Planning for the Future in Community Colleges

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1 Planning for the Future in Community Colleges Prepared for Tarrant County College District December 2013 In the following report, Hanover Research reviews challenges facing community colleges and identifies specific strategies for addressing these challenges.

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Executive Summary and Key Findings... 3 Introduction... 3 Key Findings... 3 Section I: Future Issues Facing Community Colleges... 5 Increasing Enrollment... 5 Decreasing Funding... 6 Performance-Based Funding Models... 6 College Readiness... 7 Student Stratification... 8 Data-Driven Decision Making... 8 Technology Integration... 9 Instructional Delivery Leadership Section II: Planning for the Future Tools for Future Planning Innovation Strategic Planning Funding College Readiness Data-Driven Decision Making Technology Integration Instructional Delivery Leadership Section III: Case Profiles Elgin Community College (Elgin, IL) Piedmont Technical College (Greenwood, SC) Chattanooga State Community College (Chattanooga, TN) El Paso Community College (El Paso, TX) Hanover Research Academy Administration Practice 2

3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND KEY FINDINGS INTRODUCTION Community colleges are seen in many ways as the future of the American postsecondary education system. They currently enroll almost half (45 percent) of all postsecondary students and that number is slated to grow in the coming years. 1 In fact, community colleges are expected to account for 63 percent of the new degrees needed to reach the Obama administration s goals for postsecondary graduation rates by However, community colleges face a number of issues that could potentially stand in the way of meeting this challenge. 3 Issues facing community colleges include decreasing budgets and increasing enrollment, evolving technologies, and changing student needs. Institutions must find ways to adapt now and plan for the future. This report begins with a review of several issues facing community colleges currently and in the near future. The second section follows with recommendations to address these strategies, based on secondary literature and evidence from other two-year institutions. Finally, the third section presents profiles of four two-year institutions that have effectively innovated in an effort to plan for the future. KEY FINDINGS Community colleges are seeking new sources of funding. As state funding has generally decreased, community colleges increasingly turn to organizations like major foundations and the federal government for grant opportunities. Many community colleges must also implement tuition increases in the coming years. Collecting and analyzing data effectively is increasingly essential. Faculty and staff can use data to improve their students performance during a semester or year or institutions can track the impact of programs on student success to refine for future efforts. Accurate data also has important implications for performance-based funding models. In the interest of student success, community colleges are strengthening partnerships with school districts, four-year colleges, businesses, and community organizations. Respectively, these initiatives can help students enter college better prepared, transition to bachelor s programs more easily, and enter the workforce more fluidly. 1 Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Report of The Century Foundation Task Force. The Century Foundation, 2013, p Ibid., p Ibid., pp Hanover Research Academy Administration Practice 3

4 Community colleges must approach technology integration systematically. Some colleges have addressed this by developing a leadership team or group dedicated to technology, in order to identify strengths, gaps, and national and local trends Hanover Research Academy Administration Practice 4

5 SECTION I: FUTURE ISSUES FACING COMMUNITY COLLEGES This section reviews key challenges facing community colleges, including decreasing budgets and increasing enrollment, evolving technologies, and changing student needs. INCREASING ENROLLMENT Community colleges have experienced a pattern of enrollment growth in the past decade, particularly in As individuals have increasingly recognized the benefits of more education, they have increasingly applied to college. 6 During the same period, costs of four-year colleges have increased, leading to an increase in applications to two-year community 7 colleges. Interestingly, since 2010 enrollments in community colleges have declined slightly. 8 Community colleges are still poised for enrollment growth, but at a slower pace than the previous decade. Similar to the national landscape, public two-year colleges in Texas will continue to see Figure 1.1: Actual and Projected Enrollment, Public Two-Year Colleges 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 National 5,697 6,184 7,218 7,633 8, Actual Texas Projected Source: NCES and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board 4 enrollment increases, but at a slower pace than the previous decade (Figure 1.1). In general, future growth will be fueled by rising college costs, existing education gaps, the need for skilled employees, and the Obama administration s goals for educational attainment. 9 4 [1] Projections of Education Statistics to 2021: Table 24. National Center for Education Statistics. [2] Enrollment Forecast Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, January 2013, p Baum, S., K. Little, and K. Payea. Trends in Community College Education: Enrollment, Prices, Student Aid, and Debt Levels. College Board, 2011, p. 3. https://trends.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/trends-2011-communitycolleges-ed-enrollment-debt-brief.pdf 6 Zeidenberg, M. Community Colleges Under Stress. Issues in Science and Technology, Summer 2008, p Ibid. 8 [1] Report: Current Term Enrollment Report Spring National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, Spring [2] National Postsecondary Enrollment Trends: Before, During, and After the Great Recession. National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, July 2011, p Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Report of the Century Foundation Task Force, Op. cit., p Hanover Research Academy Administration Practice 5

