Planning for the Future in Community Colleges

 
Planning for the Future in Community Colleges
Planning for the Future in
              Community Colleges
       Prepared for Tarrant County College District

                                                                December 2013

In the following report, Hanover Research reviews challenges facing community colleges
and identifies specific strategies for addressing these challenges.
Planning for the Future in Community Colleges
Hanover Research | December 2013

            TABLE OF CONTENTS
            Executive Summary and Key Findings ............................................................................... 3
               Introduction ...........................................................................................................................3
               Key Findings ...........................................................................................................................3
            Section I: Future Issues Facing Community Colleges .......................................................... 5
               Increasing Enrollment ............................................................................................................5
               Decreasing Funding ...............................................................................................................6
               Performance-Based Funding Models ....................................................................................6
               College Readiness ..................................................................................................................7
               Student Stratification .............................................................................................................8
               Data-Driven Decision Making ................................................................................................8
               Technology Integration..........................................................................................................9
               Instructional Delivery...........................................................................................................10
               Leadership............................................................................................................................10
            Section II: Planning for the Future .................................................................................. 11
               Tools for Future Planning ....................................................................................................11
                  Innovation ........................................................................................................................11
                  Strategic Planning ............................................................................................................11
               Funding ................................................................................................................................12
               College Readiness ................................................................................................................13
               Data-Driven Decision Making ..............................................................................................14
               Technology Integration........................................................................................................15
               Instructional Delivery...........................................................................................................15
               Leadership............................................................................................................................16
            Section III: Case Profiles ................................................................................................. 17
               Elgin Community College (Elgin, IL) .....................................................................................17
               Piedmont Technical College (Greenwood, SC) ....................................................................18
               Chattanooga State Community College (Chattanooga, TN) ................................................19
               El Paso Community College (El Paso, TX).............................................................................20

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                                                   2
Planning for the Future in Community Colleges
Hanover Research | December 2013

            EXECUTIVE S UMMARY AND KEY FINDINGS

            INTRODUCTION
            Community colleges are seen in many ways as the future of the American postsecondary
            education system. They currently enroll almost half (45 percent) of all postsecondary
            students and that number is slated to grow in the coming years. 1 In fact, community
            colleges are expected to account for 63 percent of the new degrees needed to reach the
            Obama administration’s goals for postsecondary graduation rates by 2020. 2 However,
            community colleges face a number of issues that could potentially stand in the way of
            meeting this challenge. 3

            Issues facing community colleges include decreasing budgets and increasing enrollment,
            evolving technologies, and changing student needs. Institutions must find ways to adapt
            now and plan for the future. This report begins with a review of several issues facing
            community colleges currently and in the near future. The second section follows with
            recommendations to address these strategies, based on secondary literature and evidence
            from other two-year institutions. Finally, the third section presents profiles of four two-year
            institutions that have effectively innovated in an effort to plan for the future.

            KEY FINDINGS
                §    Community colleges are seeking new sources of funding. As state funding has
                     generally decreased, community colleges increasingly turn to organizations like
                     major foundations and the federal government for grant opportunities. Many
                     community colleges must also implement tuition increases in the coming years.
                §    Collecting and analyzing data effectively is increasingly essential. Faculty and staff
                     can use data to improve their students’ performance during a semester or year or
                     institutions can track the impact of programs on student success to refine for future
                     efforts. Accurate data also has important implications for performance-based
                     funding models.
                §    In the interest of student success, community colleges are strengthening
                     partnerships with school districts, four-year colleges, businesses, and community
                     organizations. Respectively, these initiatives can help students enter college better
                     prepared, transition to bachelor’s programs more easily, and enter the workforce
                     more fluidly.

            1
              “Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Report of The Century Foundation Task Force.” The Century Foundation,
                 2013, p. 3. http://tcf.org/assets/downloads/20130523-Bridging_the_Higher_Education_Divide-REPORT-ONLY.pdf
            2
              Ibid., p. 3.
            3
              Ibid., pp. 3-4.

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                §   Community colleges must approach technology integration systematically. Some
                    colleges have addressed this by developing a leadership team or group dedicated to
                    technology, in order to identify strengths, gaps, and national and local trends.

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            SECTION I: FUTURE ISSUES FACING COMMUNITY
            COLLEGES

            This section reviews key challenges facing community colleges, including decreasing budgets
            and increasing enrollment, evolving technologies, and changing student needs.

            INCREASING ENROLLMENT
             Community colleges have experienced a pattern of enrollment growth in the past decade,
            particularly in 2008-2009.5 As “individuals have increasingly recognized the benefits of more
            education,” they have increasingly             Figure 1.1: Actual and Projected Enrollment,
            applied to college. 6 During the same                    Public Two-Year Colleges
            period, costs of four-year colleges have
            increased, leading to an increase in                           National       Texas
            applications to two-year community
                                                            10,000                               8,214
            colleges. 7 Interestingly, since 2010                                   7,218 7,633
                                                             8,000 5,697 6,184
            enrollments in community colleges have
                                                             6,000
            declined slightly. 8                             4,000
                                                                         2,000     448.0 566.1 743.3 772.5 822.0
            Community colleges are still poised for                          0
            enrollment growth, but at a slower pace                 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020
            than the previous decade. Similar to the
                                                                           Actual            Projected
            national landscape, public two-year
                                                                                                              4
            colleges in Texas will continue to see Source: NCES and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
            enrollment increases, but at a slower pace than the previous decade (Figure 1.1). In general,
            future growth will be fueled by rising college costs, existing education gaps, the need for
            skilled employees, and the Obama administration’s goals for educational attainment. 9

