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Community College Week: Second City Overhaul

7/23/2013 12:00 AM

​When Cheryl L. Hyman, chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago, stood before a group of city movers and shakers one recent Monday afternoon, she came as the bearer of good news. 

The setting was a downtown Chicago restaurant. The audience was the prestigious City Club of Chicago. She was introduced to the group by her chief supporter, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. She was armed with statistics that would make the influential group of businessmen and political leaders smile.  

Since the college embarked on its Reinvention initiative in 2010, the college has made some remarkable strides in important educational metrics, Hyman said. Graduation rates? Up by 71 percent. Degrees awarded? Up by 80 percent. Overall enrollment? A 15 percent increase. The recent graduating class, some 4,000 strong, was the college’s largest ever.  

“The picture today for the City Colleges of Chicago is brighter, but we still have a long way to go,” she said. ...  

The graduation rate has increased to 11 percent under Hyman’s leadership, but she was not standing before the sold-out City Club audience to tout her success. Rather, she was launching the next phase of the remaking of one of the country’s largest community college systems, a five-year blueprint replete with ambitious goals and benchmarks.  

The strategic plan seeks to build on the gains made since the 2010 Reinvention and its companion College to Careers program, the latter of which has become one of Emanuel’s signature initiatives.​  

Read the entire Community College Week cover story at