Malcolm X College under fire for 7 percent graduation rate
While spending more than $32 million in taxpayers' money in 2014-15, Malcolm X College achieved just a 7 percent graduation rate for its two-year program -- significantly lower than any of the City Colleges of Chicago, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
This figure is compared to Harry S Truman College, which had a 17 percent graduation rate in the same time, and cost just under $36 million in taxpayers’ money for a two-year program.
Speaking to the Chicago City Wire, state Rep. Robert Pritchard (R-70th District) said he wasn’t happy with the performance of Malcolm X College.
“We need to continually encourage our colleges and universities to be focused on the student and help the student be successful at whatever they’re doing, wherever they are going, whatever their academic level,” he said. “Even in the best (higher education) institutions (in Illinois), I’m not happy with the graduation rate.”
For the past four to five years, Illinois has been a participant of the Complete College America movement that outlines several best practices for higher education institutions, Pritchard said.
“Obviously, that program quickly identified the lack of prepared students entering college – to the tune of three-quarters of the students aren’t prepared and have to take remedial classes,” he said.
The low graduation rate hasn’t stopped Malcolm X College from continuing its mission as the health care hub of City Colleges of Chicago by offering a number of health sciences programs, preparing students to pursue a four-year degree or advance in a career.
In a bid to maintain its status as a health care hub, Malcolm X College undertook the task of completing a $251 million, state-of-the-art School of Health Sciences featuring a virtual hospital at the beginning of the year. It also houses the new City Colleges of Chicago School of Nursing. Located near the Illinois Medical District, it offers one of the largest selections of health sciences degrees in Cook County.
As a major provider of training for health professionals in Chicago, the project – a major investment in Chicago’s West Side – was part of the City Colleges’ five-year $524 million capital plan. Work began on the new campus in September 2013 with the campus completed in January 2016. It is home to 20,000 students, 6,000 more than the current college building houses, and has created around 950 jobs.
Located between Jackson Boulevard, Adams Street, Damen Avenue and Wood Street, the new 544,000-square-foot campus will prepare students for both college and careers and serve as the health sciences hub of City Colleges’ College to Careers initiative.
The new campus was designed with input from health care industry partners, faculty and staff. It features health science classrooms that permit for combined didactic and skills training in addition to a virtual hospital that will simulate the healthcare work environment. There will also be general education and adult education classrooms, student services and athletics facilities, a conference facility, an auditorium and a parking garage.
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