            4
              [1] “Projections of Education Statistics to 2021: Table 24.” National Center for Education Statistics.
                 http://nces.ed.gov/programs/projections/projections2021/tables/table_24.asp?referrer=list
            [2] “Enrollment Forecast 2013-2020.” Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, January 2013, p. 4.
                 http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/reports/PDF/2964.PDF?CFID=4806218&CFTOKEN=70378379
            5
              Baum, S., K. Little, and K. Payea. “Trends in Community College Education: Enrollment, Prices, Student Aid, and Debt
                 Levels.” College Board, 2011, p. 3. https://trends.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/trends-2011-community-
                 colleges-ed-enrollment-debt-brief.pdf
            6
              Zeidenberg, M. “Community Colleges Under Stress.” Issues in Science and Technology, Summer 2008, p. 53.
                 http://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/media/k2/attachments/community-colleges-under-stress.pdf
            7
              Ibid.
            8
              [1] “Report: Current Term Enrollment Report – Spring 2013.” National Student Clearinghouse Research Center,
                 Spring 2013. http://nscresearchcenter.org/currenttermenrollmentestimate-spring2013/
            [2] “National Postsecondary Enrollment Trends: Before, During, and After the Great Recession.” National Student
                 Clearinghouse Research Center, July 2011, p. 6. http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED536112.pdf
            9
              “Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Report of the Century Foundation Task Force,” Op. cit., p. 3.

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            DECREASING FUNDING
            Coinciding with increasing enrollment, community colleges also have seen decreasing
            budgets over the past years. Community colleges typically cannot rely on tuition and fees or
            on endowment funds that four-year institutions can often draw from.10 State funding, one
            of the primary sources of funding for community colleges, “fluctuates as economic and
            political conditions change, and community college leaders increasingly complain that they
            are not receiving enough state support even to keep up with inflation and enrollment
            increases.” 11 Indeed, recently many states have seen not just fluctuations, but have
            experienced “drastic budget cuts.” 12 These can lead to reductions in course offerings,
            eliminations of entire programs, or reductions of “non-essential” services like student
            services, which provide guidance, counseling, and career path advice. 13

            Looking to the future, however, many community colleges expect to see an increase in state
            funding in coming years. According to an annual survey of state community college directors
            conducted by the University of Alabama’s Education Policy Center, only six out of 50 states
            saw mid-year appropriation cuts during FY 2012-2013. 14 For the coming fiscal year, 34 state
            directors predict an increase in state funding, seven foresee no change, and five expect a
            decrease in state appropriations. 15

            PERFORMANCE-BASED FUNDING MODELS
            The tightening fiscal environment has led to               Figure 1.2: PBF Activity by State
            increased competition for state funds. These                 PBF ACTIVITY                # OF STATES
            budget cuts come at a difficult time, when                   PBF in Place                    22
            community colleges are expected to make                  Transitioning to PBF                 7
            improvements in student success. Some                 Formal Discussions of PBF              10
            states have started to adopt performance-               No Formal PBF Activity               12
            based or adequacy-based funding models Source: The University of Alabama Education Policy Center
            that award community colleges funding based on contributions to positive student
            outcomes or students’ educational needs, along with other more traditional criteria (such as
            full-time equivalent enrollment). In fact, 22 states currently have some form of performance

            10
               Zeidenberg, Op. cit., p. 56.
            11
               Ibid., p. 55.
            12
               “Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Report of The Century Foundation Task Force,” Op. cit., p. 53.
            13
               [1] Zeidenberg, Op. cit., p. 56.
            [2] “Eight Important Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues,
                 Trends & Strategies.” SOURCE on Community College Issues, Trends & Strategies, May 2011, p. 10.
                 http://www.wgu.edu/wgu/8_questions_report.pdf
            [3] “Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Report of The Century Foundation Task Force,” Op. cit., p. 53
            14
               Katsinas, S. et al .“Halfway Out of Recession, But a Long Way to Go: The 2013 National Survey of Access and Finance
                 Issues.” The University of Alabama Education Policy Center, November 2013, p. 2.
                 http://www.uaedpolicy.ua.edu/uploads/2/1/3/2/21326282/sdr_11-6_final_web_embargo.pdf
            15
               Ibid., p. 5.

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            based-funding (PBF) in place, with many more states planning to transition to this higher
            education funding model in the near future (Figure 1.2). 16

            In performance-based funding models, such as the Student Success Points Model in Texas,
            states generally allocate a portion of funding based on points awarded to institutions for
            various student success indicators. Student success indicators vary by state, but typically
            include “end-point” events such as degree completion or transfer as well as intermediate
            achievements such as course completion or acquiring a certain number of credit hours. 17 An
            institution then receives funding based on the total number of points its students earn in a
            given year. 18

            So far, evaluations of the effectiveness of performance-based funding models have returned
            mixed results. For example, the Washington State Board for Community and Technical
            Colleges (SBCTC) launched such a program in 2007, which the Community College Research
            Center (CCRC) reviewed in 2012.19 The report found that the initiative supported student
            achievement as measured by points and from a qualitative perspective it was “viewed as a
            helpful way to focus collective efforts on student progression and publicly account for
            college performance.” 20 However, research into the impact of funding received through this
            model was less conclusive. 21 Researchers generally agree that PBF will likely have little
            effect on student success unless significant state funds are earmarked for the program. 22

