For students seeking transfer to four-year institutions, a paramount concern is ensuring that students are on a path that does not disadvantage them vis-à-vis native students of the four-year institution. The most critical thing is for us to get students on a clearly defined pathway early in their academic careers. In order to accomplish this, we need to first define those pathways, then work with four-year colleges and universities to ensure complete, course-level articulation. This effort builds off of the work to get students college-ready.
A relevant benefit of this approach is that it will ensure that more of our students avail themselves of Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) courses. These courses are approved by the IAI panel to ensure broad acceptance at four-year colleges and universities across Illinois. In the future, we will be looking to increase the number of IAI approved courses students are taking – both by increasing the number of IAI approved courses and by ensuring that students are completing IAI approved courses to fulfill their general education requirements.
- Students are given clear guidance on how to ensure that a smooth and successful transfer to four-year institutions
- Two years of classes at City Colleges are fully and wholly equivalent to the first two years at four year institutions
- Marquee partnerships with area universities anchor all major (high headcount) CCC programs.
City Colleges of Chicago has established district-wide transfer agreements so that students have the opportunity to fully transfer their credits to a four-year institution, and enter that institution without loss of credit and time thanks to well-defined course requirements while at CCC.
Agreements have recently been signed with the Illinois Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois at Chicago, DePaul University and Lewis University, in addition to a dozen partnership agreements already in place with other Illinois colleges and universities. Highlights include:
- The Presidential Scholarship at Illinois Institute of Technology offers qualifying CCC transfer students substantial financial support, including an annual tuition scholarship award up to $23,500, renewable for up to three years, as well as a $5,000 stipend for undergraduate research and a $5,000 annual housing award.
- The DePaul Admissions Partnership Program (DAPP) offers CCC students access to DePaul University counselors who can provide guidance on class selection and majors while students are still enrolled at City Colleges of Chicago. DAPP guarantees that students’ bachelor’s degree-completion requirements will not change for three years after joining the program.
- The Guaranteed Admissions Transfer (GAT) program with the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) allows CCC students to apply for guaranteed admission to UIC as early as their second semester at the community college level.
As a result of these and other partnership initiatives, City Colleges of Chicago is seeing steady growth in its students transferring into 4-year degree programs; the number of students transferring from CCC to Illinois Institute of Technology, for example, increased from 26 to 80 students in the last five years. At DePaul University, the number of transferring CCC students has more than doubled during roughly the same period – going from 750 CCC transfers to 1,600.
CCC is in the process of creating a Transfer Academy that will offer students several clearly defined academic pathways, linking them to a specific post-City Colleges transfer or job opportunity.
The Academy will begin before students embark on college through pre-college summer readiness courses combining a math and English refresher with college success skills. As a result of the refresher and increased placement options, more students will be able to skip to college-level courses with additional supports.
Developmental education coursework will incorporate learning communities, mandatory tutoring and advising, automatic enrollment in initial classes, and increasingly contextualized learning. Soft-skill development will be a focus through internships, job shadowing and career conversations.
Each structured pathway will be paired with a receiving partner institution or employer to ensure students make a seamless transition to further education or employment.