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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Colleges Chancellor Cheryl Hyman today marked the grand opening of the new Malcolm X College & School of Health Sciences, the home of City Colleges’ College to Careers center for excellence in health care education. Designed with the input of employers – most notably, lead partner Rush University Medical Center, and located next door to the Illinois Medical District—the $251 million, 1 million square feet facility will prepare Chicagoans to seize the 84,000 health care jobs coming to the region over the next decade.
“Our City creates new jobs in high-growth industries every day, which is why we are committed to ensuring that Chicagoans from every neighborhood can build the skills necessary to seize the jobs of the 21st century,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The new Malcolm X College will provide Chicagoans the opportunity to affordably pursue a top notch healthcare education, preparing future generations to succeed in our fast-growing healthcare sector.”
Designed with input from health care employers, the new campus reflects the latest tools in health care education, including a virtual hospital complete with operating and emergency rooms with observation areas; nursing, radiography, respiratory care, and science labs; and an ambulance cab for EMT simulations. A dental hygiene clinic will serve community clients for free starting summer 2016. An exercise and sports science area includes a 900-seat gymnasium, lap pool, and two therapy pools.
“With the opening of the new Malcolm X College, we have created a center of excellence in healthcare education that will offer our students the highest quality programs, taught by the best faculty, informed by leading employers, and housed in a state-of-the-art facility," said City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Cheryl Hyman. "When the Mayor and I launched College to Careers three years ago, we envisioned a community college system that made responsible use of taxpayer resources while delivering relevant education that put our students on the path to family-sustaining careers, and today helps us realize that vision.”
Simulated environments allow students to engage in “real life” patient scenarios where they test, diagnose and develop a treatment plan to remediate a patient’s condition. This functionality allows Malcolm X College the unique ability to pressure test student skills under workplace-like conditions, assess strengths and weaknesses, and develop a plan of action to improve student hard and soft skills prior to clinical assignments, graduation and admittance into their career of choice.
Construction of the new college, overseen by City Colleges, was completed in 26 months, both on time and on budget. [A1] City Colleges used reserves and funds raised from a successful bond offering that garnered AA and AA- ratings from S&P and Fitch, respectively, to fund the project. The new college can accommodate up to 20,000 students, 6,000 more than before, and includes an eight-story health science tower, a four-story academic building, and 1,500-space parking garage.
“We deeply value Malcolm X College as an academic and community partner, and together we have been working to create a pipeline of talented health care professionals for the future. This has included career-ladder opportunities for Malcolm X students, clinical rotations at Rush University Medical Center for Malcolm X students and faculty development opportunities at Rush University for Malcolm X faculty,” said Dr. Larry Goodman, President, Rush University and CEO, Rush University Medical Center.
The college offers degree and certificate programs vetted by employers in the most in-demand health science fields, including: nursing, radiography, phlebotomy, surgical technology, mortuary science, respiratory care, and paramedic and EMT, health information management, dental hygiene, and fire science. Occupational therapy assistant (OTA) and physical therapy assistant programs will also launch in 2017. The college continues to offer general education and adult education (GED & ESL) programs.
Clustered student services will ease the registration process, and a new fitness center, library, bookstore and cafeteria serve as student gathering spaces. An outdoor garden provides space for study, reflection and celebrations. A conference center, including 450-seat auditorium and 750-person multi-purpose room, is available for community rental. A child care center is open for student, staff and community use.
Instruction extends to the college walls through displays in the hallways and atriums of the building. The displays feature information about fast-growing healthcare specialties and related college programs, art in the cafeteria highlights healthy food choices. The entrance hallway and lobby depict a timeline of the life of civil rights activist and college namesake, Malcolm X, including Malcolm X’s actual Oldsmobile 98, donated by his wife Betty Shabazz.
Working closely with the project’s architect of record, Moody Nolan, the nation’s largest African-American owned architectural firm, the new Malcolm X College was designed to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficient Design) Gold Certification. Several features aim to minimize the amount of energy consumed by the college, including a series of green roofs, a rain water harvesting system, and white reflective membrane roofs that deflect sunlight and significantly reduce the energy load on the building.
Nearly 37 percent of contractor awards and commitments for the construction portion of the project went to MBE firms, and more than 7 percent went to WBE firms, for a grand total of nearly $79 million in M/WBE commitments. Furthermore, 51 percent of total hours worked on the project were by minority trade workers and 15 percent of total hours worked were by community residents.
City Colleges’ College to Careers initiative, launched by Mayor Emanuel and Chancellor Hyman in 2011, identified seven industry focus areas poised for greatest growth in the Chicago region and aligned each one of the City Colleges with an industry. Employer partners, 150 in all, worked with their respective college to revamp curriculum, inform facility improvements demanded by the new curriculum, and to offer internships to graduates and a first pass at job interviews.
The new college construction project is part of the City Colleges of Chicago's five-year $524 million capital plan, which enables major improvements throughout the seven-campus community college system, including upgrading classroom technologies and creating brand-new teaching and learning facilities.
For more information on the new campus, please see the new Malcolm X College School of Health Sciences factsheet. Registration ends for the first spring session credit classes on January 12th. Adult education (ESL & GED) registration continues through February 1st. Call 773-COLLEGE for more information.