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City Colleges of Chicago’s 5-Year Vision for Ensuring Student Success

The City Colleges of Chicago’s 5-Year Vision aims to nearly double the graduation rate and ensure that over two-thirds of students become employed in their area of training by 2018. Unveiled at the annual City Club of Chicago address by Chancellor Cheryl Hyman on June 24, 2013, the plan builds upon the gains made by City Colleges and its students since the 2010 launch of its Reinvention initiative and the start of the College to Careers program in 2011.

City Colleges students are graduating at a record rate, degrees awarded are increasing, and the College to Careers program is garnering international recognition and becoming a model for a modern education. In this next phase, City Colleges is creating an important launching pad for students, both in further college and career success that will also serve as an economic engine for the City of Chicago.

The five-year plan (PDF) was developed over the course of 18 months and included rigorous analysis of City Colleges past performance as well as best practices for community college outcomes. It establishes five-year targets on a number of critical measures of student success – from enrollment and retention to completion and employment.                          

Among the key targets outlined in the plan, City Colleges expects to see the following by 2018:                              

  • ​The number of degrees awarded annually will increase nearly 40 percent
  • The number of certificates awarded will increase by more than 15 percent
  • ​The graduation rate will be at 20+ percent
  • More than two-thirds of students in occupational programs will be employed in their area of training
  • More than half of students will transfer to four-year institutions following graduation
  • A third of new remedial students will advance to college-level work
  • Cut the time to hire in half, down to 120 days
  • Four times as many adult education students will transition to college-level coursework after one semester in GED/ESL
  • Increase funds raised annually from grants and contracts by a third

Four key strategies will support the achievement of these goals: increasing relevance of certificates and degrees, reducing time to completion, increasing student supports, and strengthening operations. This work will be supported by a steadfast commitment to excellence in teaching and learning.                               

Among the key approaches employed to achieve these targets are the Reinvention7 initiative and College to Careers. Through Reinvention7, City Colleges is achieving reform at scale and is creating a Student GPS system (Student Guided Pathway to Success) that will show students a clear path to further college and careers, involving semester by semester program maps, block and predictive scheduling and whole program enrollment, allowing students to see the goal in sight and more easily plan their coursework around other work and family responsibilities.                               

Through College to Careers, launched by Mayor Emanuel and Chancellor Hyman in December 2011, City Colleges has partnered with more than 150 industry and university leaders to better align occupational curriculum with workforce demand in fast-growing fields, to provide real-world learning opportunities through access to teacher-practitioners and high-tech facilities, and to offer students a first-pass at internships and job interviews. More than 3000 students have since earned jobs and paid internships in College to Careers industry sectors.                              

The five-year plan builds off the progress City Colleges students have made so far through our Reinvention effort. Since the launch of Reinvention:                   

  • The graduation rate has increased by 142 percent
  • The number of degrees awarded is up 124 percent, the highest on record in CCC history.
  • Total awards granted are up 43 percent
​​​​​​Read the complete 5-Year Plan here, and watch Chancellor Hyman give the lastest progress report on Reinvention7 at the City Club of Chicago in October 2015 in the video above.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
​Chancellor Hyman give updates on CCC's 5-Year Strategic Plan at the City Club of Chicago on October 5th, 2015
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