August 28, 2015

City Colleges Of Chicago Chancellor Cheryl Hyman Named One Of Top Ten Most Innovative College Leaders In America By Washington Monthly Magazine

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In recognition of significant student outcome gains, a renewed focus on preparing students for in-demand careers, and a willingness to challenge the status quo, Washington Monthly Magazine has named City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Cheryl L. Hyman one of the ten most innovative college leaders in America. Chancellor Hyman was one of only two community college leaders on the list, which included both private and public colleges from across the United States.

“These are innovators who treat their schools like laboratories, devising new and better ways of serving their students while providing potential road maps to success for peer institutions,” said Washington Monthly editor Matt Connolly.

The magazine cited the efforts of Chancellor Hyman and Mayor Rahm Emanuel to launch the College to Careers program that aligns each college with an in-demand career field and engages more than 150 employers and university partners in a review of City Colleges’ curriculum and facilities. Since the launch of College to Careers, more than 3,000 students have found a job or internship.

“I congratulate and commend Chancellor Hyman for helping to transform the City Colleges of Chicago into ladders of opportunity for the next generation of Chicago’s students,” said Mayor Emanuel. “From our Colleges to Careers initiative to the Chicago Star Scholarship, today the City Colleges of Chicago are being reinvented to provide more students with a pathway to the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. This progress is a great testament to Chancellor Hyman’s leadership so I am proud that she is being given the recognition she deserves.”

The magazine highlighted that City Colleges has doubled its graduation rate under Chancellor Hyman’s leadership. In fact, since Chancellor Hyman launched a system-wide Reinvention, City Colleges has also doubled the number of students receiving associate degrees annually – to the highest amount in City Colleges’ history three years in a row. Other notable student outcome gains include: a more than doubling of the number of students moving from adult education to college credit work and a 9 percent increase in transfers.

“This distinction recognizes the hard work of our students, faculty and staff over the last five years of our Reinvention that have led to a cultural shift within our institution from a focus solely on access – to one on access and success – meaning that we are committed to putting our students on a straight path to further college and careers in fast-growing fields,” said Chancellor Hyman.

“We have also received a great deal of support along the way,” she continued, “first and foremost from Mayor Emanuel, as well as the employer, university and civic partners who have helped us evaluate our programs and practices. We hope our progress lays out a model and serves as a source of encouragement for other colleges looking to pursue data-drive cultural change at scale.”

City Colleges has also recently been recognized by the White House for the creation of the Chicago Star Scholarship, which provides a free City Colleges education to all qualifying Chicago public high school graduates. Also, in 2015, Kennedy-King College, one of the seven City Colleges, was the first-ever winner of the Aspen Institute’s Rising Star Award for Rapid Growth in Completion.