Making the Transfer Process Seamless

For many of our students, community college is not only a road to an associate degree — it is the beginning of their pathway to a four-year college. In fact, a nationwide survey found that nearly 60 percent of community college students transfer to a four-year institution. Because transferring is a key goal for a large […]

The Importance of Character for College Success

Having worked with many students who have successfully maneuvered and completed college, I am often asked by parents and students for advice in preparing for this life-changing opportunity. My answer is this: character. By character I mean skills like conscientiousness, responsibility, determination and perseverance. University of Chicago Professor Melissa Roderick identifies these critical components of college […]

Middle-Class Jobs and Community Colleges

Over the past 35 years, America has seen a gradual shift in its middle-class job sector. According to The New York Times, “the types of jobs that pay middle-class wages — between $40,000 and $80,000 in 2014 dollars”— have changed dramatically since the 1980s, with today’s “middle-class worker increasingly likely to work in health care […]

A Plan for Success in Manufacturing Training

Manufacturing is strong in the United States, and stronger still in South Carolina. In Greenville County, manufacturing drives the economy, ranking first in Gross Regional Product and first in total earnings for all industries. Yet as the economy began to show signs of improvement in 2010, employers in upstate South Carolina’s advanced manufacturing sector quickly […]

College Completion: A Success Story

Many of our community college students struggle to graduate on time. According to The Hechinger Report, less than one in five students in community college obtain their desired degree in three years or less. And it is not for lack of trying: Not only is the cost of higher education steadily rising, making it difficult […]

Keeping Community at the Core of the College Mission

In recent years, we have seen a nationwide trend in community colleges offering bachelor’s degrees in addition to the traditional certificates and associate degrees. Community colleges are expanding their offerings in direct response to the demands of our 21st-century students, who seek more accessible, affordable four-year degrees that will open the doors to jobs in […]

Improving Online Training Programs: The Rapid Prototyping Model

Today’s community college students wear many hats: Whether a part-time employee, a parent or a midcareer worker looking to change fields, our students need flexibility in where and when they receive their education. This is where online training comes in. The key to creating a successful online training program is to use an efficient, collaborative […]

Students Speak: Why They Chose Community College

Following President Barack Obama’s announcement of America’s College Promise, community college students across the country have come forward to share stories and show support for the institutions that set them on a path to success in school and in life. Perhaps the most famous of these accounts is from Tom Hanks (read our full commentary […]

Student Success and the Value of Accountability

Achieving greater student success is the goal of all educators, yet achieving measurable results requires commitment and accountability from the highest levels of leadership. Shortly after I became chancellor of the Community Colleges of Spokane, the board of trustees participated in “The Governance Institute for Student Success” and directed me to draft a comprehensive Student […]

College Readiness and America’s College Promise

President Barack Obama’s America’s College Promise proposal has sparked a national conversation about the value of community college for today’s students. Many, myself included, support the president’s vision of making two years of higher education more accessible to all Americans. Others are more skeptical, often citing low completion rates for community college students. To help our […]