MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses)

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are open access courses, often open to an unlimited number of participants, which deliver course materials and provide for interactive student participation via the internet¹. In the last several years, large MOOC providers have sprung up including Coursera and edX that offer MOOCs in partnership with major Universities from around the world usually for free. However, the vast majority of the MOOCs being offered by the major providers do not allow students to earn college credit, which may help explain the fact that MOOCs have very low completion rates².

For Credit MOOCs
While most MOOCs are non-credit, open access courses, a few colleges have experimented with integrating MOOCs into their credit programs. Here are a three examples:

  • Arizona State University and edX just launched the Global Freshman Academy which offers a full year of freshman for-credit MOOCs and does not require an application. There is a $45 registration fee for each course and one credit hour will cost no more than $200.
  • In 2013, San Jose State University partnered with Udacity³ to offer several for-credit MOOC courses but ended the partnership after the courses achieved low pass rates4.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, Udacity, and AT&T partnered to create a Masters Degree in Computer Science using MOOCs that costs students considerably less than an in-person degree.

MOOCs and Community Colleges
There has some initial experimentation with MOOCs in the community college sphere as well:

  • Two Massachusetts Community Colleges partnered with MIT to offer for credit computer programming courses using a flipped classroom approach that combined material from an MIT MOOC with in-class sessions at each community college.
  • Wake Tech Community College and Cuyahoga Community College both created non-credit MOOCs aimed at helping development education students more quickly become college ready

Do you think MOOC’s are here to stay or do you think they are a fad that will fade? Are MOOCs right for CCC?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

     – Aaron Feinstein, Project Team Leader, Center for Operational Excellence

 

Footnotes
1Techoppedia, Definition – Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) , accessed March 31, 2015, http://www.techopedia.com/definition/29260/massive-open-online-course-mooc
2Ry Rivard, “Measuring the MOOC Dropout Rate,” Inside Higher Ed, March 8, 2013, accessed March 31, 2015, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/03/08/researchers-explore-who-taking-moocs-and-why-so-many-drop-out.
3Another prominent MOOC provider that focuses more on credentialing programs than Coursera and edX
4Carla Rivera, “San Jose State will scale back online collaboration,” Los Angeles Times, December 17, 2013, accessed March 31, 2015, http://articles.latimes.com/2013/dec/17/local/la-me-ln-college-online-20131217 
5Carl Straumsheim, “One down, many to go,” Inside Higher Ed, June 6, 2014, accessed March 31, 2015,
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/06/06/one-semester-students-satisfied-unfinished-georgia-tech-online-degree-program
6Ed Finkel, “How did the pilot MOOCs turn out?” Community College Daily, October 18, 2013, accessed March 31, 2015, http://www.ccdaily.com/Pages/Technology/How-did-the-pilot-MOOCs-turn-out.aspx

REINVENTION UPDATE

Reinvention
Volume 1 / Issue 4

Student Experience Project FAQs

In previous Reinvention Updates we’ve introduced the Student Experience work currently underway at Wright College.  As the work there progresses, questions about the project have arisen. These FAQs are an effort to further explain the current work and future plans.

What is the Student Experience project and why is it important?

The Student Experience initiative aims to change and greatly improve the community college experience for students. City Colleges of Chicago wants to provide its students with the most efficient, rewarding and supportive path to college and career success.

The Student Experience begins with how we respond to prospective students, register and welcome new students, and work with students as individuals to help them define and achieve their goals. We want the expertise of our faculty and staff and the insights of our four-year college and employer partners – not standardized tests – to guide our students’ paths both inside and outside of the classroom and give them the best opportunity to succeed.

This initiative addresses the need to improve outcomes for our students. Nearly 90 percent of students arrive to City Colleges requiring some type of developmental coursework. Previous initiatives were not sufficiently scaled to drastically change the outcomes for these students. The Student Experience initiative will reconceive student onboarding, placement and supports to help move students into college-level work sooner and improve overall outcomes.

