Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) Chancellor Cheryl Hyman announced today that Harry S Truman College will serve as the College to Careers (C2C) hub in education, human and natural sciences. This is the seventh City Colleges institution to join the C2C program, which aims to close the skills gap, ensuring Chicago residents are prepared for jobs in high growth industries.
“The new College to Careers program at Truman College will train the next generation of care givers and teachers for our children,” said Mayor Emanuel. “With this announcement, each of the City Colleges has its own career focus to provide a pathway for ensuring students have the skills and education for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”
An estimated 39,000 job openings are expected in education in the Chicagoland area through 2023, including openings in child development and teaching math, sciences, special education and foreign languages with starting salaries up to $50,000 a year. Using a comprehensive strategy to close the skills gap, Truman will offer a combination of certificates and associate’s degrees in those fields tailored for those first entering the education profession as well as for professionals in need of continuing education.
“Whatever a student’s career goal, our programs are built to ensure relevance to the workplace as well to further education,” said Chancellor Hyman. “Truman’s focus on education and human and natural sciences will complement our other College to Careers programs and further position Chicagoans for high-growth careers.”
Starting in Fall 2015, Truman College also will offer new advanced coursework for students who are planning to pursue a bachelor’s degree at a four-year university, allowing City Colleges to offer courses for which there might not have previously been sufficient demand at any one college alone or where they might not have been an ability to offer such courses every semester, and allowing for strategic infrastructure investments. Courses will be identified in consultation with faculty and four-year universities with which CCC partners and may include Biology, Chemistry, English, History, International Studies, Math, Physics and Political Science. Students at any of the City Colleges will be able to take these advanced courses, while continuing to study at their home City Colleges campus. Students will continue to fulfill general education requirements across the seven City Colleges of Chicago.
Programs will be designed to articulate with bachelor’s programs to allow students to advance in the field immediately or later in their career. Obtaining an associate’s degree at City Colleges before transferring for a bachelor’s degree can save students up to $40,000 in tuition.
“This greater focus by the City Colleges of Chicago will assist the city in developing a pipeline of future teachers and other education professionals, particularly for in-demand specializations like math or language education,” said Truman College President Reagan Romali.
In 2011, Mayor Emanuel launched the C2C program for City Colleges to refocus training to address the skills gap and to keep Chicago a competitive city. City Colleges is now in the midst of a Reinvention, a collaborative effort to review and revise City Colleges programs and practices to ensure students leave City Colleges college-ready, career-ready and prepared to pursue their life's goals. Since the beginning of its Reinvention effort, City Colleges has nearly doubled the number of degrees awarded annually and nearly doubled its graduation rate.
The emphasis on Education at Truman College joins the six College to Careers programs announced over the last two years: Transportation, Distribution & Logistics (TDL) at Olive-Harvey College; Healthcare at Malcolm X College; Business, Professional Services and Entrepreneurship at Harold Washington College; Information Technology at Wilbur Wright College; Advanced Manufacturing at Richard J. Daley College; and Culinary and Hospitality at Kennedy-King College.
More than 1,300 students have found jobs or internships in a C2C field since the program’s launch. Enrollment in C2C programs exceeded City Colleges’ 2013 goal by 5 percent. Furthermore, more than 150 industry leaders and four-year colleges are working to help ensure City Colleges’ programs are relevant to employers and four year colleges alike and that students are put on a clear path to college and career.
CCC has seen strong financial stewardship under Mayor Emanuel and Chancellor Hyman, saving $51 million, which has been redirected to the classroom. Chancellor Hyman has also balanced the CCC budget of more than $650 million every year with no increase in property taxes. The FY2014 CCC budget increased funding for academic affairs by 8 percent, while decreasing the overall operating funds by 2.3 percent.
The City Colleges of Chicago is the largest community college system in Illinois and one of the largest in the nation, with 5,700 faculty and staff serving 115,000 students annually at seven colleges city-wide.