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Mayor Emanuel and City Colleges of Chicago Announce Record High 22.9 Percent Graduation Rate

7/5/2018 2:00 PM

Star Scholars Drive Growth with a 47 Percent Graduation Rate  

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Colleges of Chicago today announced a record graduation rate of 22.9 percentage points to date, an increase of 108 percent since 2011. Students in the Star Scholarship program are helping to drive this year’s growth, with a 47 percentage point graduation rate.   

“With affordable, 21st century academic and workforce preparedness programs, City Colleges of Chicago is helping residents across the city build the skills necessary to reach their full potential,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The talented, passionate faculty and staff at City Colleges are helping better position students for success in the fast-growing industries bringing jobs to our city.”   

The graduation rate has steadily risen over the past seven years, growing from 11 percentage points in 2011 to 22.9 percentage points to date in 2018. Year over year growth increased by 28 percent over last year’s 18 percent graduation rate.    

“We are working to ensure all Chicagoans who come through our doors find success and the path to upward mobility,” said Chancellor Salgado. “The continued growth in our graduation rate is testament to the hard work of our faculty, staff, and students and efforts to eliminate any barriers in on our students’ road to completion.”   

The graduation rate is calculated based on the definition set by the federal government’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which includes first-time, full-time students that complete a degree or certificate within three years.   

Students in the Star Scholarship program, which launched in the Fall of 2015, drove this growth with a 47 percent graduation rate.  Now in its third year, the Chicago Star Scholarship has involved more than 4,500 CPS graduates – representing more than 75 zip codes and more than 200 high schools citywide. To date, Star Scholars have been earned more than $3 million in scholarship offers from City Colleges’ four-year college and university transfer partners.  

City Colleges has also placed a renewed emphasis on supporting students through graduation day and preparing them for the 21st century economy. Over the past several years, City Colleges has implemented a student-centered culture with guided pathways, a stronger partnership with CPS including a robust early college program, a lower student to advisor ratio, and centers for career, transfer, wellness, disability and veterans supports, among other efforts.    

The cybersecurity and coding bootcamps are one of many pathways that prepare students for success. City Colleges has now expanded its technology programming to include nine boot camps in cybersecurity and coding across five campuses by the end of 2018. This expansion is designed to prepare students for the workforce and connect them to opportunities for work experience.  

Across all seven colleges and five satellite sites citywide, City Colleges campuses continue to develop meaningful partnerships with communities, employers, four-year colleges, and other partners to provide support and resources for CCC students and ensure any Chicagoans seeking a quality, affordable post-secondary education can access one.    

Recently, PepsiCo committed to support student success by providing up to 40 job offers annually in the high-demand fields of transportation, distribution and manufacturing. Students will take on roles in career paths that lead to management, including as merchandisers, warehouse personnel, commercial truck drivers or machine maintenance technicians and mechanics. Aon has also hired 41 City Colleges students as apprentices and Accenture has made offers to 27 students to serve as apprentices as well.   
To continue this growth, Chancellor Juan Salgado announced a commitment to ensure more than half of the graduates participate in work-based learning opportunities. With the support of Chicago’s business and civic community, City Colleges students enrolled in degree, certificate and boot camp programs will gain tangible experience before entering the workforce. This initiative is expected to reach more than 4,000 students annually.   

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