6 DECREASING FUNDING Coinciding with increasing enrollment, community colleges also have seen decreasing budgets over the past years. Community colleges typically cannot rely on tuition and fees or on endowment funds that four-year institutions can often draw from. 10 State funding, one of the primary sources of funding for community colleges, fluctuates as economic and political conditions change, and community college leaders increasingly complain that they are not receiving enough state support even to keep up with inflation and enrollment increases. 11 Indeed, recently many states have seen not just fluctuations, but have experienced drastic budget cuts. 12 These can lead to reductions in course offerings, eliminations of entire programs, or reductions of non-essential services like student services, which provide guidance, counseling, and career path advice. 13 Looking to the future, however, many community colleges expect to see an increase in state funding in coming years. According to an annual survey of state community college directors conducted by the University of Alabama s Education Policy Center, only six out of 50 states saw mid-year appropriation cuts during FY For the coming fiscal year, 34 state directors predict an increase in state funding, seven foresee no change, and five expect a decrease in state appropriations. 15 PERFORMANCE-BASED FUNDING MODELS The tightening fiscal environment has led to increased competition for state funds. These budget cuts come at a difficult time, when community colleges are expected to make improvements in student success. Some states have started to adopt performancebased or adequacy-based funding models Figure 1.2: PBF Activity by State PBF ACTIVITY # OF STATES PBF in Place 22 Transitioning to PBF 7 Formal Discussions of PBF 10 No Formal PBF Activity 12 Source: The University of Alabama Education Policy Center that award community colleges funding based on contributions to positive student outcomes or students educational needs, along with other more traditional criteria (such as full-time equivalent enrollment). In fact, 22 states currently have some form of performance 10 Zeidenberg, Op. cit., p Ibid., p Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Report of The Century Foundation Task Force, Op. cit., p [1] Zeidenberg, Op. cit., p. 56. [2] Eight Important Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues, Trends & Strategies. SOURCE on Community College Issues, Trends & Strategies, May 2011, p [3] Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Report of The Century Foundation Task Force, Op. cit., p Katsinas, S. et al. Halfway Out of Recession, But a Long Way to Go: The 2013 National Survey of Access and Finance Issues. The University of Alabama Education Policy Center, November 2013, p Ibid., p Hanover Research Academy Administration Practice 6

7 based-funding (PBF) in place, with many more states planning to transition to this higher education funding model in the near future (Figure 1.2). 16 In performance-based funding models, such as the Student Success Points Model in Texas, states generally allocate a portion of funding based on points awarded to institutions for various student success indicators. Student success indicators vary by state, but typically include end-point events such as degree completion or transfer as well as intermediate achievements such as course completion or acquiring a certain number of credit hours. 17 An institution then receives funding based on the total number of points its students earn in a given year. 18 So far, evaluations of the effectiveness of performance-based funding models have returned mixed results. For example, the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) launched such a program in 2007, which the Community College Research Center (CCRC) reviewed in The report found that the initiative supported student achievement as measured by points and from a qualitative perspective it was viewed as a helpful way to focus collective efforts on student progression and publicly account for college performance. 20 However, research into the impact of funding received through this model was less conclusive. 21 Researchers generally agree that PBF will likely have little effect on student success unless significant state funds are earmarked for the program. 22 COLLEGE READINESS Redefining student success to include intermediate milestones can help recognize the accomplishments of students who often are not prepared for college-level coursework. Students entering community college are farther behind and have greater education needs than their counterparts at four-year institutions. 23 For instance, in the fall of 2000, 42% of first-year students at two-year public schools enrolled in at least one remedial course, compared to 20% at public four-year schools and 12% at private four-year schools. 24 Other researchers estimate that more than 60 percent of community college students receive some developmental/remedial education, at an estimated cost for $2 billion per year. 25 This presents challenges to community college faculty and 16 Figure adapted from: Friedel, J. et al. Performance-Based Funding: The National Landscape. University of Alabama Education Policy Center, September 2013, p Student Success Points: An Overview. Texas Success, April 2013, p Success Points Outlined. Texas Community College Teachers Association Blog, July Jenkins, D., J., Wachen, C. Moore, and N. Shulock. Washington State Student Achievement Initiative Policy Study: Final Report. Community College Research Center, December Ibid., p. 36 and p. iv. 21 Ibid., p. iv. 22 : Friedel, J. et al. Performance-Based Funding: The National Landscape. Op. cit., p Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Report of The Century Foundation Task Force, Op. cit., p Zeidenberg, Op. cit., p Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Report of The Century Foundation Task Force, Op. cit., p Hanover Research Academy Administration Practice 7