            COLLEGE READINESS
            Redefining student success to include intermediate milestones can help recognize the
            accomplishments of students who often are not prepared for college-level coursework.
            Students entering community college are “farther behind and have greater education
            needs” than their counterparts at four-year institutions. 23 For instance, “in the fall of 2000,
            42% of first-year students at two-year public schools enrolled in at least one remedial
            course, compared to 20% at public four-year schools and 12% at private four-year
            schools.” 24 Other researchers estimate that “more than 60 percent of community college
            students receive some developmental/remedial education, at an estimated cost for $2
            billion per year.” 25 This presents challenges to community college faculty and
            16
               Figure adapted from: Friedel, J. et al. “Performance-Based Funding: The National Landscape.” University of Alabama
                 Education Policy Center, September 2013, p. 1.
                 http://www.uaedpolicy.ua.edu/uploads/2/1/3/2/21326282/pbf_9-17_web.pdf
            17
               “Student Success Points: An Overview.” Texas Success, April 2013, p. 1.
                 http://www.tacc.org/documents/Snapshot1_1_001.pdf
            18
               “‘Success Points’ Outlined.’” Texas Community College Teachers Association Blog, July 2013.
                 http://tccta.typepad.com/main/2013/07/success-points-details-outlined.html
            19
               Jenkins, D., J., Wachen, C. Moore, and N. Shulock. “Washington State Student Achievement Initiative Policy Study:
                 Final Report.” Community College Research Center, December 2012.
                 http://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/media/k2/attachments/student-achievement-initiative-final-report.pdf
            20
               Ibid., p. 36 and p. iv.
            21
               Ibid., p. iv.
            22
               : Friedel, J. et al. “Performance-Based Funding: The National Landscape.” Op. cit., p. 9.
            23
               “Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Report of The Century Foundation Task Force,” Op. cit., p. 21.
            24
               Zeidenberg, Op. cit., p. 53.
            25
               “Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Report of The Century Foundation Task Force,” Op. cit., p. 21.

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            administrators, as they must serve unprepared students who may need more support, in
            addition to the fact that it also “may result in students leaving college earlier than they
            otherwise would have.” 26 As discussed previously, community colleges are operating at
            reduced budgets, often having to cut student support funding, and overall spending “far less
            per pupil than four-year institutions” on students with greater needs. 27

            STUDENT STRATIFICATION
            Another issue is the increasing racial and economic stratification between students in two-
            and four-year institutions. From a racial and ethnic perspective, community colleges have a
            higher proportion of African American and Hispanic students than four-year colleges, and
            the pattern reverses at four-year colleges, which have a much higher proportion of white
            students, with the most extreme difference at the most selective institutions. 28 The trends
            are similar for socioeconomic status, where in 2006 “high-SES students outnumbered low-
            SES students by 14 to 1 in the most competitive four-year institutions, yet low-SES students
            outnumbered high-SES students in community colleges by nearly 2 to 1.” 29 This
            stratification, as the Century Foundation Task Force report refers to it, has increased in
            recent years.30 Because of the differences in funding and student outcomes between two-
            and four-year institutions, these trends have significant impact on equality in education. 31

            DATA-DRIVEN DECISION MAKING
            The ability to measure and track data is necessary for identifying trends in student
            outcomes achievement. For example, data management plays an integral role in
            performance-based funding models (such as the Student Success Points Model).
            Additionally, robust data sets provide faculty and staff with timely feedback and information
            about student outcomes, which allows them to alter or enhance instructional programs and
            support services. 32 This has been called a “culture of evidence” by some, and it can be a
            challenge to know how to use this information well. 33 That is, it is not enough to collect
            data, but colleges must know how to analyze and use the data to make “informed decisions
            in the classroom, in student services, [and] in human resources.” 34 Community colleges may
            strive to collect several kinds of data: 35

            26
               Zeidenberg, p. 55.
            27
               “Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Report of The Century Foundation Task Force,” Op. cit., p. 21.
            28
               Ibid., p. 18.
            29
               Ibid.
            30
               Ibid., p. 19.
            31
               Ibid.
            32
               “Eight Important Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues,
                 Trends & Strategies,” Op. cit., p. 11.
            33
               Ibid., p. 16.
            34
               Ibid., p. 12.
            35
               Ewell, P. “Data Collection and Use at Community Colleges.” United States Department of Education, pp. 89-90.
                 http://www2.ed.gov/PDFDocs/college-completion/13-data-collection-and-use-at-community-colleges.pdf

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                 §    Longitudinal data: cohort-based databases with various student demographic
                      information
                 §    Performance and outcome measures: end-point data (e.g., degree completion,
                      transfer, employment) and intermediate indicators of success (completion of
                      remedial programs, entry-level course completion, credit hour milestones, course
                      pass rates)
                 §    Non-credit programs and population: data on adults basic education, GED courses,
                      and occupational/vocational training

            TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION
            In a related vein, community colleges are increasingly aware of the benefits of incorporating
            technology into classroom instruction and institutional administration. These include
            technologies that have been around for a while, like presentation technologies and
            “classroom response systems,” as well as newer technologies, “such as remote labs,
            simulations, games, e-portfolios, social media,” and more. 36 In terms of the older
            technologies, Powerpoint has been dominant in education “for about a decade,” providing
            the foundation for most “course enhancement materials.” 37 Classroom response systems
            (CRS) used to involve the use of ‘clickers’ to gather information from a class in real-time,
            such as “true/false and multiple-choice questions,” but in recent years CRS has become
            more accessible for community colleges, as “hardware that users already have in class” like
            smartphones can be used in lieu of ‘clickers’ that need to be purchased specifically. 38 The
            newer technologies mentioned above have proven even more revolutionary for community
            colleges, as web resources and software have allowed students access to new learning
            opportunities. For example, students can now “gain remote access to expensive lab
            equipment and educational materials associated with lab experiments.”39 Because colleges
            do not have to invest in hardware or equipment for such resources, it has opened up new
            possibilities in the types of courses that can be offered by community colleges.40 Another
            benefit of such technology-driven learning is the ability to collect and track student data,
            allowing new insights about “the learner, the learner’s knowledge state and learning
            process.” 41 All of these applications of technology in the community college classroom are
            promising, but empirical studies of effectiveness tend to lag slightly behind, making it
            difficult for colleges to evaluate them accurately. 42

            36   st
               “21 -Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges: Working Briefs.” American Association of
                 Community Colleges, pp. 83. http://www.ilcccp.org/sites/default/files/pictures/aacc_briefs.pdf
            37
               Ibid., p. 83.
            38
               Ibid., p. 83.
            39
               Ibid., p. 83.
            40
               Ibid., p. 83.
            41
               Ibid., p. 86.
            42
               Ibid., p. 84.

