CHICAGO (CBS) — The City College system says things are looking up, with a 71 percent increase in the graduation rate.

The Chicago City College system reports it’s raised the graduation rate from 7 to 12 percent in two years not by dumbing down the curriculum, but by working harder to keep students in.

“So we put in more advisers so that students can get advising. We had to put in things like early alert systems so that we are alerted within the first couple weeks if a student may be at risk and we can intervene,” said Chancellor Cheryl Hyman.

Hyman says the next step is to boost the Chicago city college graduation rate from 12 to 20 percent in five years and then start aiming at the national best target of a 40 percent graduation rate.