8 administrators, as they must serve unprepared students who may need more support, in addition to the fact that it also may result in students leaving college earlier than they otherwise would have. 26 As discussed previously, community colleges are operating at reduced budgets, often having to cut student support funding, and overall spending far less per pupil than four-year institutions on students with greater needs. 27 STUDENT STRATIFICATION Another issue is the increasing racial and economic stratification between students in twoand four-year institutions. From a racial and ethnic perspective, community colleges have a higher proportion of African American and Hispanic students than four-year colleges, and the pattern reverses at four-year colleges, which have a much higher proportion of white students, with the most extreme difference at the most selective institutions. 28 The trends are similar for socioeconomic status, where in 2006 high-ses students outnumbered low- SES students by 14 to 1 in the most competitive four-year institutions, yet low-ses students outnumbered high-ses students in community colleges by nearly 2 to This stratification, as the Century Foundation Task Force report refers to it, has increased in recent years. 30 Because of the differences in funding and student outcomes between twoand four-year institutions, these trends have significant impact on equality in education. 31 DATA-DRIVEN DECISION MAKING The ability to measure and track data is necessary for identifying trends in student outcomes achievement. For example, data management plays an integral role in performance-based funding models (such as the Student Success Points Model). Additionally, robust data sets provide faculty and staff with timely feedback and information about student outcomes, which allows them to alter or enhance instructional programs and support services. 32 This has been called a culture of evidence by some, and it can be a challenge to know how to use this information well. 33 That is, it is not enough to collect data, but colleges must know how to analyze and use the data to make informed decisions in the classroom, in student services, [and] in human resources. 34 Community colleges may strive to collect several kinds of data: Zeidenberg, p Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Report of The Century Foundation Task Force, Op. cit., p Ibid., p Ibid. 30 Ibid., p Ibid. 32 Eight Important Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues, Trends & Strategies, Op. cit., p Ibid., p Ibid., p Ewell, P. Data Collection and Use at Community Colleges. United States Department of Education, pp Hanover Research Academy Administration Practice 8

9 Longitudinal data: cohort-based databases with various student demographic information Performance and outcome measures: end-point data (e.g., degree completion, transfer, employment) and intermediate indicators of success (completion of remedial programs, entry-level course completion, credit hour milestones, course pass rates) Non-credit programs and population: data on adults basic education, GED courses, and occupational/vocational training TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION In a related vein, community colleges are increasingly aware of the benefits of incorporating technology into classroom instruction and institutional administration. These include technologies that have been around for a while, like presentation technologies and classroom response systems, as well as newer technologies, such as remote labs, simulations, games, e-portfolios, social media, and more. 36 In terms of the older technologies, Powerpoint has been dominant in education for about a decade, providing the foundation for most course enhancement materials. 37 Classroom response systems (CRS) used to involve the use of clickers to gather information from a class in real-time, such as true/false and multiple-choice questions, but in recent years CRS has become more accessible for community colleges, as hardware that users already have in class like smartphones can be used in lieu of clickers that need to be purchased specifically. 38 The newer technologies mentioned above have proven even more revolutionary for community colleges, as web resources and software have allowed students access to new learning opportunities. For example, students can now gain remote access to expensive lab equipment and educational materials associated with lab experiments. 39 Because colleges do not have to invest in hardware or equipment for such resources, it has opened up new possibilities in the types of courses that can be offered by community colleges. 40 Another benefit of such technology-driven learning is the ability to collect and track student data, allowing new insights about the learner, the learner s knowledge state and learning process. 41 All of these applications of technology in the community college classroom are promising, but empirical studies of effectiveness tend to lag slightly behind, making it difficult for colleges to evaluate them accurately st -Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges: Working Briefs. American Association of Community Colleges, pp Ibid., p Ibid., p Ibid., p Ibid., p Ibid., p Ibid., p Hanover Research Academy Administration Practice 9

