Access

May 2022
In response to a pandemic that has disrupted lives and derailed plans for so many in its service district, Indian River State College (IRSC) has made its most significant investment ever in eliminating barriers to higher education. The college introduced the IRSC Promise in March at a special assembly for Fort Pierce Central High School seniors. Funded by the IRSC Foundation, the Promise is a tuition-paid program for qualifying 2022 high school graduates from public and public charter schools in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie counties who seek to earn associate degrees at...
May 2022
Community colleges are uniquely situated to address the nation’s need for a highly innovative, adaptable, and skilled workforce. At the federal and state levels, funding is available for design and delivery of workforce-building programs combining academic excellence, technical training, and practical experience. Santa Fe College (SF) in Gainesville, Florida, has received a state grant to create a STEM-focused charter high school. The charter school will provide students with the tools needed to be successful in the 21st century workforce. SF’s vision is to ensure that each charter school...
May 2022
Accessibility as a cultural and societal responsibility has been gaining momentum, but perhaps by most standards, not fast enough. Twenty-two percent of Canadians 15 years of age or older have at least one disability (Statistics Canada, 2018). Among persons with disabilities, 60 percent report having a mental health-related disability (Statistics Canada, 2018). Persons with mental health and learning disabilities comprise the two largest groups of students who employ Accessible Learning services at Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. Historically, postsecondary...
April 2022
Mesa Community College (MCC) launched its second Z Degree program, an Associate in Arts with an emphasis in communication, beginning in the spring 2022 semester. The college’s first Z Degree, an Arizona General Education Curriculum certificate and general associate’s degree, was introduced in 2019. A Z Degree is offered completely online with zero textbook costs, saving students time and money. “The Z Degree offers students greater flexibility, enabling them to take classes that fit their schedule. We built this program for the students who want flexibility, less distraction, and less cost...
April 2022
On February 3, 2021, I participated in a California panel discussion hosted by the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Columbia University that addressed the cost benefits of adopting a guided pathways model. The discussion focused on two CCRC reports: The Economics of Guided Pathways: Cost, Funding, and Value (Belfield, 2020) and Funding Guided Pathways: A Guide for Community College Leaders (Jenkins et al., 2020). Based on my experience as President of Bakersfield College (BC), I assert that both reports can be extremely useful for administrators responsible for budgets, best...
March 2022
In August of 2020, Rio Salado College became a founding partner of the College Innovation Network (CIN), which was designed to connect leaders from colleges and universities with EdTech innovators to advance students’ academic, career, and life outcomes (Flores, 2020). In August 2021, CIN, an initiative spearheaded by WGU Labs, published the results of a multi-institution survey aimed at understanding students’ learning experiences with education technology (EdTech) during the 2020-2021 academic year.  The New Digital Divide: How EdTech Self-Efficacy is Shaping the Online Student Learning...
February 2022
Calhoun Community College and Drake State Community & Technical College officials have developed a partnership that will not only address learning obstacles for adult learners, but job training needs as well. Greater Opportunities for Adult Learners (GOAL) is a free program designed specifically for individuals who do not have a high school diploma and want to become more employable. Individuals who enroll in the program have access to educational resources focused on improving their reading, math, and language skills to obtain a GED, learn English as a second language, and/or earn a...
January 2022
Students are drawn to the arts through their desire to create, perform, express, and interact with other people. In March 2020, the give and take, central to creating art, was gone. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many students in the visual and performing arts to create in boxes on computer screens with spotty picture resolutions and sound distortions, depending on Internet speed, the weather, devices, and countless other factors. Kirkwood Community College, like numerous other institutions, scrambled to figure out how to get art materials, microphones, speakers, and Internet access to students...
October 2021
College students who are parents, a.k.a., student-parents, have always been enrolled in community colleges, but only within the past few years have they been explicitly recognized as a distinct student group with a unique set of support needs. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (2018), more than one in five postsecondary students in the U.S. is a student-parent. This holds true at Monroe Community College (MCC), where 21.4 percent of students enrolled in 2019-2020 had children under age 18 (DeMario, 2021). Student-Parent Risk Factors Figure 1 shows that MCC’s student-...
October 2021
Johnson County Community College (JCCC) has partnered with Butler Community College (BCC) to offer expanded training in culinary arts. This opportunity allows JCCC to extend the benefits of its Chef Apprenticeship program to more Kansas students. In turn, the collaboration strengthens state and local workforce opportunities. Through this agreement, BCC is offering two additional certificates to students in South Central Kansas. The new certificate options use existing BCC culinary courses with the addition of practicum courses from JCCC. Along with invaluable industry training, students in...
