Our Path Forward

Our Path Forward

Our Path Forward

2021-2025 Strategic Framework and Plans

2021-2025 Strategic Framework and Plans

2021-2025 Strategic Framework and Plans

Explore the unified framework and unique college plans that will allow City Colleges to be recognized as the city’s most accessible higher education engine of socioeconomic mobility and racial equity – empowering all Chicagoans to take part in building a stronger and more just city.

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Chancellor Welcome

Juan Salgado

Chancellor, City Colleges of Chicago

Letter from the Chancellor

I am pleased to share with you our five-year strategic framework and college strategic plans. These documents are the product of months of dialogue among our faculty, staff, students, and partners.  They serve as a north star and a guide for our work over the next several years. Read More

Our Path Forward

One Vision, Seven Strong

These documents serve as the final step in a three-part process of planning for the future at City Colleges. For an overview and to learn more about the process that produced these plans, watch this video.

Five-Year Strategic Framework
Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Plans
Equity Plans
 

Five-Year Strategic Framework

  • Unifying vision, values, goals, and key performance indicators (KPIs)

  • Seven unique College Strategic Plans drawing from Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Plans and Equity Plans

  • Set of unified initiatives to support institutional success and college plans

(Fall 2019)

Seven college SEM plans aiming to:

  • Expand and optimize city and community partnerships to provide greater access to more Chicagoans.
  • Transform the experience of prospective and current students wishing to pursue a quality education at City Colleges.
  • Learn more

(Summer 2020)

  • Seven college plans outlining our path to:
    • Close equity gaps
    • Develop a discipline of continuous improvement
  • Learn more
See the College Plans

Strategic Framework Elements

A Unifying Vision & Goals

  • A single unifying vision crafted with input from a cross section of City Colleges stakeholders.
  • Three transformational goals serve as metrics for the five-year framework. At the end of this plan, we should see quantitative progress towards meeting these goals, get a palpable sense of the momentum across our stakeholder community, and better understand what is working so we can double down and invest in achieving these goals.

Strategic Levers and Core Values

  • Six levers form the framework for all strategic activities. A collective focus on these levers will steer us towards our long-term goals and vision.
  • Core values serve as guiding principles and beliefs that are fundamental to the holistic success of our plan. These were crafted with input from a cross section of City Colleges stakeholders and align with the strategic levers.

KPIs and Targets

  • A set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be used to measure the success of our plan.
  • KPIs are focused on student success outcomes. Targets have been set for the first three years of the plan.

Five-Year Strategic Plans and Unified Strategic Initiatives

  • Seven college strategic plans organized by strategic lever. All plans outline three-year KPI targets and strategies the college teams will employ to achieve their target goals.
  • Unified strategic initiatives will support the success of college plans, and provide the leadership and vision needed to achieve our goals and mission.

Chancellor Juan Salgado
City Colleges of Chicago

“This work is the embodiment of an institution that finds its strength in its unified vision and values, and in being seven strong. It represents our path forward.”

A Unifying Vision and Goals

Our vision is to be recognized as the city’s most accessible higher education engine of socioeconomic mobility and racial equity – empowering all Chicagoans to take part in building a stronger and more just city.

Achieve unprecedented and equitable retention and completion rates

Be regarded as the smart choice among students, K-12 partners alumni, partners, universities and employers

Advance upward mobility among City Colleges students and alumni through our colleges’ high-quality pathways

Strategic Levers

 Six strategic levers shape our path forward. These levers were informed by research, lessons learned, and input from key internal and external stakeholders, including students, faculty, and staff. We believe that prioritizing these levers will help us achieve and deliver on our promise to Chicago’s students.

Exceptional Student Experience Exceptional Student Experience
Equity Equity
Economic Responsiveness Economic Responsiveness
Excellence Excellence
Collaboration Collaboration
Institutional Health Institutional Health

Exceptional Student Experience

Create an Exceptional Student Experience
We promise that every experience with City Colleges, from pre-admissions to completion, will be exceptional. Every student will be able to maximize their learning inside and outside the classroom, navigate our institution with ease, make significant progress towards their goals, and feel welcome and supported by all City Colleges employees.

Equity

Achieve Equity in Student Outcomes

We will become a “student-ready” and equitable institution that is designed for all students to thrive—especially those from historically and present-day marginalized communities.  We will equip students with the support and resources they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

Economic Responsiveness

Respond to the Economic Needs of the City

We will be forward-looking and agile in developing pathways and forging partnerships that unlock transformational career opportunities for City Colleges students and fuel the Chicago workforce with talent that is prepared to meet the needs of the economy.

