Productive, Empowered Communities

Imagine...Productive, Empowered Communities

Communities thrive when their members do. Learning what’s needed for individuals, families, and society to flourish is the cornerstone of social science scholarship in the College of ACES. We study the complex interactions in families and foster their resilience among the stresses of modern life. We are discovering how children and young people can best grow to become adults who contribute effectively to society.

Scholarly knowledge becomes action in ACES, through work in educational settings, youth development programs, and community services touching thousands of young people and families. ACES develops leaders at all stages of life, starting with 4-H members and the students we prepare for successful careers. The innovative new leadership studies program at the University of Illinois makes its home in ACES.

Decision makers come to ACES for expertise that influences social policies and economic prospects, extending from local communities to the global stage. An array of disciplines, including policy, law, economics, leadership, vocational education, and communication converge here, facilitating problem solving from multiple perspectives. Scholars focus on finding solutions to help improve quality of life.

In ACES, we are applying science and technology in smarter and more sustainable ways, teaching people to effectively manage relationships and finances, and bringing to light new ways to nurture communities.

Other Features

Highlighted Research

Dr. Brent McBride
Human development
Dr. Brent McBride
Dr. Brent McBride’s primary research focus relates to the impact of fathers and father figures on children with and without disabilities. In addition, he and an interdisciplinary team are exploring how genetic, family, community, child care, and cultural factors influence weight gain and obesity during the early childhood years.


Kari Keating

Leadership Communications (AGED 230) teaches students communication skills required of transformational leaders. The course includes practice in writing, speaking, and presenting data in a way that inspires trust. Students learn to present themselves with confidence when speaking to small and large groups, how to frame language to inspire others, how to give feedback in one-on-one coaching,