Transforming Colleges For The New Century

Career College Central summary:

  • When the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) released its 2012 report, “Reclaiming the American Dream: Community Colleges and the Nation’s Future,” the educators and thought leaders behind the initiative knew it would only go as far as the nation’s community college leaders were willing to carry it. Two years and more than 120 volunteers later, the initiative continues to gather steam, challenging educators, policymakers, workforce partners and other stakeholders to rethink how they deliver education and measure student success.
  • Reclaiming the American Dream is the cornerstone of AACC’s 21st-Century Initiative, launched in 2011 with the goal of outfitting an additional 5 million students with degrees, certificates or other credentials by 2020. Phase 1 featured a nationwide “listening tour” by AACC staff, who gathered input from more than 1,300 students, college faculty and staff, administrators, trustees, state policymakers and college presidents and chancellors.
  • Phase 2 established the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges, a group of community college leaders charged with safeguarding the fundamental mission of community colleges and imagining a new path forward for their institutions, their students and, ultimately, the nation.
  • That work resulted in the formation of a special Steering Committee and nine Implementation Teams, dedicated to helping community colleges carry out the recommendations outlined in AACC’s "Reclaiming the American Dream" report. After meeting for more than a year — in person and via teleconference and social media — the implementation teams' finding were released last month at the AACC annual convention in an implementation guide.

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