10 INSTRUCTIONAL DELIVERY While technology is a valuable asset in the classroom, its impact on instructional delivery has also proven transformative. Increasingly, community colleges are offering online formats for classes. 43 Indeed, online education has become an integral part of the growth of community colleges, 44 as it appeals to many students, with more flexibility to continue working while studying or take classes at institutions geographically remote from them. 45 However, there is conflict in the research about the effectiveness of such learning formats. Some research has shown that students perform better in online class compared to traditional instruction, whereas other research has shown that students in online classes were more likely to fail or withdraw compared to students in traditional courses and that online classes may negatively impact students grades. 46 In addition to these unresolved issues, such courses can pose a challenge for faculty, who often must develop the course themselves. 47 LEADERSHIP Finally, amidst all of this upheaval, community colleges are facing a shortage of leadership. According to a 2012 survey by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), 42 percent of community college leaders plan to retire by The AACC identifies three specific challenges regarding leadership that community colleges must address in the coming years: The pool of current leaders is graying and approaching retirement. The pool of potential presidents is shrinking. The continuous rotation and recomposition of governing boards means that at any given a significant number of board members are relatively new to their responsibilities Eight Important Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues, Trends & Strategies, Op. cit., p Eight Important Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues, Trends & Strategies, Op. cit., p Halsne, A. and L. Gatta. Online Versus Traditionally-delivered Instruction: A Descriptive Study of Learner Characteristics in a Community College Setting. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 5;1, Spring [1] 21 st -Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges: Working Briefs, Op. cit., p. 83. [2] Summary of Jaggars, S. Online Learning in Community Colleges. Community College Research Center, December Eight Important Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues, Trends & Strategies, Op. cit., p As reported in: Crisis and Opportunity: Aligning the Community College Presidency with Student Success. The Aspen Institution and Achieving the Dream, 2012, p Bulleted points taken verbatim from: Reclaiming the American Dream Op. cit., p Hanover Research Academy Administration Practice 10

11 SECTION II: PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE This section reviews specific strategies that community colleges may use to address each challenge identified in this report. First, the section identifies two broad tools, innovation and strategic planning, that help community colleges to plan for the future across a variety of challenges and issues. Next, the section identifies initiatives or strategies that target specific challenges. TOOLS FOR FUTURE PLANNING INNOVATION One of the key ways an organization can address future issues is through innovation. The League for Innovation in the Community College gives Innovation of the Year awards to innovative projects within applicant institutions. 50 In a survey of 117 previous award recipients, some patterns emerge. 51 According to this set of respondents, teamwork is very important to innovation in community colleges. 52 Because of this, the report suggests that administrators would be wise to create policies and practices to encourage more teamwork and collaboration around the innovative process. 53 The support of innovators own department or division was most often ranked as the most important source of nonfinancial support, and the innovating team s enthusiasm and perseverance was the most important factor in the success of the innovation. 54 Finally, the authors of the report were surprised that more respondents did not indicate that their primary source of financial support was from the college. 55 While it was within the top three most ranked items, they expected it to be higher. The other two top responses were that the innovating team did not receive any financial support or that they received external grants and contracts. 56 STRATEGIC PLANNING Another tool for change, improvement, and planning the future is strategic planning. This approach originated in business and has been adopted by educational institutions in the past decades. As part of the strategic planning process, typically a planning team is assembled from a variety of stakeholders that will determine a mission, a vision, beliefs, and goals for the institution. 57 This provides a framework for the college to direct resources towards these established goals. (Certainly, innovation can be both a process and outcome of the strategic planning process.) The Achieving the Dream (AtD) initiative, which aims to 50 Innovation of the Year Awards. The League for Innovation in the Community College. 51 The Nature of Innovation in the Community College. The League for Innovation in the Community College, Ibid., p Ibid. 54 Ibid., pp Ibid., pp Ibid. 57 Kim, Y. Program Evaluation for Strategic Planning and Resource Management. KJEP, 8:2, 2011, p. 304 Citing Johnson, G., and K. Scholes. Exploring corporate strategy. Hemel Hempstead, UK: Prentice Hall, Hanover Research Academy Administration Practice 11

