The 7 City Colleges of Chicago – GradPlan

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The 7 City Colleges of Chicago

Learn about special programs in the largest community college system in Illinois.

Did You Know…

While there’s 48 community colleges in the state of Illinois, City Colleges of Chicago(CCC) is the largest community college system in Illinois. CCC serves 77,000 students each year across seven colleges and five satellite sites.

At $146 per credit hour, the City Colleges of Chicago remains one of the most affordable higher education options anywhere. They also accept FAFSA for financial aid and offer a wide array of scholarships, payment plans and supports for undocumented students.

Each of the City Colleges offer similar training programs, opportunities, degrees, and certifications, but they also offer different “industry focuses,” for varying career fields.


Learn more about their programs to make sure you pick the path that is right for you and your goals.


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Did You Know…
You May be Eligible to Attend City Colleges T
uition Free

  • The Star Scholarship is a full tuition scholarship for any Chicago high school graduate who earned a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  • One Million Degrees provides last-dollar scholarships (covering whatever financial aid doesn’t pay for) and stipends for hitting certain benchmarks throughout the year. They also provide mentoring, tutoring and career support for their scholars.
  • The Illinois Workforce Equity Initiative created free workforce training programs for African-American students attending Kennedy-King College, Olive-Harvey, Malcolm X and Wilbur Wright College.
  • The TechQuity program at Harold Washington College offers free certification programs in Cybersecurity, Software Development and Digital Marketing.

What is the Difference Between Each School?

Here is a breakdown of the special features at each of the 7 City Colleges of Chicago that makes them stand out from each other.

Richard J. Daley College

Industry focus: Advanced Manufacturing

Daley College is located on the Southwest Side of Chicago and operates an additional satellite location, the Arturo Velasquez Institute. In 2019, Daley College opened a state-of-the-art Manufacturing and Technology Center (MTEC). Example programs include CNC Engineering Technology, Manufacturing, and Systems Engineering and Design.

Fun Fact! They also have a Dunkin Donuts pop-up in the student center ready to serve you hot coffee and donuts before class!

Kennedy-King College

Industry focus: Culinary Arts & Hospitality, Construction Technology

Kennedy-King College (KKC) is located on the Southside of Chicago, on the border of the Englewood community.  In addition to being the City College Culinary hub, KKC also offers specialty trade programming in bricklaying, carpentry, masonry, welding, plumbing, electrical, and overhead line installment and repair. There are two satellite campuses, Dawson Technical Institute, for all your construction learning needs, and Washburne Culinary Institute, for you to master your culinary skills in a state-of-the-art kitchen.

Check this out! Kennedy-King also has a full-functioning restaurant which is entirely run by Washburne students!

Malcolm X College

Industry focus: Healthcare

Malcolm X College (MXC) is located near the Illinois Medical District and has one of the largest selections of health sciences degrees in Cook County. Programs include Nursing, Medical Coding, EMT, Phlebotomy, Physical Therapy, and more! If you have any interest in healthcare, see if Malcolm X is the right college for you!

Try this tip: They also have the BEST coffee shop in their student center with baked goods and fresh coffee ready to go!

Olive-Harvey College

Industry focus: Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Olive-Harvey College is the largest of the city college’s campuses, and is located in southeast Chicago. It offers a number of programs in Transportation, Distribution and Logistics (TDL) with a focus on key modes of transportation such as air, rail and trucking. Programs include CDL licensing, Alternative Fuel Technology and Supply Chain Management. Want to help America move its goods? Look into Olive-Harvey’s options – you might just find the perfect one!

Did you know? Olive-Harvey College also offers Illinois’s first community college based Cannabis Studies program.

Harry S. Truman College

Industry focus: Education, Human & Natural Sciences

Located in the heart of the Uptown neighborhood, Truman College offers a combination of certificates and associate degrees with an emphasis on education, human and natural sciences. Two popular programs at Truman are the Cosmetology Program and the Automotive Program. Many automotive students take advantage of the transfer partnership with Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) to go on and earn a Bachelor’s Degree in the field. With so many options available, Truman is bound to have one that interests you!

Go Glam! Truman College has their very own hair salon run by the school’s cosmetology students!

Harold-Washington College

Industry focus: Business & Professional Services 

Harold Washington College (HWC) is in the heart of the Loop downtown. HWC is the primary college in the CCC system for criminal justice, law, and business, and also music production!  Ready to see if you have what it takes to become a lawyer, start your own business or craft a new sound? Then Harold Washington College might be the place for you!

Got moves? Harold Washington College also recently launched an Associate’s Degree in Dance with the Joffrey Ballet!

Wilbur Wright College

Industry focus: Information Technology

Wright’s main campus is located on Chicago’s northwest side, but they also have a satellite campus, the Humboldt Park Vocational Education Center. Have you ever been interested in software or web development? Those are just two programs that Wilbur Wright College has to offer students! Others include Computer Science, Cybersecurity and the highly regarded Bridges to Engineering program, which connects Wright engineering students to the best training programs in the state of Illinois! If you want to create the programs of tomorrow, Wilbur Wright is the place to be!

Build it! Wright College also has offers an Architectural Engineering pathway, which can get you on your way to building the homes of the future!

Are you inspired? Check out some of these CCC Success Stories to learn more!
Recommended Resources


Things to Consider

"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."

Malcolm X, human rights activist