Chicago State University and Progressive Education
Chicago State University was founded as the Cook County Normal School in 1867.
Dedicated to the training of elementary and secondary school teachers, the
institution became a renowned center of progressive education under the leadership of its second principal, Francis W. Parker. By the 1920s, European immigrants were taking advantage of the expanded curriculum and free tuition. In the 1950s, substantial numbers of African-Americans began attending, as their
parents continued to migrate to Chicago from the South. By the time the normal
school had evolved into a comprehensive state university in 1971, African-Americans made up the majority of the student body. Thus Chicago State has been a steady witness of the major demographic and ethnic changes experienced by Chicago's south side over the past 140 years.