12 help more community college students succeed by working with over 200 community colleges, has established a list of 10 essentials for colleges that have made progress with AtD. 58 Included in this is strategic planning, as it supports two of the essentials on this list. 59 The first is broad and continuous faculty/staff/student/community engagement and collaboration in support of a student success agenda; strategic planning is one of the ways that colleges have achieved this, as it is a process that allows these stakeholders to create a shared vision, talk more openly, and take shared ownership of the problem. 60 The other essential on the list refers to the integration of a college s student success agenda with other significant initiatives such as accreditation, strategic planning, Title III and Title V. 61 Similar to the point above, strategic planning benefits colleges and their improvement efforts because the will to decide and the discipline to focus make a significant difference in colleges making progress strategic planning formalizes that will. 62 In short, strategic planning is valuable in the way it can engage stakeholders in shared goals; the ways that institutions go about achieving the goals created in the strategic planning process are what will determine its impact on student success. FUNDING In response to decreasing budgets, community colleges have begun to look for other sources of funding. One source of such funding is from foundations, which have recognized the critical role of community colleges in serving less-advantaged populations. 63 The federal government (e.g., National Science Foundation) also provides community colleges with various grants. 64 However, getting these grants can be a challenge, as there is not much bandwidth to take on grant writing and grant proposals at some colleges where budgets are tight, much less hire experienced staff. 65 One suggested solution is to conduct workshops and training sessions, on a voluntary basis, that would alert and inform faculty of where support resources might exist. 66 Others suggest that community colleges are likely to increase tuition and fees to address state funding cuts. In fact, tuition rates at community colleges nationwide have been increasing at a rate more than double the rate of inflation. 67 The American Association of Community Colleges urges community colleges to embrace the diversity of their mission and student base when budgeting: 58 [1] About Us. Achieving the Dream. [2] 21 st -Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges: Working Briefs, Op. cit., pp st -Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges: Working Briefs, Op. cit., pp Ibid., p Ibid., p Ibid. 63 Zeidenberg, Op. cit., p Eight Important Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues, Trends & Strategies, Op. cit. p Ibid. 66 Ibid. 67 Katsinas, S. et al. Halfway Out of a Recession Op. cit., p Hanover Research Academy Administration Practice 12

13 The leaders of community colleges should plan for a future in which the many dimensions of diversity in clients and missions continue to dominate the strategic environment. This suggests that a variety of efforts, from the education of individuals with disabilities to the support services required to serve an aging student client base, should be incorporated into the core budgeting and funding of institutions. 68 COLLEGE READINESS Another major issue for community colleges is the level of student preparation. Remedial instruction is one way that institutions have typically helped students prepare for college level coursework. 69 However, students dislike taking remedial courses, feeling they should be ready for college-level work, and the effectiveness of such courses is not necessarily proven. 70 Research suggests that less than 25 percent [of developmental education students] earn a degree or certificate within eight years of enrollment. 71 One alternative suggestion is to improve coordination between high schools and colleges, so that students enter community colleges more prepared. 72 In fact, some point to the poor alignment between K-12 public education and the postsecondary system as the reason many students arrive to college unprepared. 73 One report recommends establishing collaborations between K-12 districts and community college in the interest of developing a college-going culture, building students college success skills, and expanding dual/concurrent enrollment and other strategies for accelerating the progress of students on the college pathway. 74 As K-12 districts adopt the Common Core State Standards and revamp their curricular pathways, it would likely benefit community colleges to find ways to sync higher education expectations with these reforms. 75 In the further interest of student success, it is also important that community colleges create strong links between two- and four-year colleges. The majority of community college students (81.4 percent) aim to complete a bachelor s degree by transitioning to a four-year college, but within six years only 11.6 percent of them do so. 76 This disproportionately affects Hispanic, Black, Native American, and low-income students. 77 By solidifying connections between two- and four-year colleges, community colleges can improve student 68 Merisotis, J. and Wolanin, T. Community College Financing: Strategies and Challenges. American Association of Community Colleges. 69 Zeidenberg, Op. cit., p Ibid., pp st -Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges: Working Briefs. American Association of Community Colleges, p Ibid., p st -Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges: Working Briefs, Op. cit., p Reclaiming the American Dream: Community Colleges and the Nation s Future. American Association of Community Colleges, 2012, p Eight Important Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues, Trends & Strategies, Op. cit. p Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Report of The Century Foundation Task Force, Op. cit., p Reclaiming the American Dream, Op. cit., p Hanover Research Academy Administration Practice 13