Excellence

Build a Culture of Excellence

We will build a culture of excellence that inspires everyone to become the ‘best in class’ for our students and community. We hold ourselves accountable to delivering academics, experiences, and services of the highest quality. Our faculty and staff will continue to receive professional development across the district to continuously improve their practices.

Collaboration

Create a Collaborative and Connected Ecosystem

We will create a more collaborative and connected ecosystem to foster coordination and communication that supports student success. At each college and across the district, we will implement people, data, and technology solutions to create holistic best practices with an inclusive approach to problem solving.

Institutional Health

Develop and Improve Critical Institutional Health Measures

We will develop, monitor, and improve critical institutional health metrics that ensure financial sustainability and the well-being of our institution.

Our Core Values

Student-Centered Student-Centered
Collaborative Collaborative
Equitable Equitable
Responsive Responsive
Healthy Healthy
Excellent Excellent

Student-Centered

A caring and welcoming environment is key for student success, and is a shared responsibility at City Colleges. Student input is critical to improving their experience.

Collaborative

Students benefit when faculty, staff, administration, and stakeholders work together towards a common goal: student success with constant communications, seamless processes, and information sharing.

Equitable

Every student can thrive at City Colleges. At our colleges, students can be successful and achieve their goals by bringing their full selves and unique experiences.

Responsive

Our industry-aligned curricula, valuable credentials, and transformational partnerships position City Colleges as the city’s engine for economic mobility for students and their families.

Healthy

The success of our institution, and therefore our students, relies on our ability to operate focusing on long-term growth, stability, and sustainability.

Excellent

For our students to achieve success, we must strive for excellence, create continuous improvement, and embrace a growth mindset.

I am so grateful to City Colleges. I learned a whole new language and culture – all for free. I was then able to continue on to credit classes because it was affordable and the classes were flexible. I wouldn’t be where I am without the ESL classes, the Gateway classes, and the credit classes I took at CCC.

Alexander Hernandez
City Colleges alumnus, Google software engineer

I am so grateful to City Colleges. I learned a whole new language and culture – all for free. I was then able to continue on to credit classes because it was affordable and the classes were flexible. I wouldn’t be where I am without the ESL classes, the Gateway classes, and the credit classes I took at CCC.

Alexander Hernandez,
City Colleges alumnus, Google software engineer

Unified Strategic Initiatives

Exceptional Student Experience
Equity
Economic Responsiveness
Excellence
Collaboration
Institutional Health
 

Our Goal: Create an Exceptional Student Experience

We promise that every experience with City Colleges, from pre-admissions to completion, will be exceptional. Every student will be able to maximize their learning inside and outside the classroom, navigate our institution with ease, make significant progress towards their goals, and feel welcome and supported by all City Colleges employees.

Transform the student enrollment and on-boarding experience through process improvement and service enhancement

Create clear pathways for students to explore, select, navigate, complete, and plan for employment and/or further education

Design and implement a district-wide holistic student success strategy and a student success culture at all colleges

Build a culture of excellence in Adult Education by improving the program quality and student experience

Significantly improve college-level math and English pass rates in the first year

Create opportunities for alumni engagement

Our Goal: Significantly Narrow Achievement Gaps

We will become a “student-ready” and equitable institution that is designed for all students to thrive—especially those from historically and present-day marginalized communities.  We will equip students with the support and resources they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

Create the infrastructure to drive efforts to eliminate equity gaps

Enhance district-wide student support services and basic needs supports

Expand access for adult learners and underserved communities to flexible course and credential offerings to increase economic mobility

Enhance staff and faculty development offerings to support equity plans and ensure relevance, safety, and success in the classroom for all students, especially students of color

Directly reduce gaps in access, persistence, and completion by matching more students with financial resources

Our Goal: Respond to Economic Needs of the City

We will be forward-looking and agile in developing pathways and forging partnerships that unlock transformational career opportunities for City Colleges students and fuel the Chicago workforce with talent that is prepared to meet the needs of the economy. 

