One Million Degrees is building a head of steam as it prepares for the upcoming academic year for Chicago-area community college students. The only Illinois organization – and one of few in the country – focused on surrounding community college students with essential support services to increase graduation rates is on track to serve a record 850 students this year at the seven Chicago Community Colleges and four in the suburbs. OMD’s success in sharply increasing graduation rates through mentoring, stipends, professional development, coaching is being recognized nationally by the Chronicle of Philanthropy and Diverse. Community colleges offer a terrific, low-cost education option – taken up by most two-thirds of college-goers in Illinois. But, getting to graduation is tough. Intensive support services, such as those provided by OMD, change the odds.