14 outcomes and possibly impact the student stratification and achievement gaps discussed in the previous section. 78 The Century Foundation Task Force recommends steps that states and four-year institutions can take to facilitate this, such as guaranteed transfer policies and clear pathways for transfer, respectively. 79 For community colleges, they suggest blending elements of twoand four-year colleges in one setting such as by creating bachelor s degree programs that are delivered jointly by two- and four-year institutions and require only a single point of entry in the freshman year. 80 While many community college students intend to transfer to a four-year institution to complete a bachelor s degree, others are looking for a direct path to the workforce. 81 In order to best prepare students for jobs, community colleges can forge partnerships with small and big businesses for the development of employee training programs. 82 In such partnerships, businesses can inform the college of what skills they are looking for in a potential employee, even tailored to the particular geographic area. 83 In one example, Gatorade opened a new facility in West Virginia that used new technologies. Gatorade and the local community college worked together to train new employees in industrial maintenance, and hundreds of people now have jobs because of their partnership. 84 While there are fears of turning community colleges into corporate training venues, the modern workforce requires that employees have both an academic background as well as vocational training. 85 It seems navigating this line while still adequately preparing students for the workforce will be essential for community colleges in the future. DATA-DRIVEN DECISION MAKING In order to measure the impact of programs intended to improve student success, experts highlight the need for community colleges to foster a culture of evidence. 86 By collecting and using research and data effectively and accurately, community colleges can better make improvements for the future. Institutions can identify programs or methods that positively what impact student success and explore ways to enhance those programs or methods. In a 78 Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Report of The Century Foundation Task Force, Op. cit., p Ibid., p Ibid. 81 [1] Eight Important Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues, Trends & Strategies, Op. cit. p. 7. [2] What Does it Really Mean to be College and Work Ready? National Center on Education and the Economy, May 2013, p. i. 82 Eight Important Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues, Trends & Strategies, Op. cit. p Slack, M. Building the Workforce of the Future at Community Colleges. The White House Blog, March Ibid st -Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges: Working Briefs, Op. cit., p Securing the Future: Retention Models in Community Colleges. The College Board, 2012, p pdf 2013 Hanover Research Academy Administration Practice 14

15 survey of leaders from 236 nationwide community colleges, over half of responding institutions reported they were using data to a great extent to support assertions about what works in campus discussions on promoting student success. 87 Having institutional researchers who have the experience required for conducting these analyses, as well as the assigned task of doing so, is integral to the success of such efforts. 88 The larger institutions tend to have more such employees. 89 Regardless of the number of employees, all institutions in the survey reported analyzing student outcomes retention rates, transfer rates, and degree or certificate completion rates once a year or more. 90 TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION It will be important for community colleges to embrace technology. While it is becoming widely accepted that this is necessary, it is important to do so intelligently. That is, simply putting technology into classrooms is not sufficient; instead, the use of technology should indicate a fundamental change in the way teaching and learning experiences are developed, delivered and improved year after year. 91 Some colleges have addressed this by developing a leadership team or group dedicated to technology, in order to identify strengths, gaps, and national and local trends. Trends include exploring devices other than the computer, such as tablets and smartphones, to encourage access to content and information. 92 INSTRUCTIONAL DELIVERY This extends to effective instructional delivery, as well. While more and more colleges are developing their virtual presence and offering online courses, it is important that institutions do so purposefully and thoughtfully. Offering a course online can represent significant work for a faculty member on an individual level. Thus, new models are emerging, such as the systematic integrated approach, in which a basic online course is developed by experts in content and technology, and then faculty teach this course with capabilities to augment or personalize it as needed. 93 In such a model, if more sections of a class are needed, additional faculty can be brought on to use the same basic course, whereas previously, another individual faculty member may have created his own course. 87 Ibid., p Ibid. 89 Ibid. 90 Ibid st -Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges: Working Briefs, Op. cit., p Ibid., p Ibid., p Hanover Research Academy Administration Practice 15

16 LEADERSHIP Given the predicted dearth of community college leadership in the next decade, professional development may help toward solving this issue. 94 Professional development can help align potential leaders with the priorities and strategies of a student success agenda, helping colleges make the transitions needed to achieve those types of goals. 95 Currently, the path to becoming a leader of a community college is a rigid one; by developing a professional development program, community colleges may be able to develop leaders internally, instead of hiring externally. 96 Another suggestion is to develop an administrator internship program, which would allow prospective leaders to develop important administrative skills before they take on full blown administrative assignments Ibid., p st -Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges: Working Briefs, Op. cit., pp Riggs, Op. cit., p Ibid., p Hanover Research Academy Administration Practice 16

