For more than 125,000 Chicagoans every year, the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) provides a path to higher education, employment opportunities, and a better life. More Chicago Public School graduates attend CCC than any other institute of higher education. To participate in our democracy, a high school diploma is no longer sufficient. Residents need the credentials and degrees our community colleges provide. Yet the outcomes of those who attend CCC have not been what we need for Chicago and its residents to compete in a global economy.
On November 18, 2010, Mayor Daley and Chancellor Cheryl Hyman announced the Reinvention of the City Colleges of Chicago, an ambitious effort to remake CCC with the goal of maximizing student success, by:
- Increasing the number of students earning degrees of economic value
- Increasing the rate of transfer to Bachelor's degree programs following CCC graduation
- Drastically improving outcomes for students requiring remediation
- Increasing the number and share of ABE/GED/ESL students who advance to and succeed in college-level courses
Building off of the pro bono contribution of the Boston Consulting Group in 2007, Civic Consulting partners have been working behind the scenes for nearly four years to catalyze and support the Reinvention. In the summer of 2010, McKinsey & Company helped to develop the detailed “blueprint” and launch Reinvention, while a team from Accenture began to re-define academic and administrative technology strategies that would support Reinvention. KPMG and CDW have helped to develop new procurement processes, and another team from McKinsey helped to remake the program portfolio for occupational programs, so paths lead students to what employers need.
Grants from the Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust and the Joyce Foundation have accelerated the initiative, which is today the most extensive community college reform effort in the nation.
“To see the system—from the Chancellor, to the college leadership, to the 60+ task force members from across the city—roll up its sleeves to improve CCC’s ability to deliver on the hope and faith that students place in the institution has been inspiring,” said Doug Scott, Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company. “There is a lot of work to do, but that challenge is being met every day by passion and enthusiasm, and I feel very fortunate to be a part of it.”
In September of 2011, Lantern Partners led the search for a new Chief of Staff to Chancellor Hyman, successfully filling one of the most important leadership positions on staff, setting the stage for accelerated progress in 2012.
In June of 2011, newly-elected Mayor Emanuel endorsed the Reinvention effort and strengthened the Board to accelerate implementation. “The City Colleges has set a goal of becoming a world-class community college system which ensures the success of every student,” said Mayor Emanuel. “With this leadership, CCC will be ready to realize its potential as the economic engine of our region and ensure Chicagoans are prepared with the skills to succeed in today’s competitive global economy."