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            INSTRUCTIONAL DELIVERY
            While technology is a valuable asset in the classroom, its impact on instructional delivery
            has also proven transformative. Increasingly, community colleges are offering online
            formats for classes. 43 Indeed, “online education has become an integral part of the growth
            of community colleges,” 44 as it appeals to many students, with more flexibility to continue
            working while studying or take classes at institutions geographically remote from them.45
            However, there is conflict in the research about the effectiveness of such learning formats.
            Some research has shown that students perform better in online class compared to
            traditional instruction, whereas other research has shown that students in online classes
            were “more likely to fail or withdraw” compared to students in traditional courses and that
            online classes “may negatively impact students’ grades.” 46 In addition to these unresolved
            issues, such courses can pose a challenge for faculty, who often must develop the course
            themselves. 47

            LEADERSHIP
            Finally, amidst all of this upheaval, community colleges are facing a shortage of leadership.
            According to a 2012 survey by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), 42
            percent of community college leaders plan to retire by 2017.48 The AACC identifies three
            specific challenges regarding leadership that community colleges must address in the
            coming years:

                 §   The pool of current leaders is graying and approaching retirement.
                 §   The pool of potential presidents is shrinking.
                 §   The continuous rotation and recomposition of governing boards means that at any
                     given a significant number of board members are relatively new to their
                     responsibilities.49

            43
               “Eight Important Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues,
                 Trends & Strategies,” Op. cit., p. 8.
            44
               “Eight Important Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues,
                 Trends & Strategies,” Op. cit., p. 8.
            45
               Halsne, A. and L. Gatta. “Online Versus Traditionally-delivered Instruction: A Descriptive Study of Learner
                 Characteristics in a Community College Setting.” Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 5;1,
                 Spring 2002. http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/spring51/halsne51.html
            46        st
               [1] “21 -Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges: Working Briefs,” Op. cit., p. 83. [2] Summary of
                 Jaggars, S. “Online Learning in Community Colleges.” Community College Research Center, December 2012.
                 http://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/publications/online-learning-community-colleges.html
            47
               “Eight Important Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues,
                 Trends & Strategies,” Op. cit., p. 8.
            48
               As reported in: “Crisis and Opportunity: Aligning the Community College Presidency with Student Success.” The
                 Aspen Institution and Achieving the Dream, 2012, p. 3.
                 http://www.aspeninstitute.org/sites/default/files/content/docs/pubs/CEP_Final_Report.pdf
            49
               Bulleted points taken verbatim from: “Reclaiming the American Dream…” Op. cit., p. 17.

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            SECTION II: P LANNING FOR THE FUTURE
            This section reviews specific strategies that community colleges may use to address each
            challenge identified in this report. First, the section identifies two broad tools, innovation
            and strategic planning, that help community colleges to plan for the future across a variety
            of challenges and issues. Next, the section identifies initiatives or strategies that target
            specific challenges.

            TOOLS FOR FUTURE PLANNING
            INNOVATION
            One of the key ways an organization can address future issues is through innovation. The
            League for Innovation in the Community College gives “Innovation of the Year” awards to
            innovative projects within applicant institutions. 50 In a survey of 117 previous award
            recipients, some patterns emerge. 51 According to this set of respondents, teamwork is very
            important to innovation in community colleges. 52 Because of this, the report suggests that
            “administrators would be wise… to create policies and practices to encourage more
            teamwork and collaboration around the innovative process.” 53 The support of innovators’
            “own department or division” was most often ranked as the most important source of non-
            financial support, and the innovating team’s “enthusiasm and perseverance” was the most
            important factor in the success of the innovation. 54 Finally, the authors of the report were
            surprised that more respondents did not indicate that their primary source of financial
            support was from the college. 55 While it was within the top three most ranked items, they
            expected it to be higher. The other two top responses were that the innovating team did
            not receive any financial support or that they received external grants and contracts. 56

            STRATEGIC PLANNING
            Another tool for change, improvement, and planning the future is strategic planning. This
            approach originated in business and has been adopted by educational institutions in the
            past decades. As part of the strategic planning process, typically a planning team is
            assembled from a variety of stakeholders that will determine a mission, a vision, beliefs, and
            goals for the institution. 57 This provides a framework for the college to direct resources
            towards these established goals. (Certainly, innovation can be both a process and outcome
            of the strategic planning process.) The Achieving the Dream (AtD) initiative, which aims to
            50
               “Innovation of the Year Awards.” The League for Innovation in the Community College.
                 http://www.league.org/league/competitions/innovations/
            51
               “The Nature of Innovation in the Community College.” The League for Innovation in the Community College, 2010.
                 http://www.league.org/league/projects/nature_of_innovation/files/Nature%20of%20Innovation%20Report.pdf
            52
               Ibid., p. 10.
            53
               Ibid.
            54
               Ibid., pp. 12-13.
            55
               Ibid., pp. 11-12.
            56
               Ibid.
            57
               Kim, Y. “Program Evaluation for Strategic Planning and Resource Management.” KJEP, 8:2, 2011, p. 304
             Citing Johnson, G., and K. Scholes. Exploring corporate strategy. Hemel Hempstead, UK: Prentice Hall, 1989.