17 SECTION III: CASE PROFILES This section profiles a selection of four community colleges. They each have addressed an issue from the previous sections: aligning with K-12 districts, budget concerns, workforce development, and data and technology. Three of these colleges were the winners of the 2013 Bellwether Award. This award is given by the Community College Futures Assembly to outstanding and innovative programs and practices that are successfully leading community colleges into the future. 98 Applicants are selected based on their submission, their fit with the conference theme, and identified critical issues. 99 The fourth college was a 2013 Bellwether Finalist; while it was not selected to win the award in its category, the program for which it was nominated is very robust and provides a strong example of future planning. ELGIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE (ELGIN, IL) Elgin Community College (ECC) is a community college outside of Chicago, IL, that enrolls over 11,000 students annually. 100 It is a part of District 509, which is one of 39 other community college districts in Illinois. 101 The district draws from 11 public high schools and four private high schools. 102 The majority of students (69.3 percent) attend on a part-time basis. 103 ECC was picked as the winner among other finalists in the Instructional Programs and Services category of the 2013 Bellwether Awards. It won for its Alliance for College Readiness initiative, which has the motto One school can do so little; together we can do so much. 104 This initiative is a collaborative partnership between ECC and the public school districts in College District The goal is to prepare students for college-level courses so that all students can experience success after high school. 106 Approximately 250 faculty and staff from ECC and the public school districts work in teams to establish a common understanding of college and career readiness, to better align curriculum and instruction and to foster effective communication systems between students, educators, and parents. 107 In addition to their work on the instruction side to 98 Bellwether. Community College Futures Assembly. 99 Ibid. 100 Elgin Community College. National Center for Education Statistics District 509. Elgin Community College Ibid. 103 Ibid. 104 [1] ECC is a Bellwether Award Winner. Elgin Community College. [2] CCFA Bellwether Awards Fete Top Community College Innovators. University of Florida College of Education Alliance for College Readiness. Elgin Community College Ibid. 107 [1] Alliance for College Readiness, Op. cit. [2] ECC is a Bellwether Award Winner, Op. cit Hanover Research Academy Administration Practice 17

18 facilitate the transition between high school and college, these teams have produced presentations and handouts aimed at parents to inform them on helping their children. 108 ECC introduced this program in Since then, they have seen a six percent increase, from 24 to 32 percent, in the proportion of high school graduates who arrive at ECC completely college-ready. 110 Moreover, the percentage of high school graduates enrolling at ECC in need of remedial coursework has decreased 8 percent overall, and 10 percent in mathematics. 111 PIEDMONT TECHNICAL COLLEGE (GREENWOOD, SC) Piedmont Technical College (PTC) is a two-year technical college serving seven counties in South Carolina. It enrolls over 6,000 students annually, with the majority attending parttime (57 percent). 112 It offers a variety of career studies programs as well as a transfer curriculum. 113 PTC won the 2013 Bellwether Award for Planning Governance and Finance for LEAN in Higher Education: How it Continues to Change Our Culture. 114 LEAN is a methodology designed to increase efficiency, to decrease waste, and to use empirical methods to redesign processes to produce maximum value. 115 It has been applied through the private sector, made famous by Toyota, but education is somewhat new territory for the methodology. 116 PTC chose to implement LEAN in 2008, as their leadership was working to determine how to continue to deliver high quality programming in a time of declining revenue. 117 They have truly embraced the methodology, applying it across the institution, and also now offering classes in LEAN to their students and holding summits for other community colleges on how to apply it. 118 With LEAN, the goal is to get better instead of entering into a downward cycle of retrenchment and cutting. 119 It is a democratic process, giving all faculty and staff at PTC to 108 College Readiness Presentations & Handouts. Elgin Community College ECC is a Bellwether Award Winner, Op. cit. 110 Ibid. 111 CCFA Bellwether Awards Fete Top Community College Innovators, Op. cit. 112 Piedmont Technical College. National Center for Education Statistics About. Piedmont Technical College CCFA Bellwether Awards Fete Top Community College Innovators, Op. cit. 115 PTC Wins Prestigious Bellwether Award. Piedmont Technical College [1] PTC Wins Prestigious Bellwether Award, Op. cit. [2] 5 Reasons to Implement LEAN in Higher Education. Piedmont Technical College Blog PTC Wins Prestigious Bellwether Award, Op. cit. 118 [1] Lean Training. Piedmont Technical College. [2] Higher Ed Summit Shared PTC s LEAN Initiative. Piedmont Technical College PTC Recognized for Lean Implementation for Second Year. Piedmont Technical College Hanover Research Academy Administration Practice 18

