Mayor Emanuel and CCC Chancellor Hyman Announce City Colleges Expect to Award Highest Number of Degrees in Over Two Decades

City Colleges Has Also Recorded Highest Credit Enrollment in Years

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–April 23, 2013.  On the same day that a delegation from World Bank arrived in Chicago to learn more about the City Colleges of Chicago’s (CCC) successful College to Careers program, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CCC Chancellor Cheryl Hyman announced that nearly 4,000 students are expected to earn an associate’s degree at City Colleges this year — the largest number in more than two decades, and a nearly 60 percent increase since the launch of College to Careers in 2011. Overall, City Colleges expects to see a 12 percent graduation rate, the highest in over a decade.

“The strategic, effective and innovative choices we have made through the College to Careers program ensure that our students get the education they need to compete for and win the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow, promoting a strong and vibrant workforce that helps our city thrive,” said Mayor Emanuel. “We could not be more proud of these students and their results, showing we are on the right track. From our early learning programs to our City Colleges, we are working to ensure that every student in this city receives a high-quality education that helps them succeed in life. We will continue to work to have more and more students graduating.”

City Colleges also saw a five percent increase in credit enrollment across the City Colleges system between 2010 and 2012. In 2011, Mayor Emanuel and Chancellor Hyman launched College to Careers, a nationally recognized initiative that partners City Colleges staff and industry leaders to ensure City Colleges career programs are aligned with demand in six fast-growing fields.  So far, over 100 partners from industry, four-year colleges and community-based organizations have joined the initiative, generating updated and modern curricula for CCC programs, access to industry experts within the classroom and first access to competitive jobs and internships. Since the initiative launched, 450 students have been placed in jobs or internships in a College to Careers industry sector. 

“All of us at City Colleges are proud of this historic group of college graduates,” said Chancellor Hyman. “Their achievements prove that putting education first pays off, and offer more evidence that the student-centered reforms we’ve implemented in recent years are paying off as we had hoped: more of our students are now prepared for further education or a career.”

In recent years, City Colleges has invested in key student services including: tutoring, academic advisors, transfer specialists, career and transfer centers, veteran centers, and Wellness Centers, among other services.  A central goal of City Colleges’ ongoing Reinvention initiative, which launched in 2010, is to increase the number of students earning college credentials of economic value. Since the launch of Reinvention, the total number of degrees being awarded has risen by nearly 80 percent. More information about Reinvention is here.

“The steadily growing number of graduates is testament to the quality and value of a City Colleges’ education,” said Paula Wolff, chair of City Colleges’ Board of Trustees. “City Colleges is living up to its promise to serve as an economic engine for Chicago and prepare each and every student to succeed at a four year college and the careers of today and tomorrow.

The annual graduation ceremony will occur on Friday May 3 at the UIC Pavilion.

About City Colleges of Chicago

The City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) is the largest community college system in Illinois and one of the largest in the nation, with 5,800 faculty and staff serving 120,000 students annually at seven campuses and six satellite sites city-wide. The City Colleges of Chicago is in the midst of a Reinvention, a collaborative effort to review and revise CCC programs and practices to ensure students leave CCC college-ready, career-ready and prepared to pursue their life’s goals.

The City Colleges of Chicago includes seven colleges:  Richard J. Daley College, Kennedy-King College, Malcolm X College, Olive-Harvey College, Harry S Truman College, Harold Washington College and Wilbur Wright College. The system also oversees the Washburne Culinary Institute, the French Pastry School, two restaurants, five Child Development Centers, the Center for Distance Learning, the Workforce Institute, the public broadcast station WYCC-TV Channel 20 and radio station WKKC-FM 89.3.  For more information about City Colleges of Chicago, call:  (773) COLLEGE or visit