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            help “more community college students succeed” by working with over 200 community
            colleges, has established a list of 10 essentials for colleges that have made progress with
            AtD. 58 Included in this is strategic planning, as it supports two of the essentials on this list. 59
            The first is “broad and continuous faculty/staff/student/community engagement and
            collaboration in support of a student success agenda;” strategic planning is one of the ways
            that colleges have achieved this, as it is a process that allows these stakeholders to “create a
            shared vision,” talk more openly, and take “shared ownership of the problem.” 60 The other
            essential on the list refers to the integration of a college’s student success agenda with
            “other significant initiatives such as accreditation, strategic planning, Title III and Title V.”61
            Similar to the point above, strategic planning benefits colleges and their improvement
            efforts because “the will to decide and the discipline to focus make a significant difference
            in colleges making progress” – strategic planning formalizes that will.62 In short, strategic
            planning is valuable in the way it can engage stakeholders in shared goals; the ways that
            institutions go about achieving the goals created in the strategic planning process are what
            will determine its impact on student success.

            FUNDING
            In response to decreasing budgets, community colleges have begun to look for other
            sources of funding. One source of such funding is from foundations, which have “recognized
            the critical role of community colleges in serving less-advantaged populations.” 63 The
            federal government (e.g., National Science Foundation) also provides community colleges
            with various grants. 64 However, getting these grants can be a challenge, as “there is not
            much bandwidth to take on grant writing and grant proposals” at some colleges where
            budgets are tight, much less hire experienced staff. 65 One suggested solution is to “conduct
            workshops and training sessions, on a voluntary basis, that would alert and inform faculty of
            where support resources might exist.” 66Others suggest that community colleges are likely to
            increase tuition and fees to address state funding cuts. In fact, tuition rates at community
            colleges nationwide have been increasing at a rate more than double the rate of inflation. 67

            The American Association of Community Colleges urges community colleges to embrace the
            diversity of their mission and student base when budgeting:

            58
               [1] “About Us.” Achieving the Dream. http://www.achievingthedream.org/about
                     st
            [2] “21 -Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges: Working Briefs,” Op. cit., pp. 53-54.
            59     st
               “21 -Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges: Working Briefs,” Op. cit., pp. 55-57.
            60
               Ibid., p. 56.
            61
               Ibid., p. 57.
            62
               Ibid.
            63
               Zeidenberg, Op. cit., p. 56.
            64
               “Eight Important Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues,
                 Trends & Strategies,” Op. cit. p. 13.
            65
               Ibid.
            66
               Ibid.
            67
               Katsinas, S. et al. “Halfway Out of a Recession…” Op. cit., p. 6.

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                     The leaders of community colleges should plan for a future in which the many
                     dimensions of diversity in clients and missions continue to dominate the strategic
                     environment. This suggests that a variety of efforts, from the education of
                     individuals with disabilities to the support services required to serve an aging
                     student client base, should be incorporated into the core budgeting and funding of
                     institutions. 68

            COLLEGE READINESS
            Another major issue for community colleges is the level of student preparation. Remedial
            instruction is one way that institutions have typically helped students prepare for college
            level coursework. 69 However, students dislike taking remedial courses, feeling they should
            be ready for college-level work, and the effectiveness of such courses is not necessarily
            proven. 70 Research suggests that “less than 25 percent [of developmental education
            students] earn a degree or certificate within eight years of enrollment. 71

            One alternative suggestion is to “improve coordination between high schools and colleges,”
            so that students enter community colleges more prepared. 72 In fact, some point to the poor
            alignment between K-12 public education and the postsecondary system as the reason
            many students arrive to college unprepared. 73 One report recommends establishing
            collaborations between K-12 districts and community college in the interest of “developing
            a college-going culture, building students’ college success skills, and expanding
            dual/concurrent enrollment and other strategies for accelerating the progress of students
            on the college pathway.” 74 As K-12 districts adopt the Common Core State Standards and
            “revamp their curricular pathways,” it would likely benefit community colleges to find ways
            to sync higher education expectations with these reforms.75

            In the further interest of student success, it is also important that community colleges
            create strong links between two- and four-year colleges. The majority of community college
            students (81.4 percent) aim to complete a bachelor’s degree by transitioning to a four-year
            college, but within six years only 11.6 percent of them do so. 76 This disproportionately
            affects “Hispanic, Black, Native American, and low-income students.” 77 By solidifying
            connections between two- and four-year colleges, community colleges can improve student

            68
               Merisotis, J. and Wolanin, T. “Community College Financing: Strategies and Challenges.” American Association of
                 Community Colleges. http://www.aacc.nche.edu/Resources/aaccprograms/pastprojects/Pages/ccfinancing.aspx
            69
               Zeidenberg, Op. cit., p. 53.
            70
               Ibid., pp. 53-55.
            71     st
               “21 -Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges: Working Briefs.” American Association of
                 Community Colleges, p. 43. http://www.ilcccp.org/sites/default/files/pictures/aacc_briefs.pdf
            72
               Ibid., p. 55.
            73     st
               “21 -Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges: Working Briefs,” Op. cit., p. 43.
            74
               “Reclaiming the American Dream: Community Colleges and the Nation’s Future.” American Association of
                 Community Colleges, 2012, p. 26. http://www.aacc.nche.edu/AboutCC/21stcenturyreport/21stCenturyReport.pdf
            75
               “Eight Important Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues,
                 Trends & Strategies,” Op. cit. p. 4.
            76
               “Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Report of The Century Foundation Task Force,” Op. cit., p. 3.
            77
               “Reclaiming the American Dream,” Op. cit., p. 9.