When will the Student Experience project be implemented?

To provide students with the benefits of the Student Experience initiative as soon as possible, the project team will begin to implement the plan in Fall 2015. As the work progresses, the project team will review and assess the project, adjusting the timeline, as needed.

Is there a plan to roll this out to the rest of CCC?

Yes, after implementing the Student Experience Project at Wright College we hope to implement this project model at the other colleges in waves. The second wave of implementation after Wright will be for Spring 2016 and will impact Olive-Harvey and Kennedy-King Colleges. We then hope to implement the model at Harold Washington, Truman, Daley and Malcolm X for Fall 2016. This is a tentative timeline and may be modified if needed.

Who is leading the Student Experience project?

The project is being jointly led by a team of faculty and staff from Wright College and members of City Colleges’ Reinvention team.

What has been faculty involvement in the process?

Faculty has been involved in Reinvention from the very beginning, taking part on taskforces and leading initiatives such as the tenure project.  About 100 faculty members have together spent thousands of hours working to devise solutions to City Colleges’ biggest challenges. The Student Experience effort is a continuation of our ongoing Reinvention. Work on the project is being conducted in teams made up mostly of Wright faculty, staff, and administrators, with support from members of City Colleges’ Reinvention team. The Wright team members are providing the expertise in instruction, outreach, student communications, recruiting, and more. Specifically, English and Math faculty are developing curricular models to provide instruction and instructional support that helps to accelerate students into college-level courses sooner. The Reinvention staff members are providing guidance and support with overall project management.

How is this different from AQIP First Year experience?

The First Year Experience (FYE) is part of AQIP (Academic Quality Improvement Plan) and while it shares some of the same goals, the current Student Experience Program encompasses a broader scope and is being done on a larger scale. The First Year Experience has only been implemented at Wright and is offered specifically to first year students working to meet the following goals:

  1. Assist new students in their transition to college
  2. Introduce new students to the intellectual and academic life of college
  3. Help new students develop a sense of community and establish academic and personal goals for success

The Student Experience Project will also be working to meet these goals but will focus on moving students along a clear pathway more quickly and ensuring they receive a credential of economic value by improving onboarding, placement and student supports.

How do I voice my feedback/concerns about the Student Experience initiative?

To follow progress, subscribe to the Center for Operational Excellence (COE) blog; Talk2UsCOE.wordpress.com or subscribe to the Wright College blog; www.WrightCollege.net.

Questions, comments, and concerns can always be voiced via the Student Experience mailbox (studentexperience@ccc.edu). This mailbox is monitored daily by the project team.

In our next issue…

In our next issue, look for an update on the Mentor Connection year-end retreat.  Mentors and mentees from the pilot colleges met at the Field Museum to discuss opportunities available for student advancement. We’ll also share updates on other projects underway across the district.

     – Scott Martyn, Associate Vice Chancellor, Strategy

Reinvention Team Member Spotlight

Chanell R. Harris-Smith

College:
Kennedy King College

Subject(s) Taught:
LevelUp Writing and Reading, FS Writing /Reading, English 098, 100, 101, 102 and 121

Reinvention Role:
Admissions Specialist/Part-time Faculty for 5 years with CCC, Reinvention Team Member since August 2014

Why did you choose to work at CCC?
CCC gave me my first opportunity to teach at the college level when I completed my MFA though I didn’t end up teaching the first class I was offered. After teaching in some SMHEC (Southern Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium) schools, I desired to return to the city and work with students from Chicago. I was a reverse transfer student and found my feet as a college student at Daley College. I suppose part of me wanted to engage in the proverbial “giving back”. A dean, who had been my professor during my undergraduate years, officially hired me in 2009. I remained at OH until 2013. Since 2009, I have taught at HW, DA, OH and KKC.

