Team 6 – Policy and Advocacy Agenda for Reclaiming the American Dream


The Implementation Team on a Policy and Advocacy Agenda for Reclaiming the American Dream will address Recommendation 1 and one associated implementation strategy, along with Recommendation 6 and four associated implementation strategies from the report of the 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges:

  • Increase completion rates of students earning community college credentials (certificates and associate degrees) by 50% by 2020, while preserving access, enhancing quality, and eradicating attainment gaps associated with income, race, ethnicity, and gender.
    • Promote transfer from community colleges to baccalaureate institutions through state policy stipulating that students who complete an agreed-upon core of transfer courses and earn an associate degree may transfer to junior standing at a public university without loss of credits.
  • Target public and private investments strategically to create new incentives for all institutions of education and their students and to support community college efforts to reclaim the American Dream.
    • Advocate at the local, state, and national levels for renewed public investment in the public good—the development of the nation’s people—as necessary both to economic competitiveness and to a vibrant democracy.
    • Incorporate incentives for student performance and progress into student financial aid programs at the federal, state, and local levels, while also elevating the priority of need-based aid.
    • Implement funding strategies that put money toward providing incentives and support for collaborative work across education sectors (preK-12, community college, and university) to facilitate student transitions and accelerate their educational progress.
    • Develop public funding models that include provisions for making student success and college completion matter, incorporating incentives for community colleges to preserve access and continue serving high-risk and traditionally underserved students.
    • Create accessible and interactive statewide data systems, learning analytics, and other tools essential to the capacity of community colleges to monitor student progress, institutional performance, and changes in community and labor force needs.

Primary tasks are:

  • Develop and recommend specific policy statements focused on both federal and state policy issues addressed in the Commission report recommendations and implementation strategies cited above.
  • Develop recommended advocacy strategies for implementation by (1) national community college leadership organizations, particularly AACC and ACCT; (2) state-based community college systems and associations; (3) local community colleges. Create an advocacy toolkit for inclusion in AACC’s online 21st Century Center.