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Hanover Research | December 2013

            outcomes and possibly impact the student stratification and achievement gaps discussed in
            the previous section. 78

            The Century Foundation Task Force recommends steps that states and four-year institutions
            can take to facilitate this, such as ‘guaranteed transfer’ policies and clear pathways for
            transfer, respectively. 79 For community colleges, they suggest “blending elements of two-
            and four-year colleges in one setting – such as by creating bachelor’s degree programs that
            are delivered jointly by two- and four-year institutions and require only a single point of
            entry in the freshman year.” 80

            While many community college students intend to transfer to a four-year institution to
            complete a bachelor’s degree, others are looking for a direct path to the workforce. 81 In
            order to best prepare students for jobs, community colleges can forge partnerships with
            “small and big businesses for the development of employee training programs.” 82 In such
            partnerships, businesses can inform the college of what skills they are looking for in a
            potential employee, even tailored to the particular geographic area. 83 In one example,
            Gatorade opened a new facility in West Virginia that used new technologies. Gatorade and
            the local community college worked together “to train new employees in industrial
            maintenance, and hundreds of people now have jobs because of their partnership.” 84 While
            there are fears of “turning community colleges into corporate training venues,” the modern
            workforce requires that employees have both an academic background as well as vocational
            training. 85 It seems navigating this line while still adequately preparing students for the
            workforce will be essential for community colleges in the future.

            DATA-DRIVEN DECISION MAKING
            In order to measure the impact of programs intended to improve student success, experts
            highlight the need for community colleges to foster “a culture of evidence.” 86 By collecting
            and using research and data effectively and accurately, community colleges can better make
            improvements for the future. Institutions can identify programs or methods that positively
            what impact student success and explore ways to enhance those programs or methods. In a

            78
               “Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Report of The Century Foundation Task Force,” Op. cit., p. 8.
            79
               Ibid., p. 8.
            80
               Ibid.
            81
               [1] “Eight Important Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues,
                 Trends & Strategies,” Op. cit. p. 7.
            [2] “What Does it Really Mean to be College and Work Ready?” National Center on Education and the Economy, May
                 2013, p. i.
            82
               “Eight Important Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues,
                 Trends & Strategies,” Op. cit. p. 7.
            83
               Slack, M. “Building the Workforce of the Future at Community Colleges.” The White House Blog, March 2012.
                 http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/03/28/building-workforce-future-community-colleges
            84
               Ibid.
            85     st
               “21 -Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges: Working Briefs,” Op. cit., p. 77.
            86
               “Securing the Future: Retention Models in Community Colleges.” The College Board, 2012, p. 13.
                 http://advocacy.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/community-college-security-future-retention-models-
                 5875.pdf

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                         14
Hanover Research | December 2013

            survey of leaders from 236 nationwide community colleges, over half of responding
            institutions reported they were using data to a great extent “to support assertions about
            what works in campus discussions on promoting student success.”87 Having institutional
            researchers “who have the experience required for conducting these analyses, as well as the
            assigned task of doing so,” is integral to the success of such efforts. 88 The larger institutions
            tend to have more such employees. 89 Regardless of the number of employees, all
            institutions in the survey reported “analyzing student outcomes – retention rates, transfer
            rates, and degree or certificate completion rates – once a year or more.”90

            TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION
            It will be important for community colleges to embrace technology. While it is becoming
            widely accepted that this is necessary, it is important to do so intelligently. That is, simply
            putting technology into classrooms is not sufficient; instead, the use of technology should
            indicate a “fundamental change in the way teaching and learning experiences are
            developed, delivered and improved year after year.” 91 Some colleges have addressed this by
            developing a leadership team or group dedicated to technology, in order to identify
            strengths, gaps, and national and local trends. Trends include exploring devices other than
            the computer, such as tablets and smartphones, to encourage access to content and
            information. 92

            INSTRUCTIONAL DELIVERY
            This extends to effective instructional delivery, as well. While more and more colleges are
            developing their virtual presence and offering online courses, it is important that
            institutions do so purposefully and thoughtfully. Offering a course online can represent
            significant work for a faculty member on an individual level. Thus, new models are
            emerging, such as the “systematic integrated approach,” in which a basic online course is
            developed by experts in content and technology, and then faculty teach this course with
            capabilities to augment or personalize it as needed. 93 In such a model, if more sections of a
            class are needed, additional faculty can be brought on to use the same basic course,
            whereas previously, another individual faculty member may have created his own course.

            87
               Ibid., p. 19.
            88
               Ibid.
            89
               Ibid.
            90
               Ibid.
            91     st
               “21 -Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges: Working Briefs,” Op. cit., p. 82.
            92
               Ibid., p. 8.
            93
               Ibid., p. 9.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                  15
Hanover Research | December 2013

            LEADERSHIP
            Given the predicted dearth of community college leadership in the next decade,
            professional development may help toward solving this issue.94 Professional development
            can help align potential leaders “with the priorities and strategies of a student success
            agenda,” helping colleges make the transitions needed to achieve those types of goals.95
            Currently, the path to becoming a leader of a community college is a “rigid” one; by
            developing a professional development program, community colleges may be able to
            develop leaders internally, instead of hiring externally. 96 Another suggestion is to develop
            an “administrator internship program,” which would allow prospective leaders to develop
            “important administrative skills before they take on full blown administrative
            assignments.” 97

            94
               Ibid., p. 16.
            95     st
               “21 -Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges: Working Briefs,” Op. cit., pp. 56-57.
            96
               Riggs, Op. cit., p. 2.
            97
               Ibid., p. 2.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                 16
Hanover Research | December 2013

            SECTION III: CASE PROFILES
            This section profiles a selection of four community colleges. They each have addressed an
            issue from the previous sections: aligning with K-12 districts, budget concerns, workforce
            development, and data and technology. Three of these colleges were the winners of the
            2013 Bellwether Award. This award is given by the Community College Futures Assembly to
            “outstanding and innovative programs and practices that are successfully leading
            community colleges into the future.” 98 Applicants are selected based on their submission,
            their fit with the conference theme, and identified critical issues. 99 The fourth college was a
            2013 Bellwether Finalist; while it was not selected to win the award in its category, the
            program for which it was nominated is very robust and provides a strong example of future
            planning.

            ELGIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE (ELGIN, IL)
            Elgin Community College (ECC) is a community college outside of Chicago, IL, that enrolls
            over 11,000 students annually. 100 It is a part of District 509, which is one of 39 other
            community college districts in Illinois. 101 The district draws from 11 public high schools and
            four private high schools.102 The majority of students (69.3 percent) attend on a part-time
            basis. 103

            ECC was picked as the winner among other finalists in the Instructional Programs and
            Services category of the 2013 Bellwether Awards. It won for its “Alliance for College
            Readiness” initiative, which has the motto “One school can do so little; together we can do
            so much.” 104 This initiative is a “collaborative partnership between ECC and the public
            school districts in College District 509.” 105 The goal is to prepare students for college-level
            courses so that all students “can experience success after high school.” 106

            Approximately 250 faculty and staff from ECC and the public school districts work in teams
            “to establish a common understanding of college and career readiness, to better align
            curriculum and instruction and to foster effective communication systems between
            students, educators, and parents.” 107 In addition to their work on the instruction side to

            98
               “Bellwether.” Community College Futures Assembly. http://education.ufl.edu/futures/bellwether-history/
            99
               Ibid.
            100
                “Elgin Community College.” National Center for Education Statistics.
                 http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?q=elgin+community+college&s=IL&id=144944
            101
                “District 509.” Elgin Community College. http://elgin.edu/aboutus.aspx?id=56
            102
                Ibid.
            103
                Ibid.
            104
                [1] “ECC is a Bellwether Award Winner.” Elgin Community College.
                 http://elgin.edu/news.aspx?id=18953&terms=bellwether [2] “CCFA Bellwether Awards Fete Top Community
                 College Innovators.” University of Florida College of Education. http://education.ufl.edu/news/2013/01/30/ccfa-
                 bellwether-awards-fete-top-community-college-innovators/
            105
                “Alliance for College Readiness.” Elgin Community College. http://elgin.edu/community.aspx?id=2664
            106
                Ibid.
            107
                [1] “Alliance for College Readiness,” Op. cit. [2] “ECC is a Bellwether Award Winner,” Op. cit.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                          17
Hanover Research | December 2013

            facilitate the transition between high school and college, these teams have produced
            presentations and handouts aimed at parents to inform them on helping their children. 108

            ECC introduced this program in 2006. 109 Since then, they have seen a six percent increase,
            from 24 to 32 percent, in the proportion of high school graduates who arrive at ECC
            “completely college-ready.” 110 Moreover, the percentage of high school graduates enrolling
            at ECC in need of remedial coursework “has decreased 8 percent overall, and 10 percent in
            mathematics.” 111

            PIEDMONT TECHNICAL COLLEGE (GREENWOOD, SC)
            Piedmont Technical College (PTC) is a two-year technical college serving seven counties in
            South Carolina. It enrolls over 6,000 students annually, with the majority attending part-
            time (57 percent). 112 It offers a variety of “career studies” programs as well as a transfer
            curriculum. 113

            PTC won the 2013 Bellwether Award for Planning Governance and Finance for “LEAN in
            Higher Education: How it Continues to Change Our Culture.” 114 LEAN is a “methodology
            designed to increase efficiency, to decrease waste, and to use empirical methods to
            redesign processes to produce maximum value.” 115 It has been applied through the private
            sector, made famous by Toyota, but education is “somewhat new territory for the
            methodology.” 116 PTC chose to implement LEAN in 2008, as their leadership was “working
            to determine how to continue to deliver high quality programming in a time of declining
            revenue.” 117 They have truly embraced the methodology, applying it across the institution,
            and also now offering classes in LEAN to their students and holding summits for other
            community colleges on how to apply it. 118

            With LEAN, the goal is to “get better instead of entering into a downward cycle of
            retrenchment and cutting.” 119 It is a democratic process, giving all faculty and staff at PTC to

            108
                “College Readiness Presentations & Handouts.” Elgin Community College.
                 http://elgin.edu/community.aspx?id=3912
            109
                “ECC is a Bellwether Award Winner,” Op. cit.
            110
                Ibid.
            111
                “CCFA Bellwether Awards Fete Top Community College Innovators,” Op. cit.
            112
                “Piedmont Technical College.” National Center for Education Statistics.
                 http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?q=piedmont+technical+college&s=SC&id=218520
            113
                “About.” Piedmont Technical College. http://www.ptc.edu/about
            114
                “CCFA Bellwether Awards Fete Top Community College Innovators,” Op. cit.
            115
                “PTC Wins Prestigious Bellwether Award.” Piedmont Technical College. http://www.ptc.edu/news/ptc-wins-
                 prestigious-bellwether-award
            116
                [1] “PTC Wins Prestigious Bellwether Award,” Op. cit. [2] “5 Reasons to Implement LEAN in Higher Education.”
                 Piedmont Technical College Blog. http://www.ptc.edu/blog/5-reasons-implement-lean-your-institution
            117
                “PTC Wins Prestigious Bellwether Award,” Op. cit.
            118
                [1] “Lean Training.” Piedmont Technical College. http://www.ptc.edu/continuing-ed/training-businesses/lean-
                 training [2] “Higher Ed Summit Shared PTC’s LEAN Initiative.” Piedmont Technical College.
                 http://www.ptc.edu/news/higher-ed-summit-shares-ptc%E2%80%99s-lean-initiative
            119
                “PTC Recognized for Lean Implementation for Second Year.” Piedmont Technical College.
                 http://www.ptc.edu/news/ptc-recognized-lean-implementation-second-year

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                      18
Hanover Research | December 2013

            “drive change.” 120 LEAN trainers teach all employees about the methodology through a
            process that has been refined over time.121 As issues are identified, teams are assembled to
            apply LEAN methodology to problem-solve.122

