The 21st-Century Center is an online content hub and destination for AACC members and other community college leaders and stakeholders to meet, discover promising practices, share thought leadership, and scour the latest news and highlights showcasing 21st-century reforms at the nation’s two-year career and technical colleges. The site is meant to inspire action and progress toward achieving the recommendations outlined by AACC’s 21st-Century Commission in its “Reclaiming the American Dream: Community Colleges and the Nation’s Future” report. Specifically, our content should align with one of our six core subject designations: Leaders & Training, Completion, Skills Gap, College Readiness, Advocacy & Funding, and Mission & Values.

Article Submission Guidelines

We’re looking for short opinion pieces and blog-style posts and articles that feature insights from community college leaders and partners and/or profiles of promising community college programs.

Each article should be:

  • Length: Short – 450 to 600 words in length
  • Style: These are generally the kinds of thought-provoking, engaging articles and columns you might read online on Forbes or TIME or The Huffington Post, to name a few. These are not long, academic-style pieces with citations written for continuing education credits. Potential article types include: profiles, columns, tips and lists, and interviews.
  • Tone: Both sophisticated and authoritative. The center is created with high-level community college leaders and faculty in mind and should come from a place of experience and understanding. Our most successful pieces work because they identify a challenge faced by community colleges, highlight potential solutions or promising practices intended to meet those challenges, and offer trusted advice for college leaders to potentially replicate similar practices on their campuses.

Each submission should include:

  • A headline: Short and to the point. Each headline should clearly state what the story is about or what it offers the reader in six words or less. When writing headlines, ask yourself if you would click on the article without reading the body copy of seeing the images associated with the piece. Imagine headlines as standalone tweets. Do they grab you?
  • A subhead: The subhead should be a single sentence that further explains the nuts and bolts of the story (e.g. what is the program or challenge being profiled.)
  • A byline: Who is the author? First and last name. The author could also be an organization or a group of people.
  • Body copy: The body copy is the story itself and should be written in Microsoft Word or some compatible format. The story should include subheads, bullets, or numbers, or some combination of the three where appropriate to break to make it easily digestible for readers.
  • Bio: Each story should include a one-sentence bio that describes who the writer is. Bios and bylines are automatically inputted into stories in WordPress when the editor selects an author from the pre-created author profiles. If the writer does not have a pre-existing author profile, one will need to be created for them. Profiles include names (first and last), a one-sentence description of the writer’s role and or title (e.g. John Doe is president of Great Water Community College) and a black-and-white headshot of the writer.
  • A main image: Each story must include a feature image, which is uploaded by the editor on WordPress.
  • Additional items: Stories can also include pull quotes, photos, and embedded video and multimedia, as determined by the editor or writer and approved by AACC.

Resources Submissions

Has your institution implemented a strategy or program to institutionalize the 21st Century Commission recommendations with exceptional outcomes?

If so, then submit it for inclusion in the resources section of the AACC 21st Century Center.

To include your strategy in the Center, it must be scalable, capable of being replicated at other institutions and have verifiable data to demonstrate its effectiveness.

The following guidelines outline the process for submitting your innovative program or practice for consideration. Please adhere to all established guidelines as provided.

Submit the following information to AACC:

A brief description of the innovation (no more than 500 words).

  • Baseline and longitudinal data (if available) showing outcomes in student success.
  • Any awards that have been won, or institutional recognitions received for the promising practice.
  • A contact person capable of answering follow-up questions about the innovation, if necessary.

Notification about the status of the submission will be communicated within 30 days of receipt.

All submissions should be sent to