City Colleges of Chicago expands its ‘colleges-to-careers’ initiative

City Colleges of Chicago expands its ‘colleges-to-careers’ initiative

The City Colleges of Chicago is expanding its “colleges-to-careers” initiative, which puts together industry experts with City Colleges staff to help prepare students for jobs in growing industries.

Colleges-to-careers will launch three new programs: information technology at Wilbur Wright College, advanced manufacturing at Richard J. Daley College, and the culinary and hospitality at Kennedy-King College.

Industry partners for the new programs include Google, Cisco, the Solo Cup company, and the Illinois Restaurant Association, among others.

City Colleges Chancellor Cheryl Hyman said Chicago’s community college system — one of the largest in the nation — offers students an affordable and accessible education, but that is not enough.

“Beyond affordability, beyond access, we must ensure our students success,” Hyman said. “What does success mean? Success means receiving a credential of economic value.”

The new programs build on three other programs launched over the last year: allied healthcare at Malcolm X College, business and professional services at Washington College and transportation, distribution and logistics at Olive-Harvey College.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the college-to-careers programs are a better way for students to get their feet in the door at companies in growing industries. He said that is because those companies help shape the curriculum, so they know what the degree is worth.

City Colleges of Chicago serves 120,000 students a year at seven institutions around Chicago.