Hailing a cab to nowhere

When is a cab not a cab? When it doesn’t take you to your destination.

I just read the news from CCC’s website about the Taxi Program leaving HW to set up shop at OC. Good news. That makes more space on the 10th floor for academics. Ya know, credit classes.

As I continued to read the story, I had to go over to one of the reinvention web sites while I asked myself, “What does the Taxi Program have to do with reinvention?”. I’ll save you having to click on the link. Here are the goals of reinvention:

  • Increase the number of students earning college credentials of economic value
  • Increase the rate of transfer to Bachelor’s degree programs following CCC graduation
  • Drastically improve outcomes for students needing remediation
  • Increase number and share of ABE/GED/ESL students who advance to and succeed in college-level courses

Where does the taxi program fit into any of these goals? Need an answer, meter’s running.

When an individual completes the Taxi program, (and I don’t know how many classes it takes) they don’t leave CCC with anything close to an Associates degree or an Advanced or Basic Certificate, do they? Last I checked I didn’t register a student for a taxi class. I’ve not seen transcripts with taxi courses. I’ve not advised students on transfer options with a taxi certificate (if that’s what it’s called?).

Yes, as the Chancellor state in the news flash, “This is part of City Colleges’ mission: to offer relevant education and skills training that drives Chicago’s economic growth.” What she’s referring to is the loose change in the seat cushion about efforts to focus on six areas, one of them having to do with occupation and the “College to Careers initiative including targeted pathways, industry partners and feeder bridge programs.” And a taxi has air conditioning if you just roll down the window.

This move has little to do with graduating, transferring, or getting students to succeed in college-level courses and quite a bit to do with generating revenue. The Taxi Program is not a college credit program, yet it’s being used to put CCC in the spotlight. Spin city at it’s finest.

The attention is on the owner of the cab company and the driver of the cab while the academic elephant in the back seat gets taken for a ride to nowhere.