What has been your experience with Reinvention?
Reinvention has definitely stretched my abilities and perspective. I have learned so much and feel that I have been an integral part of the ever changing process and watched and helped projects grow. As an instructor, it has been so easy to be in a bubble, where I feel all I need to control is inside my classroom. Through my position in Admissions, I was able to learn the process by which a student becomes a student and have been able to share that experience here. We have learned how grueling the enrollment process can be. I now have a hand in making it welcoming and more effective for our students. So, my experience has been highly rewarding.

What are some of the big changes you’ve personally experienced in your time at CCC?
When I started in Admissions, students always wanted to see what classes they needed to take in their program of interest. In the summer of 2013, and beyond, I would give students the printable brochure available on the website. It was several pages of courses but did not factor in Dev Ed classes and if the student had placed into them, they could not see where they fit in the program. The document did not guide the students either. Now, with pathways, all students can see the finish line and exactly how to get there. Semester maps are available online and are a valuable tool for students, admissions specialists and advisors to get students interested and keep them focused. Today, the two documents work together and the student is totally informed.

What are you most excited about seeing changed?
I will be so thrilled to see the onboarding process change so that students feel excited about beginning their education and careers with us. I know that with these changes student perceptions of CCC will change and I will be excited to see that.

What is one thing you still feel really needs to change at CCC?
I think we all need to work on how we view and treat out student body. Our students are highly motivated, resourceful, critical and fearless yet vulnerable. We need to more effectively capture and capitalize on these qualities and help our students be successful. They are ours because they need us. Sometimes we fail at treating them like they are ours.

If you could pick anyone to learn from who would it be?
I would choose to be a mentee of “The Artist Currently Known as Prince”. Prince embodies the perfect blend of the creative and business side. He is as cool as a fan in any situation and apparently has found the fountain of youth. When I saw him in concert last summer, the Superdome went crazy over all of his 30 year old songs. That shows his brilliance, relatability and relevance. We should all strive to make a difference like that in whatever craft we choose.

What do you feel most proud of at CCC?
I am proud that we are a beacon of hope and light for so many students, and that we help to enrich their lives in so many ways. I am proud of KKC, my home campus, for being a gem in a troubled and vulnerable community and for being prize-worthy in the midst of it all. I am proud of the work we do every day, as individuals and a collective unit.

CCC Faculty, Staff and Students… Join Reinvention for Fall 2015

Join a Reinvention team for the fall semester 2015.  We have opportunities both at the district office (Reinvention) and at the colleges to work with your colleagues to be a part of the change that’s moving City Colleges of Chicago forward.  For fall, our top priority project focuses on developing a new way to admit, orient, and assess students and then deliver remedial education in a way that allows most students to earn college credit in math and/or English in their first semester at CCC.

Related work continues in other Student GPS areas including all aspects of student intake, supports and completion. Our focus will include admissions, registration, new approaches to student support and models for group and faculty mentoring of students.

All of this work builds on the reform efforts of faculty, staff and students from all seven colleges who have been on Reinvention teams over the past years. To learn more about Reinvention’s work during that time, visit www.ccc.edu/reinvention or if you have specific questions, email us at reinvention@ccc.edu.

Interested in joining a Reinvention team for the fall 2015 semester? Applications are now being accepted from all interested City College faculty, staff and students. Apply soon—the deadline is Friday, April 30th.

To apply, send an email to reinvention@ccc.edu. Identify your areas of interest from the list above and include the following in your email;

  • A brief biography or résumé describing your skill set as it pertains to your preferred projects.
  • Five ideas to address the challenges within your preferred projects.
  • Your contact information (phone and email) so that we can follow up with you.

A Preliminary Scan of the Supports Available to Help Chicago’s Students Succeed in College

Last month the College and Career Access, Persistence and Success (CCAPS) group, sponsored by the Donors Forum, published A Report on Chicago’s College and Career Access, Persistence and Success Landscape.  Part of the mission of the Donors Forum is to be “the premier resource for networking and education, information and knowledge, and leadership and advocacy on behalf of philanthropy and nonprofits in Illinois.”  Their report is a preliminary scan of services and supports that enable Chicago students to achieve postsecondary success.  It is intended as a starting point, leading to additional research and greater insights.

