Current Grantees and Projects

Chicago Community Coaches

Chicago Community Coaches is a collaboration between City Colleges Chicago and One Million Degrees to recruit, train, and support community members, including alumni, to work as coaches to both continuing and incoming students who will attend one of the seven colleges. Alumni and community members are uniquely positioned to serve as trusted peers, supporting students in navigating academic, personal or financial challenges.

Strategy Areas
Advancing Institutional Equity
Building Student Supports

City Colleges of Chicago

To help offset the impacts of the sudden shift to virtual learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, City Colleges of Chicago offers a new set of concentrated test preparatory workshops for CPS graduates. The free workshops were offered to students who are not at college level in English, math, or both. Students who completed the workshop were given a $250 scholarship for fall enrollment, or $500 if they completed both the English and math test prep workshops.

Additional Bridges funding supports the development of a continuous improvement model to institutional equity strategies at each college.

Strategy Area
Advancing Institutional Equity
Building Student Supports

Enlace Chicago

Little Village Equity Response Teams will be created at Northeastern Illinois University, National Louis University, University of Illinois at Chicago, Malcolm X College, Richard J. Daley College, and Harold Washington College. Each team consists of parent leaders from the community, post-secondary institution staff and College Ambassadors (paid college alumni from the college they represent). Teams will work to understand the specific challenges faced by students at each institution to develop tailored outreach and engagement plans and advocate for institutional changes that will lead to greater student success.

Strategy Area
Advancing Institutional Equity

Inner-City Computer Stars Foundation

i.c.stars has a history of success in career placement for IT jobs. Participants in its independent training program gain industry connections through training and internships. They also receive a stipend and a laptop. i.c.stars hopes to connect with the City Colleges of Chicago through Bridges support.

Strategy Area
Building Student Supports
Encouraging Cross-Sector Collaboration

LIFT Chicago

LIFT has a national model of serving students who are parents. Students in Masters in Social Work programs provide coaching that strengthens relationships and understanding of trauma response. Stipends to participants for participation are increased as participants achieve education milestones.

Strategy Area
Building Student Supports
Encouraging Cross-Sector Collaboration

One Million Degrees

One Million Degrees provides comprehensive supports to low-income, highly motivated community college students to help them succeed in school, in work, and in life. Bridges to Brighter Futures is supporting their strategic planning process.

Strategy Area
Building Student Supports

The Partnership for College Completion

The Partnership for College Completion’s signature initative, the Illinois Equity in Attainment Initiative (ILEA) currently works with 28 Illinois colleges and universities to catalyze change at the institutional level in order to address equity gaps in degree attainment. In joining ILEA, each institution has pledged to eliminate its institutional degree completion gaps, dedicate a senior team to guide this work, share disaggregated data to measure success and drive action, and develop a campus-specific equity plan with interim benchmarks in service of this goal.

Skills for Chicagoland’s Future

Skills’ two-phased program works with multiple cohorts of students to provide career navigation support and coaching as students move into career pathways programs. In Phase I, summer 2020, program participants created a Career Roadmap with resources and next steps personalized to their career and education path. Students received stipends for program completion. In Phase II, students move into programs with connections to high demand jobs and industry placement.

Strategy Areas
Building Student Supports
Encouraging Cross-Sector Collaboration

Utmost U

Utmost U is extending its model of serving college students to consider support of City Colleges of Chicago students, including phone-based coaching and paid peer coaches. Phone and unlimited data is provided for free to students through partnership with T-Mobile.

Strategy Areas
Building Student Supports
Encouraging Cross-Sector Collaboration

Youth Job Center

Working in partnership with Southwest Organizing Project, Youth Job Center will recruit recent high school graduates from the community to participate in paid work readiness training and receive career advising. The collaboration will work to place youth into career pathways training programs, internships and work-based learning opportunities provided by the City Colleges of Chicago.

Strategy Areas
Building Student Supports

Ongoing Research

Analyzing Middle Skills Pathways in Chicago

Northern Illinois University Ed Systems will analyze and document how program progressions are structured for each of the five sectors under study (IT, Health Sciences, Manufacturing, Education/Childcare and Supply Chain). Labor market data will also be analyzed to understand priority occupations and necessary credentials for specific jobs.

Leveraging Data to Design Evidence-Based Student Supports

Urban Labs at the University of Chicago Poverty Lab plans to provide a more nuanced picture of how students engage with the City Colleges of Chicago in order to develop targeted student support offerings that meet students’ unique needs.

Download Grants List (pdf)