AACC’s programs, projects and partnerships span a variety of topic areas: workforce development, sustainability, diversity and equity, international services, accountability, technology and technical education, and student success among others.
21st Century Initiative
In response to President Obama’s education agenda and challenge for community colleges to educate an additional 5 million students with degrees, certificates, or other credentials by 2020, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is leading advancement of the next era of community college evolution through its three-phase 21st-Century Initiative.
Advanced Technological Education
The National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program provides grants to improve and expand educational programs to prepare skilled technicians to work in the high-tech fields that drive the U.S. economy. The program is Congressionally mandated and focuses on undergraduate and secondary school education. AACC hosts an annual ATE project directors’ conference and sponsors an ATE mentoring program for community colleges.
Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity
AACC promotes increased access and success for the diverse community college population by securing increased federal and private support for colleges, and provides opportunities, resources, and information to improve student success, including persistence, retention, program completion, and transfer.
International Programs & Services
AACC’s Office of International Programs and Services assists community colleges in promoting global awareness, responsibility, intercultural understanding, and engagement among students, faculty, staff, and decision makers. It also seeks to raise the recognition of the community college role in global education among key constituencies, nationally and internationally.
MentorLinks, developed with the support of the National Science Foundation, is designed for community colleges that could benefit from technical assistance and networking opportunities to improve undergraduate education that prepares technicians in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
The Pathways Project
AACC has undertaken, with generous funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a national project focused on building capacity for community colleges to design and implement structured academic and career pathways for all of their students.
Voluntary Framework of Accountability
The Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA) is the first national system of accountability specifically for community colleges and by community colleges. Leadership in the sector is defining the most appropriate metrics for gauging how well our institutions perform in serving a variety of students and purposes. The VFA will provide opportunities for colleges to benchmark their student progress and completion data against peers and to provide stakeholders with critical information on the colleges.
Workforce and Economic Development
Workforce and Economic Development brings together community colleges, offices of economic development, workforce boards, labor market entities, and other community organizations to improve the economic prosperity of business, workers, and communities. The Center provides technical assistance on collaborative practices, labor market analysis, and performance analysis in order to promote more integrated and interactive practices.