Kennedy King College: Four Strikes and You Are Out

Kennedy King College: Four Strikes and You Are Out

I wrote about my displeasure with Kennedy King College in a previous post. After the post the City Colleges of Chicago dispatched one of their "Community Liasons" to seek me out and convince me that Kennedy King College(KKC) was moving in a positive direction. At that time they had recently hired a new president., Mrs. Joyce Ester, PHd. She was an accomplished experienced junior college leader who came out of the State of California college system. I attended a presentation she gave where she expressed her vision for the school. The bottom line was she wanted to increase the graduation rate of approximately 20% and change the culture from glorified high school to an institution of higher education. Well that was short lived.

Recently DNAinfo reported that the City Colleges of Chicago had hired Mrs. Arshele Stevens who was the chief information officer for the Chicago Public Schools. She is the 4th president in 5 years at KKC. Based on the article she has no experience as an educator nor as a post secondary administrator. She appears to be a clueless political insider who has ties to the University of Chicago.

What is puzzling here is that there are a number of talented post secondary educators/administrators available locally and they could have gone to state's such as California, New York or Florida who have great junior college systems and have experience with a diverse student body. Also, if the goal was to hire an African American, with over 100 Historically Black Colleges and University's(HBCU) there is a pool of talent at these institutions that could have been tapped. Also, why there is a focus on Washburne which is a joke of a program where less than 50% of those who complete ever work in the restaurant industry and can't successfully operate the $750,000 restaurant that was built. Why isn't there a focus on what appears to be the most successful program KKC offers. The Illinois Department of Transportation(IDOT) Highway Construction training program is an intensive 12 week program that offers those who successfully complete a job with IDOT. Dawson Technical Institute, a division of KKC, that is located at 3901 S State Street in Bronzeville is one of  two locations in the county to offer this program.

This recent move leads me to wonder if this is a way to close Dawson which has been rumored to be on the sales block for sometime or is this another consulting project for the University of Chicago? The bottom line is that the squandering of taxpayers money on this glorified high school must stop. What do you think?

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