College costs are rising. Student debt is mounting. And most Americans say college fails to deliver good values.
So what do you do? Call together the best minds in the college world together for a brainstorming session on shaping the future of higher education. At least that's what the College Board did this past weekend in Newport Beach, Calif.
Columbus State Community College President David Harrison was one of only five higher-education presidents to lead a panel discussion on embracing the "new normal" -- where schools have to serve more students with more diverse needs with less state and federal funding. The fact that the college board even invited a community college leader speaks to the notion of a new normal in the higher education world, in which more students are choosing to attend a two-year school before transferring on to a four-year university, says a lot.
It's only been in the last several years that the nonprofit College Board has placed a growing emphasis on the role of community colleges as heavy-lifters in helping to assure that everyone in the United States has the opportunity to go to college.