Ensure quality, innovation, access, and partnership among all City Colleges Centers of Excellence

Expand and improve access of City Colleges educational and career opportunities to Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students through Chicago Roadmap efforts

Create transformational career experiences and seamless transitions for City Colleges students, whether that be directly to the workforce or to a bachelor’s degree

Position City Colleges to respond nimbly and effectively to new market opportunities

Deepen and expand partnerships at the city, community, and neighborhood level to develop inclusive economic participation, programs, and opportunity

Our Goal: Build a Culture of Excellence

We will build a culture of excellence that inspires everyone to become the ‘best in class’ for our students and community. We hold ourselves accountable to delivering academics, experiences, and services of the highest quality. Our faculty and staff will continue to receive professional development across the district to continuously improve their practices.

Create a “Path to Excellence” by operationalizing a growth mindset and culture of high expectations, reflection, and continuous improvement across the district

Invest in people and processes to facilitate excellence at all levels

Provide all City Colleges faculty opportunities to develop and lead effectively

Recognize achievements and create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all staff and faculty

Become an essential, high-quality partner for city-wide efforts to improve the well-being and economic mobility of Chicagoans

Our Goal: Create a Collaborative and Connected Ecosystem

We will create a more collaborative and connected ecosystem to foster coordination and communication that supports student success. At each college and across the district, we will implement people, data, and technology solutions to create holistic best practices with an inclusive approach to problem solving. 

City Colleges develops the culture and practices that facilitate cross-functional, interdisciplinary, and cross-college problem-solving and innovation

City Colleges people, processes, and systems serve students as holistic individuals in a cohesive, connected way

Our Goal: Develop, Monitor, and Improve Institutional Health Measures 

We will develop, monitor, and improve critical institutional health metrics that ensure financial sustainability and the well-being of our institution.

Develop the systems and practices to monitor and ensure accountability for institutional health

Develop a framework for assessing and building the capacity of colleges for effective financial management

Rebrand City Colleges to create a brand identity that is competitive, clear and identifiable, and drives impact

Expose and eliminate systemic racial barriers impacting the success of the institution and shape a City Colleges Anti-Racism agenda

Develop better systems to capture, monitor, and respond to student feedback

To learn more about the strategies and tactics we’ll use to achieve our objectives, download the full Strategic Framework.

Download

Key Performance Indicators

Access Access
Momentum Momentum
Completion Completion
Mobility Mobility
Student Experience Student Experience

Access

Unduplicated Total Enrollment
Unduplicated Credit Enrollment
Unduplicated Adult Education Enrollment
Unduplicated Continuing Education Enrollment
Credit Hour Production

Momentum

Adult Education Level Gains
First Year Fall-to-Spring Retention
Fall-to-Spring Credit Retention
College-Level Math and English Pass Rates in the First Year

Completion

IPEDS Graduation Rate
City Colleges Four-Year Outcome Measure

Mobility

Transfer with Degree
Economic Mobility*

*City Colleges will begin using this measure in the early stages of implementing this framework. As a result, there is no baseline or targets for these indicators as of the publication of this framework.  

Student Experience

City Colleges will begin using both Economic Mobility and Net Promoter Score* in the early stages of implementing this framework. As a result, there is no baseline or targets for these indicators as of the publication of this framework.

*City Colleges will begin using this measure in the early stages of implementing this framework. As a result, there is no baseline or targets for these indicators as of the publication of this framework.

FY21-23 Targets and FY20 Outcomes

City Colleges sets a range of outcomes for its goals in future years, consisting of a “target” that establishes the baseline for accountability and a “reach” that reflects its full ambition. The table below summarizes these goals for FY21-FY23. Targets for FY24 and FY25 will be finalized in FY23. All figures are rounded to the nearest whole number.

These targets were identified prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of publication, the long-term effects of COVID-19 on community college enrollment and student success are uncertain. In the short-term, it has had a significant negative effect, with all but three community colleges in Illinois seeing enrollment declines. City Colleges will continue to strive to achieve these targets, knowing that COVID-19 will have an impact throughout the life of this plan.

Access

0
FY 23 Target

FY20 Results & Targets

See the glossary for the definition of Unduplicated Total Enrollment.

FY 20

Results: 69,501

FY 21

Target: 73,257
Reach: 77,520

FY 22

Target: 75,519
Reach: 79,967

FY 23

Target: 77,475
Reach: 81,780
0
FY 23 Target

FY20 Results & Targets

See the glossary for the definition of Unduplicated Credit Enrollment.

