Community Colleges

Community colleges redefine town-gown

Close ties to surrounding communities are a long-standing tradition, but in today’s economic climate the pressure is on to serve residents and demonstrate value

The mission of the community college has expanded to include spurring economic development, serving as a cultural center and improving the quality of life for the surrounding community. While positive town-gown relations have long been pivotal for these institutions, the decline in state funding across the country has increased the pressure to demonstrate value to the public.

Community college engagement and funding connections

In states where local tax dollars do not directly fund community colleges, schools are actively supporting their communities

Supporting local economic and civic projects is a central part of the mission for community colleges that rely on voter approval for funding.

In Kansas, for example, voters elect the six members of their community college’s board of trustees, which levies taxes to pay for the school’s operating expenses. Residents, however, can challenge the board’s decisions and force a referendum on any tax increase.

Making priority registration the law at community colleges

New California community college students may get priority when registering for courses

A handful of California community colleges have already experimented with priority registration for freshmen, but by fall 2014, every community college in the state will be offering it in some way.

Freshmen at some community colleges moving to front of line for class registration

Greater attention is being placed on helping incoming freshmen not just enroll but also start off their college careers on a positive note

Many community college students take much longer than the intended two years to complete their studies, or don’t ever wind up graduating at all. Traditionally, administrators focused on accommodating those who may have credits but little direction.

Now, at some schools, greater attention is being placed on helping incoming freshmen not just enroll but also start off their college careers on a positive note. The idea is that they will stay and finish within two years.

Level Playing Field

Community colleges using lecture capture in remedial courses

Response to the Challenge

Preserving the institution and achieving its mission despite the new economic “normal”

I brought my hard hat when I arrived in Terre Haute, Indiana, to begin my freshman year at Indiana State University nearly 50 years ago. I had worked for two years as a steelworker in Gary and the hard hat was a reminder of my roots—I am one of 10 children of parents of modest means—and of the hardy people who made a decent and honorable living operating blast furnaces that transformed molten iron. It also was a reminder of the great new journey I was embarking upon.

Online and Engaged

How to help ensure student success in online courses—despite research pointing to disengagement of distant learners at community colleges

Transfer Talk

Genesee Community College, located in upstate New York, and LIM College in Manhattan, have inked a new articulation agreement that allows GCC Fashion Business program students who have completed the outlined requirements to enter the program of their choice as juniors at LIM, which offers majors in Fashion Merchandising, Management, Marketing, and Visual Merchandising. ...

Follow the (Facebook) Leader

In November, Ivy Tech Community College (Ind.) hit a 50,000 Facebook fan milestone. Two months later, the count neared 54,000. The page didn’t get to be what’s likely tops among community colleges on Facebook by accident. Jeff Fanter, vice president of communications and marketing for the system, which has 200,000-plus students enrolled annually, shares some success secrets:

Shifting Gateways

Ross Gittell will utilize his background in university teaching, strategic planning, and management as the new chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire, effective February 1. He succeeds J. Bonnie Newman, interim chancellor since August 2011. Gittell was previously a professor at the University of New Hampshire’s school of business and economics and is considered a foremost authority in the state for economic analysis and forecasting.

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