"Hyman’s fascinating book forces us to contemplate the possible speed of college change. What emerges are valuable lessons, deeply rooted in the author’s fierce determination to promote social mobility. It’s a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the essential relationships among college leadership, campus culture, and the critical goal of dramatically improving community college student success.”

— Joshua Wyner
Founder and Executive Director,
Aspen Institute College Excellence Program

“Cheryl Hyman took the job of chancellor of Chicago City Colleges with a deep idealistic commitment to serving the low-income students striving to improve their lives. This book describes her vision, efforts, and the ways she transformed the system. Her efforts are inspiring and instructive to all who want to improve educational opportunity in the United States.”

— James Rosenbaum,
Professor of Sociology, Education and Social Policy,
Northwestern University



"Hyman’s fascinating book forces us to contemplate the possible speed of college change. What emerges are valuable lessons, deeply rooted in the author’s fierce determination to promote social mobility. It’s a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the essential relationships among college leadersxhip, campus culture, and the critical goal of dramatically improving community college student success.”

— Joshua Wyner
Founder and Executive Director,
Aspen Institute College Excellence Program

 

“Cheryl Hyman took the job of chancellor of Chicago City Colleges with a deep idealistic commitment to serving the low-income students striving to improve their lives. This book describes her vision, efforts, and the ways she transformed the system. Her efforts are inspiring and instructive to all who want to improve educational opportunity in the United States.”

— James Rosenbaum,
Professor of Sociology, Education and Social Policy,
Northwestern University

REINVENTION
The Promise and Challenge of Transforming a Community College System

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 data-driven, 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 college-to-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 inspiration and a roadmap for those seeking to make change in higher education.

3d book-website

More on Reinvention

What Others Are Saying About Reinvention:

‘A wake-up call for community college leaders and those concerned with student success.’

Harvard Education Press

'A key lesson Cheryl brought with her to the City Colleges is that to effect fundamental change in practice, it is necessary to change the culture. To do that, you have to change hearts and minds.'

— Davis Jenkins

Community College Resource Center, Columbia University

'Cheryl's view on higher education is refreshing: it's simply not that hard. Improve the relevance of the programs, increase the ability for students to navigate the institution, provide targeted help when needed, and run the institution as a business. This book outlines how to do this, how it was done in Chicago, and why the culture of higher education is making it much more difficult than it needs to be.'

— Rasmus Lynnerup

Civic Consulting Alliance

'As a former community college administrator and higher education policy leader, I found Reinvention to be relevant, accessible, and insightful; relevant because it speaks to key challenges that community colleges around the country are facing, accessible as it is a quick read and describes what was done to effect change and how, and insightful because it takes a systems approach to help more students reach their educational and career goals.'

'There are many books on higher education transformation, including in the community college section, but few are as clearly composed, readable and applicable, directly tackling leadership demands in pushing through needed reforms. The autobiographical angle on the narrative makes it more compelling. This story about the City Colleges of Chicago shows that strategy is not as hard as culture change - which requires combining a relentless attention to results with organization, communication, team-building, and, above all, a sense of urgency. An important book for anyone looking to make change in the public sector.'
 

—Charles T. Ansell

‘The story of Reinvention — its failures as well as its nascent successes—offers inspiration and a roadmap for those seeking to make change in higher education.'

Harvard Education Press

'Wonderful read with sound insights on leadership and the courage it takes to overcome opposition to change.'

'The changes in practice the City Colleges implemented under Cheryl's leadership were path-breaking, and enabled the colleges to substantially improve outcomes for students.'

— Davis Jenkins

Community College Resource Center, Columbia University

'Nothing was ever allowed to overshadow the reason we all went to work: doing dramatically better for students. Not a little better – fundamentally transforming the institution for the better.'

— Rasmus Lynnerup

Civic Consulting Alliance

' Cheryl Hyman describes the great promise of our community colleges in enabling the American Dream for millions and at the same time the challenges inherent in changing any large system. The steps she and her team took to advance student success at the City Colleges of Chicago should be studied by anyone leading a community college system or interested in large-scale organizational change.'

'To find out that Cheryl started a program by which the hardest working students could get a free education for the first 2 years is phenomenal. The fact that she did it with financial efficiency and did not increase taxes is unheard of in government... This book is an insightful pleasure for anyone planning to attend college or working at any college.'

'This is a must read book; it’s so engaging. It does a wonderful job at describing the challenges associated educating our children. It also exposes bureaucracy within our education systems.'