National Louis University says
Elizabeth Harrison, a pioneer in elementary and early childhood education, founded the institution as Miss Harrison's Training School in 1886. The university's name was changed to the Chicago Kindergarten College (1893), the National Kindergarten College (1912), and then the National College of Education (1930). Under Harrison's leadership, National College of Education championed the concept of kindergarten teaching in America and was one of the first teacher's colleges in the country to offer a four-year program culminating in the bachelor of education degree. It was the first Illinois institution to offer the bachelor's degree for elementary teachers. As the Chicago Kindergarten College, our institution was instrumental in the founding of the PTA and later as the National College of Education played a major role in launching the national Head Start program.
The institution relocated its main campus from Chicago to Evanston in 1926. National-Louis University today serves students from four campuses: Evanston, Wheaton, Wheeling, and Chicago, in addition to an academic center in suburban Elgin. National-Louis University also has academic centers in five states as well as Nowy Sacz, Poland.
The growth of traditional education programs was followed by the development of programs in allied health, applied behavioral sciences, and human services. The institution formally organized the latter programs in 1982 under the Michael W. Louis School of Arts and Sciences.
Another rapid growth area, business programs, culminated with the formation in 1989 of the College of Management and Business.
The institutional name, National-Louis University, unites the great name of National College of Education with that of trustee and benefactor Michael W. Louis. The Louis gift, a major financial gift that spearheaded the transition in 1990 from college to university, is among the largest to private education in the state of Illinois. Three colleges comprise National-Louis University: National College of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Management and Business.
National-Louis University continues to serve students who are traditional to higher education as well as students who face special challenges in continuing their education. The student body includes adults who are working full time or contemplating career changes, teachers and administrators who want to further their education while continuing to work in their fields, and immigrants and other language minorities with limited English skills.
National-Louis University offers 13 degrees extending to the doctoral level and certificate programs across its three colleges plus more than 30 academic programs. The institution serves nearly 14,000 students annually from its five Chicago-area campuses and at academic centers in Milwaukee/Beloit, Wisconsin; Tampa, Florida and Nowy Sacz, Poland.