A Report on Chicago's College and Career Access, Persistence, and Success Landscape
A Report on Chicago’s College and Career Access, Persistence, and Success Landscape

The scan involved a survey of schools (including charter and private), non-profit organizations, colleges and universities, and funders.  The data collected was intentionally limited in order to generate the initial scan and start the conversations around what additional information could be collected that would have the potential for impacting college and career success.  As a preliminary scan, it does not attempt to answer the questions about what actions to take but rather about what additional information is needed.

I’ve had the honor of participating as a member of the Advisory Committee for the CCAPS report and joining in the conversation around Chicago students’ postsecondary success.  While the findings are preliminary, the work of CCAPS compliments other work currently underway by organizations including Thrive Chicago and the Chicago Collaborative for Undergraduate Success.  In each of these endeavors, the theme is collaboration.  To achieve the best outcomes for students across Chicago, we need to have schools, colleges, support organizations and funders working together.  We’ve made great strides in this direction in recent years and the work of the CCAPS group is another move toward greater support for students.

Read the report and let us know what you think!

     – Scott Martyn, Associate Vice Chancellor, Strategy

REINVENTION UPDATE

Reinvention
Volume 1 / Issue 3

Student Experience – Student Onboarding

In a previous post, we announced an exciting new project – one built upon the foundation and success of Student GPS and the Pathways. The project, currently entitled the Student Experience, is focused on just that: transforming the student experience throughout the entire life cycle – from the point of application submission all the way through graduation day.

There are many components to the Student Experience, but it seems appropriate to start at the beginning of the student life cycle with the in-take process – otherwise known as onboarding. We specifically focus on the first question introduced in our earlier Student Experience post:

How do we develop a new student in-take process that:

  1. helps faculty and staff understand a student’s goals, constraints, and preferences;
  2. sets clear expectations, and;
  3. is actionable for individual students.

In addition to the work being guided by the question above, project team members have also sought to ensure all onboarding experiences are ones that provide each student an interaction and environment that is both welcoming and encouraging.

One way we have started to put this philosophy into action has been by calling each and every student who has been accepted to Wright College for the fall 2015 semester. The purpose of each call is to establish a relationship with students through the gathering of course scheduling preferences, answering any questions a student may have about the City Colleges of Chicago, and extending a sincere congratulations on being accepted to Wright College. In collaboration with Wright staff and members of the Call Center, over 1000 calls have been attempted. For those students we have been able to reach so far there has been a positive response provided at the conclusion of each conversation: approximately 78% of students have indicated an intent to attend Wright College.

Although far from finished, we are excited with the progress that has been made and look forward to providing future updates related to the invaluable and rewarding work the onboarding team is committed to.

Special thanks for Linda Huertas, Associate Dean, Student Services, Wright College for being an amazing co-lead and for our beyond fabulous members of the core onboarding team:

  • Chanell Harris, Reinvention team member, Admissions Specialist, Kennedy-King College
  • Allison Zures, Executive Director, Career Planning and Placement
  • Giovani Toledo, College Clerical Assistant, Wright College
  • Danielle Haas, Director, Financial Aid, Wright College

     – Heather Labelle, Project Team Lead, Center for Operational Excellence

Reinvention Team Member Spotlight

Sergio Lemus

College: Harold Washington College
Subject(s) taught:
Cultural Anthropology and Social Science
Reinvention Role:
Task Force Member
Worked with CCC for:
Five years
Current Reinvention Project:
Network Footprint and English Co-requisite Model

Why did you choose to work at CCC?
I choose to work at the City Colleges of Chicago because I firmly believe that each campus embodies the essence of their surrounding community. Growing up near Olive Harvey College; for example, I would hear of family members attending ESL classes, and of friends getting their CDL (Commercial Driving License). As I was earning my doctoral degree in Anthropology, I saw that I can be part of the CCC community, through teaching students at Harold Washington College.

