California Community Colleges Are Sharing Practices With Promise

Like many other states, California is facing a significant challenge: providing a pipeline of skilled workers that meet the needs of employers. Many say that California is too large to respond nimbly to regional, state and national calls to close the skills gap, but California’s community colleges are up to the challenge. In 2012, California […]

Rigor and Accountability 2.0

If, like Rip Van Winkle, you’ve been asleep for a couple of decades, let me bring you into the bold new world of higher education; it is filled with rigor and accountability. The early days of academia were laced with bearded men in long robes giving their wisdom from on high. The current world has […]

Building Pathways to Bachelor’s Degrees

For today’s students, community colleges are not only a road to an associate degree, but with the right partners, they can also be a stepping stone to a bachelor’s degree. As outlined in Recommendation Five of AACC’s Empowering Community Colleges to Build the Nation’s Future, community colleges are encouraged to build alliances with universities, community-based […]

Internationalizing Community Colleges

We are reminded daily of the importance of world affairs. Ebola. ISIS. China overtaking the United States as the world’s largest economy. We care about these matters as much as we care about roads, taxes and other local concerns — which is why our community college students should learn about them, too. Santa Fe College […]

Partnering to Increase Latino College Completion

Just as I was, many of our students at Phoenix College are first-generation Latino students. I was fortunate that my parents encouraged my educational pursuits and supported me on my path toward work I am passionate about: providing access and opportunity to underrepresented student populations. Latinos are the fastest-growing student population in America, and their success […]

Just in Time: A Training Model to Close the Skills Gap

In automobile manufacturing, the Just in Time (JIT) training model refers to the production of presold automobiles. Essentially, manufacturers only build enough cars or trucks to meet existing demand. In San Antonio, the Alamo Colleges take a similar approach to job training. Earlier this year, the district collaborated with the San Antonio Manufacturers Association (SAMA) […]

Teaming Up to Tackle Student Success

If there is any one factor that most affects the ability of community colleges to improve student outcomes and meet the goals set by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges, its partnership. Whether it is a question of increasing completion rates, improving college readiness, or […]

Shifting the Paradigm for Student Success

My 11-year-old twins are studying paradigm shifts in their seventh-grade class. Their teacher defined a paradigm shift as a “fundamental change in an individual’s or a society’s view of how things work in the world.” As I helped my kids with their homework, I saw significant parallels with the California Community Colleges and our implementation […]

Building a Better College-to-Career Pathway

The rapidly changing job market demands a dynamic response from our education system. At Oregon’s Blue Mountain Community College (BMCC), where I serve as president, we are laser-focused on creating effective college-to-career pathways for students. Our Career Pathways initiative takes a systemic approach to supporting students and connecting them with employers. Whether it’s working with […]

It’s Time for Our Colleges to Embrace Change

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”  – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities These words describe the world in which community college leaders operate today. In my more than 35 years in higher education, there has […]