together ensure everyone at the table
remains “laser-focused” on the end goal:
A Tailored Approach
Reaching that goal won’t be easy.
Each college is different—by extension,
so too are the needs of its community.
Translation: What worked in one place,
won’t necessarily work in another.
To bring these initiatives to scale,
educators and other stakeholders must
frame them in the context of their local
communities. What are the needs of
employers in the region? Do students
face travel challenges or other obstacles
that might prevent them from receiving
the training and education they need to
succeed? What’s the mood throughout
“We may come up with a set of recommendations, but how those recommendations are implemented should be based
upon the needs of the community in
which the college exists,” explains Dukes.
To increase completion rates and help
more students find work, many community
colleges have turned their attention to
the formation of academic pathways—
comprehensive systems that help students
identify an academic or professional
interest and guide them from the moment
they set foot on campus to employment in
the job market.
This is a point of focus for implementation
team two and an area that Kay McClenney,
director of the Center for Community College Student Engagement at the University
of Texas at Austin and co-chair of AACC’s
21st-Century Commission, says could be a
“game-changer” for community colleges.
Learn more by reading “Premise to
Promise: Developing New Pathways for
Community College Students,” by McClenney and her colleagues Donna Dare and
Susan Thomason, on page 56.
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