FY 20

Results: 46,522

FY 21

Target: 47,940
Reach: 51,238

FY 22

Target: 49,189
Reach: 52,694

FY 23

Target: 50,425
Reach: 54,072
0
FY 23 Target

FY20 Results & Targets

See the glossary for the definition of Unduplicated Adult Ed Enrollment.

FY 20

Results: 18,256

FY 21

Target: 19,527
Reach: 19,999

FY 22

Target: 20,037
Reach: 20,384

FY 23

Target: 20,431
Reach: 21,051
0
FY 23 Target

FY20 Results & Targets

See the glossary for the definition of Unduplicated Continuing Ed Enrollment.

FY 20

Results: 7,414

FY 21

Target: 8,303
Reach: 8,865

FY 22

Target: 8,735
Reach: 9,302

FY 23

Target: 9,374
Reach: 10,397
0
FY 23 Target

FY20 Results & Targets

See the glossary for the definition of Credit Hour Production.

FY 20

Results: 644,431

FY 21

Target: 671,389
Reach: 712,229

FY 22

Target: 693,684
Reach: 738,187

FY 23

Target: 717,339
Reach: 763,164

Momentum

0%
FY 23 Target

FY20 Results & Targets

See the glossary for the definition of Adult Education Level Gains.  Adult Education level gains will not be calculated for FY20 due to COVID-19 disrupting testing procedures.

FY 20

Results: –

FY 21

Target: 39%
Reach: 47%

FY 22

Target: 43%
Reach: 48%

FY 23

Target: 43%
Reach: 49%
0%
FY 23 Target

FY20 Results & Targets

See the glossary for the definition of First Year Fall-to-Spring Retention.

FY 20

Results: 72%

FY 21

Target: 71%
Reach: 73%

FY 22

Target: 73%
Reach: 76%

FY 23

Target: 75%
Reach: 79%
0%
FY 23 Target

FY20 Results & Targets

See the glossary for the definition of Fall-to-Spring Credit Retention.

FY 20

Results: 70%

FY 21

Target: 70%
Reach: 72%

FY 22

Target: 72%
Reach: 75%

FY 23

Target: 76%
Reach: 79%
0%
FY 23 Target

FY20 Results & Targets

See the glossary for the definition of Taking and Passing College-Level English.

FY20 Results for this measure were updated in April 2021 to correct a technical error.

FY 20

Results: 48%

FY 21

Target: 44%
Reach: 48%

FY 22

Target: 46%
Reach: 51%

FY 23

Target: 48%
Reach: 53%
0%
FY 23 Target

FY20 Results & Targets

See the glossary for the definition of Taking and Passing College-Level Math.

FY20 Results for this measure were updated in April 2021 to correct a technical error.

FY 20

Results: 28%

FY 21

Target: 31%
Reach: 35%

FY 22

Target: 33%
Reach: 37%

FY 23

Target: 35%
Reach: 39%

Completion

0%
FY 23 Target

FY20 Results & Targets

See the glossary for the definition of IPEDS Graduation Rate.

FY 20

Results: 25%

FY 21

Target: 26%
Reach: 29%

FY 22

Target: 27%
Reach: 31%

FY 23

Target: 29%
Reach: 34%

* Preliminary, pending IPEDS submission

0%
FY 23 Target

FY20 Results & Targets

See the glossary for the definition of City Colleges Four-Year Outcome Measure.

These targets were updated in April 2021 to correct a technical error that occurred in the target-setting process.

FY 20

Results: 36%

FY 21

Target: 36%
Reach: 39%

FY 22

Target: 38%
Reach: 40%

FY 23

Target: 39%
Reach: 42%

Mobility

0%
FY 23 Target

FY20 Results & Targets

See the glossary for the definition of Transfer with Degree.

FY 20

Results: 51%

FY 21

Target: 52%
Reach: 55%

FY 22

Target: 54%
Reach: 57%

FY 23

Target: 56%
Reach: 60%

See the glossary for the definition of Economic Mobility.

City Colleges will begin using this measure in the early stages of this framework. As a result, there is no baseline or targets for this indicator as of its publication.

Student Experience

See the glossary for the definition of Net Promoter Score.

City Colleges will begin using this measure in the early stages of this framework. As a result, there is no baseline or targets for this indicator as of its publication.

To learn more about the Key Performance Indicators, download the full Strategic Framework.

Download

City Colleges of Chicago

Discover the Strategic Plans for the seven institutions that make up City Colleges of Chicago