“Reinvention is the playbook on redesigning a large urban college system.” — From the foreword
Reinvention chronicles an unprecedentedly comprehensive approach to community college reform and the leadership challenges encountered along the way. The book addresses cultural clashes over the role and purpose of community colleges and argues for an emphasis on success and access.
As chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago, Cheryl L. Hyman implemented an ambitious program of systemwide reform called Reinvention. The program’s impressive achievements included doubled graduation rates, improved transfer rates, and streamlined connections between college and careers. Informed by leading research on effective community college programs, Reinvention emphasized a shift in focus from access to outcomes, putting the priority on student success.
Hyman’s background in business led her to a datadriven, goal-oriented approach informed by a strong sense of accountability—a cultural transformation that runs counter to established norms. Much of her work focused on creating collegeto- career pathways linked to industries where there is significant growth in good-paying jobs in the Chicago area.
Hyman offers a wake-up call for community college leaders and those concerned with student success, arguing that a significant cultural and operational shift will be required for community colleges to fulfill this mission. The story of Reinvention—its failures as well as its nascent successes—offers an inspiration and a roadmap for those seeking to make change in higher education.