CSU President Scott Named in Who’s Who in Education by Chicago Crain’s Business


CSU President Scott Named in Who’s Who in Education by Chicago Crain’s Business 

Chicago, Ill. -- Chicago State University President Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, Esq. was named as one of Chicago’s Most Impactful People in Education by Crain’s Chicago’s 2023 Who’s Who list. Launched in 2017, Crain’s Chicago’s list is chosen by the outlet's editorial staff and features city leaders in arts and entertainment, education, government, finance, health care, real estate and more. 

First elected by CSU’s Board of Trustees in 2018, President Scott has led the University in expanding access to higher education, improving student outcomes and enhancing external engagement to have a greater impact in the community. These accomplishments align with CSU’s 2020 - 2025 Strategic Plan, which was created under President Scott’s leadership.  

Improving Student Success: Enhancing student outcomes was one of President Scott’s first priorities. A student success committee created a data-driven pre-college-through-career, student success framework called Cougar Commitment that incorporated best practices from other institutions across the country serving similar student populations. Since Cougar Commitment’s implementation, the undergraduate retention rate has increased by 13% points since fall 2019 and graduation retention rate has increased by 11% points over the last three years. Cougar Commitment also includes CSU’s Rise Academy, a freshmen year student success program that includes free tuition and fees scholarship, academic supports, and wraparound services to increase access to CSU and improve student’s academic success. 

To address documented racial inequities in access to careers, fair wages, and advancement, CSU has worked with corporate partners to create targeted internship opportunities for students, mentorship, and scholarship resources with corporate partners, including Discover Financial Services, Spark Foundry, Leo Burnett, and Groupon. The partnerships are innovative. For example, Discover Financial Services is paying tuition for employees who study at CSU. Hyatt is reserving internships for CSU students who participate in a bootcamp in preparation for the internship. Spark Foundry is teaching a course at CSU that prepares students for internships and other career opportunities. 

Education Equity: In the wake of a 34% drop in enrollment of Black students in Illinois' higher education system since 2013, President Scott formed and co-chaired the Equity Working Group. The Equity Working Group consisted of leaders from across the education, public, private, philanthropic, and community development sectors who formulated an action plan for addressing Black student access and success in Illinois higher education. 

CSU’s leadership in increasing access and success in higher education for underrepresented students has received federal attention. Since October 2021, President Scott and University leaders have hosted six White House dignitaries interested in CSU’s impact as Illinois’ only four-year Predominantly Black Institution (PBI). President Scott organized the first of its kind advocacy event for PBIs alongside seven universities from four states. During the event last year, PBI leadership met with executive leaders from the White House, Congress, federal agencies, and major non-profits. Through President Scott’s leadership and strategic vision, CSU has become a leader for the state and nation on supporting Black student access and success. 

Chicago State University, founded in 1867, is the oldest public university in the Chicago Metropolitan area. The University’s five colleges offer over 70 undergraduate and graduate degree-granting and non-degree programs. CSU is committed to equity in education, serving as the only U.S. Department of Education-designated four-year Predominantly Black Institution in Illinois and ranked by a Harvard economist in the top 4% of public and private universities nationwide in supporting our graduates’ economic mobility. The University serves as a prominent civic space on the greater South Side of Chicago by hosting a multitude of athletic, educational, cultural, and recreational activities. The University is located near public transit that provides convenient access to the campus. For more information, visit https://www.csu.edu/. 

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