July 2021
For decades, Jackson College (JC) has been a U.S. leader in providing higher education access and opportunity to incarcerated students. The town of Jackson, Michigan, has long been known as a “prison city,” and three large correctional facilities are located less than 15 miles from JC’s Central Campus. In 1967, the college offered its first class “inside the walls.” In 1969-1970, a pilot prison education program for the Southern Michigan Prison was launched to provide qualifying inmates an opportunity to further their education. Jackson Community College (as it was then called) was one of 26...
March 2021
Almost half of U.S. community college students responding to the #RealCollege survey conducted by The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice indicated that they had experienced food insecurity within the 30 days before completing the survey (Goldrick-Rab et al., 2019). In response, an increasing number of community colleges are working to eliminate food insecurity for students and their families. Through programs such as on-campus food pantries, community gardens, farmers’ markets, and food scholarships, colleges are finding solutions for students and, in some cases, staff who are...
February 2021
In fiscal year 2019-2020, Sinclair Community College (Sinclair) received $10,000 from StrivePartnership Cincinnati and Learn to Earn Dayton to develop and implement a strategic communication plan to reach students who had stopped out in the previous two years without completing a degree from any postsecondary institution. Sinclair chose to expand their reach beyond the originally funded 2,000 students to include an additional 6,300 students who had stopped out in the previous five years. The communication strategy consisted of a combination of intentional personalized phone calls, email, mail...
January 2021
Rio Salado College is one of 67 postsecondary institutions to be included in an expansion of the U.S. Department of Education’s Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative. One-hundred and thirty colleges in 42 states and the District of Columbia will now be involved in this initiative, which provides need-based Pell grants for people incarcerated in state and federal prisons to pursue higher learning. The majority of incarcerated individuals are Pell-eligible, but they have been banned from applying for assistance since 1994 as a result of the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law...
October 2020
Like many newcomers to Canada, Malvika Mahajan immigrated to Toronto to find a better life for her family. She was anxious about restarting her career in a new country, despite having many years of experience as a supply chain specialist in India, including work for a large multinational corporation. To create a roadmap that would land her a professional role in Canada, Malvika joined the Supply Chain Management bridging program at Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in January 2020, eager to learn as much as possible about how her field operates in Canada and to...
September 2020
Founded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2013, the Center for Laser and Fiber Optics Education (LASER-TEC) faced a new challenge as the spread of COVID-19 impacted LASER-TEC institutions. Headquartered at Indian River State College (IRSC) in Fort Pierce, Florida, LASER-TEC is comprised of colleges, universities, high schools and technical centers, trade associations, and laser and fiber optics companies throughout the United States. The center’s mission is to develop and sustain a strong technical workforce in lasers and fiber optics nationwide. Remaining committed to that goal,...
September 2020
San Diego Mesa College is partnering with San Diego Unified School District, San Diego State University (SDSU), and National University to mold a new generation of K-12 educators from diverse backgrounds who reflect the students they teach. The Teacher Pathway Inclusion Program was launched in April 2019 and includes a bevy of support services to create a seamless route for high school students to earn a bachelor of arts degree and teaching credential, with an emphasis on filling a growing need in science, mathematics, and special education. Mesa College aims to enroll 50 students...
May 2020
Phoenix College (PC), one of ten colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD), was established in 1920. Located in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona, PC is one of the oldest community colleges in the United States, serves more than 17,000 students annually, and is designated by the Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). The college opened its doors during a period of racial unrest and was one of the only institutions to support a diverse student body at that time. Today, PC remains a staple in the community as a social justice-conscious college,...
February 2020
Leadership at Mesa Community College (MCC) and Mesa Public Schools (MPS) worked together to strategize methods to increase persistence and college attendance for high school students, with an emphasis on populations facing the most challenges. The resulting Mesa Community College High School Advisor Program creates a one-stop enrollment experience and is increasing the number of Mesa public high school students enrolling at the college. Through the partnership, an MCC college advisor is embedded in each of the six MPS high schools to recruit students, provide seamless transition to MCC,...
January 2020
Researchers define a first-generation student as the first member of a family to attend college (Chen, 2005; Ishitani, 2006; Redford & Mulvaney Hoyer, 2017). In the U.S., these students are more likely to be African American or Hispanic (Chen, 2005), come from a lower socioeconomic status (Jenkins, Miyazaki, & Janosik, 2009; Redford & Mulvaney Hoyer, 2017), and have a higher rate of attrition at the collegiate level than their counterparts (Chen, 2005; Lohfink & Paulsen, 2005; Nuñez & Cuccaro-Alamin, 1998). Students who are first-generation as well as low-income are at a...

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