Mobility Partnership member and City Colleges of Chicago chancellor Cheryl Hyman spoke at the Atlantic’s Future of Work summit. Through a multi-year process she called “Reinvention,” Hyman led an effort to make community college completion more meaningful and remunerative by better aligning course offerings with career pathways. Hyman is a vocal proponent of measurement and accountability. “So I think Reinvention was simply about changing the paradigm of community colleges,” Hyman said during the summit. “I think traditionally, community colleges have been built on a paradigm of access … But if you don’t have success, and have that defined, and have that measurable and everybody held accountable to it, then you end up with a seven-percent graduation rate, like we had when I started Reinvention.” Under Hyman’s tenure, City Colleges’ graduation rate more than doubled.
As jobs require new or upgraded skills from workers, Hyman argues community colleges will become even more important. But to maintain increasingly scarce public funding, they will have to measure and document their impact.