What has been your experience with Reinvention?
For me, it has been and continues to be a privilege to be part of this city wide, amazing undertaking in transforming how we think, do, and envision college education. Being at Reinvention has given me the opportunity to reinvent myself, to learn new skills that I never thought I would use, and to believe that change for the better is possible.

What are some of the big changes you’ve personally experienced in your time at CCC?
I saw a genuine interest from faculty, administrators, and staff to explore a range of possibilities in order to offer to students the best possible education while attending the City Colleges of Chicago.

What are you most excited about seeing changed?
I am most excited about aligning our educational opportunities with what employers look for in recent graduates. I think that there is not a better feeling than getting a job with the education obtained.

What is one thing you still feel really needs to change at CCC?
I think we need to seriously reflect on whether we are performing to the best of our abilities in our different roles, whether be a faculty member, administrator or supporting staff. Reinvention drives change, and while humans are naturally resistant to embrace it, in order to reach new limits, we would only get there by not adhering to tradition and educational orthodoxy.

What do you feel most proud of at CCC?
The students. While we are here crafting their opportunities, they are at each of their colleges doing their best to get their credential of economic value. They battle the Chicago harsh winter and summer seasons, find cash to take the bus or eat lunch from class to class, and strive to become the best in their class.


15 to Finish Update

Almost a year ago, Reinvention launched the 15-to-Finish initiative to promote a cultural shift, where full-time students choose to enroll in at least 15 hours per semester, instead of the minimum of 12 hours.
The rationale for the change was simple: full-time CCC students were not completing their degrees within two years because they weren’t taking enough credit hours per semester. By only enrolling in 12 hours, even students at the highest level of readiness needed three years to accumulate the 60-68 credits needed earn a CCC degree. And, considering that many students coming to CCC have developmental education needs, change focus areas, and/or do poorly in a course, the time to complete a degree for many students is longer than three years.
We knew that changing to a culture where 15 hours is full-time would be difficult and require excellent communication. Generally, the faculty and staff have supported the initiative; however, some were rightly concerned that not all students would not be able to succeed with the increased workload. To address the concern, the Decision Support team performed an analysis to help us better understand the academic outcomes for CCC students who take 12-14 hours vs. those taking 15+ hours. They found that students who enroll in 15+ credits:

  • Are more likely to earn a credential within 3 years, more likely to transfer, and are less likely to drop out
  • Are significantly more likely to graduate across every remedial need category
  • Have greater cumulative GPAs across remedial needs, age, and financial needs

The findings were compelling so we created incentives for students to jumpstart the change. The trends in the data for CCC students suggested that they tend to be price sensitive and highly value their financial aid refunds – in other words, more credit hours = less financial aid refund. So we created a simple incentive for students who were willing to invest in taking 15+ hours by providing a summer tuition and fee waiver (up to $750).
As of today, we have over 700 applicants for the waiver and have over 1300 students who qualify for this waiver. This is a significant increase over last year:

  • # of students enrolled in 15+ credit hours increased 26% for fall and 7% for spring
  • % of students enrolled in 15+ credit hours increased 31% for fall and 15% for spring
  • % of CCC full-time Credit students enrolled in 15+ credit hours increased 37% for fall and 25% for spring

The increase in the number of full-time students enrolling in 15+ credits and succeeding is exciting. In the coming year, we hope to build on this work and create additional incentives to get even more students to enroll in 15+ hours and see even better student outcomes.

