Arturo Velasquez Institute

Alicia J. Rodriguez


Arturo Velasquez InstituteThe Arturo Velasquez Institute (AVI) is the satellite campus of Richard J. Daley College, a public post-secondary institution which offers a variety of programs to enrich the personal and professional lives of the communities it serves.

As one of the City Colleges of Chicago, Richard J. Daley College (Daley) serves the diverse community of the Southwest Side of Chicago. Daley’s satellite campus, Arturo Velasquez Institute (AVI), is located in the heart of the city in between Pilsen and Little Village communities. Daley’s service catchment area includes: Archer Heights, Ashburn, Bridgeport, Brighton Park, Chicago Lawn, Clearing, Gage Park, Lower West Side, McKinley Park, Near West Side, North Lawndale, South Lawndale, and West Lawn, all within the City of Chicago.

AVI, previously named Westside Technical Institute (WSTI), opened doors in 1996, offering a variety of technical and work-skills programs for community residents. In 2007, Westside Technical Institute was renamed Arturo Velasquez Institute (AVI) in honor of community leader Arturo Velasquez who was the first Mexican American to serve on the City Colleges of Chicago Board of Trustees. He served on the board for more than 10 years and played a critical role as the director and president of the City Colleges of Chicago Foundation.

The foundation and purpose of AVI was developed in the early 1990’s by community members who envisioned a space that could provide educational and economic opportunities to those in the surrounding communities. The area is in the heart of the city and for years has served as an entry point for immigrant communities. Throughout the years, program offerings have focused on workforce initiatives and Adult Education –

English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) and High School Equivalency (HSE) programming to provide residents a pathway toward upward mobility and integration.

The original intent of AVI has been sustained and remains evident today. Arturo Velasquez Institute (AVI) serves community residents by offering opportunities to enhance academic and workforce skills through three instructional areas:

  • Credit: AVI offers a variety of credit courses that allow students to pursue both certificates and associate degrees.
  • Adult Education (ADED): English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) and High School Equivalency (HSE) are ADED programs are vital to the economic growth and development of the community that surrounds AVI. AVI’s HSE program is offered in both English and Spanish.
  • Continuing Education: Non-credit programming at AVI serves both children and adults with academic, workforce, and enrichment courses such as Financial Careers Training, 3D Printing and CAD, and the Son y Arte summer camp in partnership with Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU).

Our commitment to providing quality learning experiences for our students echoes our belief that an empowered community is an educated and successful community.