of support that would make a meaningful difference.

Meet our founders.


Did you know that only 1 in 5 community college students graduates within three years of beginning their degree? One Million Degrees is changing these odds.

One Million Degrees believes that when given a solid system of support, every student has the ability to reach his or her full personal and professional potential. Since 2006, One Million Degrees has provided critical supports to help empower hundreds of community college students to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

Today, One Million Degrees Scholars are graduating at roughly twice the state average and are equipped with the skills necessary to help them reach their full potential and access upwardly-mobile careers.