December 4, 2018

Mayor Emanuel, DePaul University And City Colleges Of Chicago Announce Innovative DePaul Harold Washington Academy

First-of-its-Kind Academy Will Create Low-Cost Pathway to a Bachelor’s Degree, With 100 Star Scholars Taking City College Courses on DePaul University’s Campus
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined DePaul University and City Colleges of Chicago to announce plans for the DePaul Harold Washington Academy, a first-of-its-kind partnership that provides students with an affordable pathway to a bachelor’s degree.  If passed by the City Colleges board, the Academy will be held at DePaul University with classes taught by Harold Washington College faculty, and will serve approximately 100 Chicago Star Scholars in its first year. 

“DePaul and Harold Washington College are two of Chicago’s most respected academic institutions, and together they will help our hard-working students pursue the high-quality education they deserve,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The DePaul Harold Washington Academy will strengthen education and career opportunities for generations of Chicago students, and strengthen our city’s reputation for world-class academic excellence.” 

The DePaul Harold Washington Academy will offer Star Scholars with a “best of both worlds” experience, giving students the chance to take advantage of DePaul’s facilities, organizations and student services, while earning an associate degree from Harold Washington College. Students who complete an associate degree will be offered admission to DePaul at the end of the program, providing a seamless transfer between the two institutions.

“The creation of DePaul Harold Washington Academy is the result of a belief that Chicago Public School Star Scholars who excelled in high school should be able to access high quality higher education at an affordable price,” said A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D., president of DePaul. “This initiative — along with the recently-announced DePaul Chicago Promise and Catholic Heritage scholarships — continues our longstanding commitment to Chicago Public Schools and the city of Chicago. We are proud to offer our facilities and resources to Harold Washington College and believe the academy will help serve students higher education might otherwise overlook.”

Academy Scholars will be able to use DePaul facilities, including its recreation facilities and libraries, get assistance from DePaul tutors, and join student organizations at DePaul. They will also have access to the network of academic, financial, and social and emotional supports offered at Harold Washington College.

“City Colleges is committed to partnerships that create value for our students and this is a perfect example of our continued efforts to look for innovative ways to help our students reach their goals,” said City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Juan Salgado.

The first class of Academy Scholars will begin in Fall 2019.  Interested students must apply directly to DePaul University to be considered for the program.  Students who qualify for the Star Scholarship will be eligible for consideration.   To be eligible for the Star Scholarship, Chicago public high school students need to graduate with at least a 3.0 GPA and be nearly college ready.

The proposed Academy was recently approved by the Higher Learning Commission and will be voted on by the City Colleges of Chicago board on December 6th for final approval.

“If approved, this blended college model will expose City Colleges students to the four year college environment early and allow them to integrate into the university community, so when they are academically ready to transfer, the transition will be seamless,” said Dr. Ignacio Lopez, President of Harold Washington College.

Star Scholars who complete their associate degree at Harold Washington may also qualify for DePaul’s Star Transfer partner scholarship to continue their bachelor’s degree. DePaul has long been a Star Transfer Partner, along with more than 20 four-year colleges and universities that provide transfer scholarships for eligible students to continue progress toward college and career goals.

Mayor Emanuel launched the Chicago Star Scholarship’s first class of scholars in Fall 2015, and since then more than 6,000 Chicago public school graduates have earned the Star distinction and the opportunity to earn a college degree from City Colleges at no cost.  Chicago Star Scholars are graduating at a rate double the national community college average, and have transferred to more than 75 four-year colleges and universities around the country.

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About DePaul University

DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the U.S. and the largest private, nonprofit university in the Midwest, with nearly 22,500 students and a wide range of academic and professional programs. Service to the city of Chicago is explicit in its mission statement. DePaul is among the most transfer-friendly institutions in the country. Almost half of DePaul’s undergraduate degree recipients each year have earned credits at, or transferred from, a community college.  More information at www.depaul.edu.

About City Colleges of Chicago

City Colleges of Chicago prepares more than 80,000 students annually with a quality, affordable education leading to transfer, careers, and a path to upward mobility. City Colleges encompasses seven colleges: Richard J. Daley College, Kennedy-King College, Malcolm X College, Olive-Harvey College, Harry S Truman College, Wilbur Wright College and Harold Washington College, five satellite sites: Dawson Technical Institute, South Chicago Learning Center, Arturo Velasquez Institute, Wright-Humboldt Park, and the Westside Learning Center, along with the Washburne Culinary & Hospitality Institute. More information at www.ccc.edu.