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 New Expeditions Issues Papers 

The New Expeditions project commissioned several papers on topics critical to community colleges. The authors were asked to write on the topic based on their vision of the future of community colleges. We hope these papers will encourage discussion within community college circles. We welcome your comments and questions.

Access:

Student Access in Community Colleges
by Michael T. Nettles and Catherine M. Millett

Community colleges provide greater access and flexibility to their students than virtually any other sector of higher education. This committment to access has brought with it a daunting challenge, however, as community colleges now find themselves defending their identity as college-level institutions. Community colleges must find a way to collect crucial data in such areas as student profiles, student progress, and student needs in order to justify and verify the community college mission, particularly the commitment to open access.

Reexamining the Community College Mission
by Amaury Nora

This paper addresses the history and current status of community colleges by examining trends in enrollment patterns, persistence rates, associate degree attainment, and transfer rates. The paper then considers the future of community colleges with regard to diversity, technology, operational reforms, and priorities for action.

Fulfilling the Promise of Access and Opportunity: Collaborative Community Colleges for the 21st Century
by Laura Rendón

This paper outlines a vision of collaborative community colleges for the 21st century. The future of community colleges, as democratic agencies concerned with access and retention of diverse students, is contingent upon the extent to which colleges can forge relationships within and outside the colleges. These relationships, or collaborations, address the organizational culture; foster  validating classrooms; preserve access and opportunity; serve a multitude of clients through technology and distance learning; and prepare students for the workforce, for further education, and for lives of commitment and social service.


Faculty:

Public Community College Faculty
by Tronie Rifkin

The community college professoriate teaches an increasingly wide range and growing number of students across an array of collegiate, occupational, remedial, and distance learning programs. As a large number of current faculty members reach retirement, colleges will need to find qualified, dedicated instructors to replace them. Strong links to the labor market in both academic and vocational areas will give community colleges a chance to cultivate a pool of applicants, but in order to benefit, the colleges must nurture these links and develop effective recruitment, retention, and renewal procedures.


Finance:

Community College Financing: Strategies and Challenges
by Jamie P. Merisotis and Thomas R. Wolanin

This paper describes the current context and general trends of community college financing. It discusses many of the important possibilities and challenges that will confront the colleges and their students in the coming decade circumstances that have been shaped by the last 20 years and particularly driven by policy and programmatic shifts of the 1990s. The paper concludes with a series of strategic recommendations for policymakers and community college leaders regarding the future of community college financing.


Global Awareness:

Charting the Future of Global Education in Community College
by ACIIE, CCID, and the Stanley Foundation

The challenges and problems faced by community colleges now as we move into the next century are, at their core, global challenges and problems. This report responds directly to the critical questions posed by New Expeditions in the areas of keeping pace with technology, meeting the needs of a diverse student body, and remaining economically viable and locally responsive in a community that has become global. Indeed, all of the issues being explored by the New Expeditions project are global issues. We, therefore, urge that global be acknowledged and emphasized throughout the New Expeditions report.


Governance:

Issues in Community College Governance
by Gary Davis

This paper examines current criticisms of community college governance and suggests some ways it could be improved. Because the challenges to governance are many, a solution to one problem could aggravate another and create new (and sometimes greater) difficulties for the college and those it serves. It would be better to have a full grasp of the problems before considering how they might all be solved. Advocates could strengthen community colleges by recognizing the increasing frequency of criticisms of governance and by advocating workable solutions.


Leadership:

Community College Leadership in the New Millenium
by Jeff Hockaday and Donald E. Puyear

In the most basic terms, the skills and attributes that produced success for the first two generations of community college leaders will be the skills and attributes required of those leading community colleges into the new millennium. The issues and the goals to be attained, however, will be somewhat different. This paper looks at the leadership traits, skills, and attributes necessary for effective leadership in the 21st century, and the strategies needed to prepare leaders for their emerging roles.


Market Forces:

Contradictory Colleges: Thriving in an Era of Continuous Change
by Richard Alfred and Patricia Carter

Economic and public policy advances over 40 years helped to create and grow community colleges. By today's standards, however, first generation institutions could not survive. Their strategy was to "develop and deliver" and factors of demand, competition and quality were relatively insignificant as part of this strategy. These institutions could simply offer courses and provide services that would attract students. Growth was their focus and a comprehensive institution with many offerings was a natural, though inefficient, organizational form. To be fair, they did plan and were sensitive to market dynamics and student needs, but nowhere near the extent to which today’s high performing organizations do these things. Change within these organizations was slow and tradition was important for establishing legitimacy in the higher education community. The objective of this commissioned paper is to help leaders facing challenges from outside to redesign community colleges so they can move with - and ahead of - change.

Community Colleges and Career Qualifications
by Anthony Carnevale

Community colleges have a dual challenge in responding to the new economy. First, they will need to play their part in educating and training the workforce that employers need to meet new competitive standards for cost efficiency, quality, variety, customization, convenience, and speed. Second, community colleges will need to meet these same new competitive requirements themselves. Because of their unique flexibility and responsiveness, there is reason for optimism that community colleges will meet these new standards. This paper examines historical trends in the labor market, projections for future market changes, and the impact of various levels of education on individual earning potential.


Teaching and Learning:

The Search for the Learning-Centered College
by William J. Flynn

Whether the topic is the learning revolution, a learning college for the 21st century, the learning organization, or the growth of franchised learning centers throughout the country, we are in the grip of learning mania. No other issue has galvanized higher education to such an extent that suddenly it is unfashionable to mention teaching without immediately adding a reference to learning. Why is this shift happening? After centuries of respect for universities and the professorate, why is the focus now on the learner rather than on the teacher? This paper considers these questions and what they portend for the next generation of teachers and students in America's community colleges.


Technology:

Technology and the Future of the Community College
by Jane N. Ryland

This paper explores the current environment from which community colleges are charting their paths to the future, with an emphasis on technology as an empowering force for change. It includes an overview of the current status and relevant trends in technology, then suggests implications for community colleges and recommendations for strategic directions.

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