19 drive change. 120 LEAN trainers teach all employees about the methodology through a process that has been refined over time. 121 As issues are identified, teams are assembled to apply LEAN methodology to problem-solve. 122 The LEAN in Higher Education blog shared success stories where the methodology has been applied in effective ways letting PTC improve performance or cut costs without any extra expenditure. For example, a team of faculty and staff were assigned to an issue around wait times in the financial aid office. During peak times, the wait to get assistance with financial aid needs became considerable, and it was regardless of the complexity of their request. 123 Using LEAN principles, the assigned team developed a triage method of assisting students. Students coming to the financial aid office sign in and identify what they need resolved. Students with simpler needs, such as picking up a form, are served first, while students with more complex needs wait for an available counselor. 124 Wait time has been reduced, student satisfaction has increased, and staff now have more time to work with the students who need them most. 125 LEAN techniques were also applied to the issue of gown rentals for faculty for graduation ceremonies. 126 There were inefficiencies of cost and distribution in the current process; analysis showed that purchasing the gowns would reduce both of these issues. 127 CHATTANOOGA STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE (CHATTANOOGA, TN) Chattanooga State Community College (CSCC) is a community college in Chattanooga, TN. It enrolls around 10,000 students annually, over half on a part-time basis. 128 It offers both transfer and career programs. 129 CSCC received the 2013 Bellwether Award in Workforce Development for their Wacker Institute initiative. 130 Established in 2012, the Wacker Institute represents a partnership between Chattanooga State and Wacker Polysilicon, North America. 131 The goal of the institute is to offer programs of study that will produce the best educated and trained technicians in the chemical manufacturing industry through a unique and rigorous 120 Ibid. 121 Continuous Improvement: Leaning Lean. Piedmont Technical College Success Story: Financial Aid Wait Time. Piedmont Technical College Ibid. 124 Ibid. 125 Ibid. 126 Success Story: Faculty Gowns. Piedmont Technical College Ibid. 128 Chattanooga State Community College. National Center for Education Statistics Academic Programs. Chattanooga State Community College. https://www.chattanoogastate.edu/academics/index.html 130 Chattanooga State Honored with the Prestigious Bellwether Award. Chattanooga State Community College Ibid Hanover Research Academy Administration Practice 19

20 educational collaborative. 132 Upon completion of the program, graduates can receive either an associate of applied science degree (A.A.S.) in Engineering Technology or an embedded certificate in other technical areas of emphasis. 133 CSCC s Engineering Technology program has also formed partnerships to establish other institutes, such as the Volkswagen Academy and the Building and Construction Institute of the Southeast. 134 The Wacker Institute was established through the partnership of these two organizations. Wacker Polysilicon donated $3 million dollars toward the construction of a state-of-the-art chemical training plant for the Institute. 135 This training plant mimics an actual plant of the company. Training from the Institute incorporates both theory and hands-on experiences in the 25,000 square foot Institute. 136 The Wacker Institute does not guarantee employment with Wacker Polysilicon, but graduates are highly competitive for employment consideration and have the skills to work in other manufacturing facilities in the region. 137 EL PASO COMMUNITY COLLEGE (EL PASO, TX) El Paso Community College (EPCC) is a community college in El Paso, serving El Paso and Hudspeth counties with five campuses. 138 It enrolls over 32,000 students annually, the majority (68 percent) attend part-time. 139 It offers both career and transfer programs. 140 EPCC was recognized as a 2013 Bellwether Finalist for a program it called Math Emporium Redesign: Using the Force of High-Technology for the Good of High-Touch Teaching and Learning. 141 In 2009, EPCC received funding to redesign its developmental education (DE) math courses. 142 Based on an earlier pilot, a math emporium model was developed, which is an on-campus lab in which students use software that allows them to have a more individual experience and accelerate their experiences in DE math. 143 Math emporiums 132 Ibid. 133 Ibid. 134 Partnerships. Chattanooga State Community College Wacker Institute. Chattanooga State Community College Chattanooga State Honored with the Prestigious Bellwether Award, Op. cit. 137 Wacker FAQs. Chattanooga State Community College Math Emporium Redesign. El Paso Community College, pp El Paso Community College. National Center for Education Statistics Prospective Students. El Paso Community College Bellwether Finalists. University of Florida College of Education. bellwether-finalists/ 142 Math Emporium Redesign, Op. cit., p [1] Math Emporiums Initiative. El Paso Community College. [2] Milliron, M. Online 2013 Hanover Research Academy Administration Practice 20

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