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Community Colleges

Nearly a decade ago, Oklahoma City Community College installed state-of-the-art administrative system technology from Datatel that linked its student, finance, and human resources information systems together. It worked wonderfully - until staff turnover and training lapses diminished its utility.

“Never in my life would I have expected community colleges to be called potential saviors of the economy,” says George Boggs, president of the American Association of Community Colleges. “When the downturn started and people were being laid off, community colleges sent teams into companies to talk to workers about their options,” he explains. The importance of community colleges progressed from there.

An art gallery with exposed brick walls displays works by faculty, students, alumni and local artists and has become a gathering spot for both the college and broader community.

Montgomery County Community College (Pa.) and the broader community benefit from adaptive reuse.

Although there are glimmers the recession could be ending, the unemployment rate is expected to stay high for some time to come. College enrollments will probably keep pace, especially at community colleges, where older adults looking to brush up their job skills are joined by traditional students looking to avoid high tuition for a few years.

The 53-campus system includes seven state universities and 25 community and technical colleges offering more than 3,500 programs to 374,000 students and 140,000 continuing career education enrollees. With campuses five to six hours apart, Karen Bergmeier, ITS project lead- er and Cisco WebExTM solution liaison, found herself traveling four to five hours two to three times each week to conduct training on the system’s proprietary software.

Colleges and universities stand to reap the benefits of tens of billions of dollars in federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The legislation will impact everything from student aid and research funding to technology investments and projects planning. Two experts, Kevin Hegarty, vice president and chief financial officer at University of Texas, Austin, and Lander Medlin, executive vice president of APPA, provide valuable insight about the stimulus package in this edited digest of our web seminar.

For more than 35 years, Barton County Community College in central Kansas has been preparing students for success through a blend of classroom and practical hands-on education. A majority of the school’s degree programs incorporate the use of technology to prepare students for today’s workforce, while its wired buildings and computer labs ensure that technology access is at the fingertips of its more than 5,000 students.

“It’s all about making education accessible to everyone, anytime, anywhere,” explained Ann Watts, instructional design coordinator and portal project manager at DMACC. Des Moines Area Community College is a public institution with six campuses.

The portal ? known as “my.dmacc” to users ? is an outgrowth of the college’s educational mobility initiative that runs on HP ProLiant servers. DMACC has implemented a systemwide wireless system to support academic programs and administrative needs.

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