            The LEAN in Higher Education blog shared success stories where the methodology has been
            applied in effective ways – letting PTC improve performance or cut costs without any extra
            expenditure. For example, a team of faculty and staff were assigned to an issue around wait
            times in the financial aid office. During peak times, the wait to get assistance with financial
            aid needs became considerable, and it was regardless of the complexity of their request. 123
            Using LEAN principles, the assigned team developed a “triage method of assisting students.”
            Students coming to the financial aid office sign in and identify what they need resolved.
            Students with “simpler needs,” such as picking up a form, are served first, while students
            with “more complex needs” wait for an available counselor. 124 Wait time has been reduced,
            student satisfaction has increased, and staff now have more time to work with the students
            who need them most.125 LEAN techniques were also applied to the issue of gown rentals for
            faculty for graduation ceremonies.126 There were inefficiencies of cost and distribution in
            the current process; analysis showed that purchasing the gowns would reduce both of these
            issues. 127

            CHATTANOOGA STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE (CHATTANOOGA, TN)
            Chattanooga State Community College (CSCC) is a community college in Chattanooga, TN. It
            enrolls around 10,000 students annually, over half on a part-time basis.128 It offers both
            transfer and career programs.129

            CSCC received the 2013 Bellwether Award in Workforce Development for their Wacker
            Institute initiative. 130 Established in 2012, the Wacker Institute represents a partnership
            between Chattanooga State and Wacker Polysilicon, North America. 131 The goal of the
            institute is to “offer programs of study that will produce the best educated and trained
            technicians in the chemical manufacturing industry through a unique and rigorous

            120
                Ibid.
            121
                “Continuous Improvement: ‘Leaning’ Lean.” Piedmont Technical College.
                 http://programs.ptc.edu/lean/2013/10/08/continuous-improvement-leaning-lean/
            122
                “Success Story: Financial Aid Wait Time.” Piedmont Technical College.
                 http://programs.ptc.edu/lean/2013/11/05/success-story-financial-aid-wait-time/
            123
                Ibid.
            124
                Ibid.
            125
                Ibid.
            126
                “Success Story: Faculty Gowns.” Piedmont Technical College. http://programs.ptc.edu/lean/2013/08/21/success-
                 story-faculty-gowns/
            127
                Ibid.
            128
                “Chattanooga State Community College.” National Center for Education Statistics.
                 http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=TN&zc=37343&zd=25&of=3&id=219824
            129
                “Academic Programs.” Chattanooga State Community College.
                 https://www.chattanoogastate.edu/academics/index.html
            130
                “Chattanooga State Honored with the Prestigious Bellwether Award.” Chattanooga State Community College.
                 http://www.chattanoogastate.edu/pressreleases/?p=1302
            131
                Ibid.

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                      19
Hanover Research | December 2013

            educational collaborative.” 132 Upon completion of the program, graduates can receive
            either an “associate of applied science degree (A.A.S.) in Engineering Technology or an
            embedded certificate in other technical areas of emphasis.” 133 CSCC’s Engineering
            Technology program has also formed partnerships to establish other institutes, such as the
            Volkswagen Academy and the Building and Construction Institute of the Southeast. 134

            The Wacker Institute was established through the partnership of these two organizations.
            Wacker Polysilicon donated $3 million dollars “toward the construction of a state-of-the-art
            chemical training plant for the Institute.” 135 This training plant mimics an actual plant of the
            company. Training from the Institute incorporates both “theory and hands-on experiences”
            in the 25,000 square foot Institute. 136

            The Wacker Institute does not guarantee employment with Wacker Polysilicon, but
            graduates are “highly competitive for employment consideration” and have the skills to
            work “in other manufacturing facilities in the region.” 137

            EL PASO COMMUNITY COLLEGE (EL PASO, TX)
            El Paso Community College (EPCC) is a community college in El Paso, serving El Paso and
            Hudspeth counties with five campuses.138 It enrolls over 32,000 students annually, the
            majority (68 percent) attend part-time. 139 It offers both career and transfer programs. 140

            EPCC was recognized as a 2013 Bellwether Finalist for a program it called “Math Emporium
            Redesign: Using the Force of High-Technology for the Good of High-Touch Teaching and
            Learning.” 141 In 2009, EPCC received funding to redesign its developmental education (DE)
            math courses. 142 Based on an earlier pilot, a ‘math emporium’ model was developed, which
            is an on-campus lab in which students use software that allows them to have a more
            individual experience and “accelerate their experiences in DE math.” 143 Math emporiums

            132
                Ibid.
            133
                Ibid.
            134
                “Partnerships.” Chattanooga State Community College. http://www.chattanoogastate.edu/engineering-
                 technology/partnerships/
            135
                “Wacker Institute.” Chattanooga State Community College. http://www.chattanoogastate.edu/engineering-
                 technology/partnerships/wacker-institute/index.html
            136
                “Chattanooga State Honored with the Prestigious Bellwether Award,” Op. cit.
            137
                “Wacker FAQs.” Chattanooga State Community College. http://www.chattanoogastate.edu/engineering-
                 technology/partnerships/wacker-institute/faqs.html
            138
                “Math Emporium Redesign.” El Paso Community College, pp. 5-6.
                 http://www.epcc.edu/VicePresidentofInstruction/Documents/Math_Emporium_Redesign_Jan_2013.pdf
            139
                “El Paso Community College.” National Center for Education Statistics.
                 http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?q=El+paso+community+college&s=TX&id=224642
            140
                “Prospective Students.” El Paso Community College.
                 http://www.epcc.edu/prospectivestudents/Pages/default.aspx
            141
                “2013 Bellwether Finalists.” University of Florida College of Education. http://education.ufl.edu/futures/2013-
                 bellwether-finalists/
            142
                “Math Emporium Redesign,” Op. cit., p. 12.
            143
                [1] “Math Emporiums Initiative.” El Paso Community College.
                 http://www.epcc.edu/VicePresidentofInstruction/Documents/Math_Emporiums.pdf [2] Milliron, M. “Online

© 2013 Hanover Research | Academy Administration Practice                                                                         20
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