CCA was founded in 1978 and is among the oldest alternative schools in the country. An urban high school located on Chicago's Westside, CCA's purpose has always been to serve dropout, high risk, high minority, and high poverty students. The CCA brings them back into an educational environment , finds their educational gaps, and fills those gaps. CCA was the first, and for seven years the only, community-based alternative high school to achieve Illinois State Board of Education recognition granting CCA the right to award the high school diploma. The CCA serves 150 students and their families per year.