City Colleges of Chicago Graduates Largest Class

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - EducationCity Colleges’ largest graduating class in more than two decades celebrated Commencement on Friday, May 3 at the UIC Pavilion. Nearly 4,000 students will earn an associate’s degree at City Colleges in 2013—an 80 percent increase since the launch of the Reinvention initiative in 2010 and the highest in more than two decades.

“City Colleges of Chicago marks a tremendous achievement today with a historic number of graduates, many of whom juggled the responsibilities of work and family and overcome serious obstacles to reach this moment,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Simon. “This day demonstrates the power that a quality, affordable education focused on student success can have to transform lives and communities.”

“All of us at City Colleges are proud of this historic group of college graduates,” Chancellor Hyman said. “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 providing a solid pathway to further education or a stable career.”

City Colleges’ enrollment and graduation rates are also increasing. It saw a five percent increase in credit enrollment across system between 2010 and 2012. A 12 percent graduation rate is anticipated for the class of 2013, up from seven percent when Chancellor Hyman arrived and the highest in over a decade.

Truman College student Claudia Guaita joined Simon on stage, representing the Class of 2013 as the Valedictorian Speaker. Guaita, who was born in Chile, earned an associate degree in nursing. After taking a licensure exam this summer, she plans on working with hospice patients as a registered nurse specializing in palliative care. “I am incredibly grateful to this program for accepting me and giving me the chance to realize this dream,” she said. “I know my life mission is to help people find meaning in every experience.”

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. In April 2013, City Colleges launched Reinvention7, the next phase of the reform effort.

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