     – Richard Chandler, Executive Director-Strategic Planning, Center for Operational Excellence


MDRC Review of CUNY’s Accelerated Study Programs

Doubling the Graduation Rate (Again)

Begun in 2007, the City University of New York’s (CUNY’s) Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) is aimed at helping students earn associate degrees within three years of entering college by providing them more support than traditional community college students. In order to participate in ASAP, students must commit to:

  • Attending college full-time (12 credits per semester)
  • Maintaining a 2.0 Grade Point Average
  • Taking remedial courses immediately (Students needing more than two semesters of remediation are not eligible for ASAP)
  • Attending mandatory meetings with advisors, career counselors, and tutors
  • Taking the ASAP Student Success Seminar (Similar to CCC’s College Success Course)

In exchange for these commitments, ASAP provides students with several financial incentives:

  • Free tuition – Any tuition not covered by financial aid is covered by a tuition waiver
  • Free Transit Cards
  • Free Textbooks

And substantial support services including:

  • Structured pathways to degrees
  • Blocked scheduling and a first-year learning community
  • Counseling from advisors with small caseloads (no more than 150 students per advisor)

Thus, ASAP combines several initiatives that we have put into practice at CCC, including pathways and learning communities. It then adds a substantial financial investment in the form of enhanced support services and tuition waivers.

So the key questions is: Does the investment pay off?

The answer is a resounding yes!

MDRC, a highly-respected program evaluation firm, has been studying ASAP for several years and just completed a randomized trial of its impact on students needing remedial coursework. They found that ASAP nearly doubled the graduation rate for remedial students, graduating 40 percent of ASAP students compared to 22 percent for traditional students.

Just as impressive, MDRC found that the cost per degree was less for ASAP students than traditional students because even though the program is more expensive per student, so many more students graduate.

MDRC concludes with the dramatic statement that “ASAP’s effects are the largest MDRC has found in any of its evaluations of community college reform.”

As we look at the efforts of other community colleges around the country to identify practices that might help CCC students achieve, CUNY ASAP is certainly one of the most promising models we have come across.

For more information: Read the MDRC study here and visit the ASAP website.

     – Aaron Feinstein, Project Team Leader, Center for Operational Excellence

REINVENTION UPDATE

Reinvention
Volume 1 / Issue 2

Mentor Connection Project

Mentor Connection launched in the fall of 2014 at Olive-Harvey and Truman colleges as a faculty-to-student mentoring pilot program at City Colleges of Chicago. Research on this subject has shown that students who receive mentoring from dedicated faculty are likelier to have higher GPAs and higher retention rates than students who do not receive such support. In designing this program, we spoke with faculty at all of the seven City Colleges and found that there was interest in developing a program to mentor students and that an informal student mentoring practice already existed independently among CCC faculty. Adding value to these established mentoring models, Mentor Connection provides a basic structure for faculty to select a caseload of interested students with whom this kind of mentoring is likely to have an impact, and the necessary supports to mange these important relationships.

Participating faculty mentors have a track record of being highly student-focused, as well as eager and available to discuss topics other than just course material with students. In addition to discussing topics such as internships, volunteering, and transfer options, mentors provide students with insight into specific academic disciplines for well-informed pathway and career selection. Through these mentoring relationships, students are not only exposed to greater opportunity through the mentor’s network, but also to the greater network formed by all the participating faculty mentors across CCC.

Mentor Connection
Watch the Video… Hear from our students!

Since its Fall 2014 launch, Mentor Connection has connected faculty mentors to over fifty students, helping them identify their academic and career goals, obtain internships, and transfer to four-year institutions.

When asked what about these mentoring relationships makes them so impactful, participating student mentees have spoken to the significance of developing close, one-on-one relationships with their mentors. A Truman College student said of his mentor, Dr. El-Maazawi:

There’s a word in Arabic, ‘Mu3allem’; The teacher… not just a teacher that you walk past or take a class with—it’s one that really impacts you with his words and his actions. I took a class with El-Maazawi, yes, but what I learned from him outside of class has been tremendous. I gained not only knowledge from him; I became a better person in terms of character and intelligence and in my perspective on life. He really influenced me a lot.

A student at Olive-Harvey College also spoke highly of working with his mentor, Dr. Franklin:

The thing about Dr. Franklin is that she always makes me feel like a scholar… She saw the type of person that I was and accepted it. And then she reached down inside of me and pulled the rest of it out to make me the student that I am today.

We are excited about the work so far and look forward to extending Mentor Connection to Harold Washington College next month.

For more information regarding how to participate, please visit: http://www.ccc.edu/departments/Pages/Mentor-Connection.aspx.

      – Joan Lee, Project Team Lead, Center for Operational Excellence


Student Clubs

Student clubs and organizations support students in reaching their academic, personal and professional potential by providing them with enriching opportunities based on their interests. The purpose of the Student Clubs project is to establish student-to-student connections between CCC and popular transfer institutions. Through connecting our clubs with similar clubs at four-year institutions, CCC students will have the opportunity to network with peers and gain an insider’s perspective on life at a four-year institution including which courses to take, scholarships to apply for and advice on how to navigate a four-year environment. The objectives of the project are to develop student clubs for all C2C focus areas, link existing clubs with local transfer institutions and professional associations, and streamline a process for starting a student club to promote diversity of clubs and organizations district-wide.

Progress has been made towards reaching the project’s objectives. In the Fall 2014 semester the Business Club was launched at Harold Washington College, and has already held their first event. Through the process of developing the Business Club, a resource manual was developed that outlines the necessary steps to create a club or organization at CCC. The resource manual will help streamline the student club development process and encourage the expansion of C2C focus area clubs going forward. In addition, all current clubs and organizations offered district-wide have been identified and outreach to corresponding clubs and organizations at four-year institutions has begun. The initial response has been positive with many of clubs and organizations excited about the opportunity to collaborate. This excitement has enabled the HWC Business Club and SGA to plan a Business Transfer Fair for April 2015 that will include the participation of four-year institutions. At this event CCC students for the first time will have the opportunity to network with Business students from four-year institutions and learn more about transfer opportunities and resources.

The development of the HWC Business Club and the Business Transfer Fair are two initial successes that can be replicated for all C2C focus areas district-wide. The development of focus area clubs will allow for more intentional and meaningful collaboration with student clubs and organizations at four-year institutions, and provide our students with the opportunity to broaden their networks.

      – Juliana Toshiro, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Harold Washington College

Reinvention Team Member Spotlight

Giovani Toledo
Role: Student
College: Wilbur Wright College
Transferred to: Roosevelt University
Pursuing a degree in: English
Why did you choose to attend CCC?
I chose to attend City Colleges of Chicago because it presented me with the opportunity to explore what career I wanted to pursue in the future. Coming out of high school, I was unsure what field of study interested me. City Colleges allowed me to take affordable general education classes while I explored what career I wanted to go into.
What accomplishment are you most proud of personally?
I am extremely proud of an accomplishment that is very abstract. I am proud of my developed work ethic and the analytical skills that my education has afforded me. Taking into account my short twenty one years of life, I must humbly recognize that I have yet to accomplish a sizeable set of goals. I am however, proud of the two aforementioned skills. Abstract as they may be, it is these two skills that have been the foundation for everything that I have been able to accomplish.
What are some of the big changes you’ve personally experienced through Reinvention?
As an employee of City Colleges of Chicago, one of the big changes that I have experienced through Reinvention is the implementation of GradesFirst as an operating program. GradesFirst allows the student to make appointments with their assigned advisor. This shift empowers the student and allows him/her access to communicate with their advisor in any format.
What do you feel most proud of while working on Reinvention?
I feel proud of CCC’s constant reinvention efforts. Our institution recognizes that there are facets of our structure that can always be improved upon. Efforts by administration mirror this understanding and these efforts seek to always improve structural practices to ultimately create a better experience for our students.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I will hopefully be pursuing an administrative position in education. My goal is to be in a position where I can support policies and practices that will help the students I will be serving. I will also hopefully have increased my personal library by 150 books and be the owner of a pug.