While attending the League for Innovations 2013 conference in Dallas, I was chatting with a colleague about collaborative and active learning and the new language of flipped classrooms (i.e., technology-delivered content outside of class time to maximize student engagement with the material, faculty and other students during face-to-face sessions).
Educators are fond of using the reference “picking the low-hanging fruit.” By this they usually mean that when changes are made, we should begin by addressing the easily achievable, more obvious, and often less costly problems and issues.
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (A-B Tech), like many colleges, has become actively engaged in the pursuit of higher degree completion for its students. This national priority is not only important at our college, it is something that we have embraced and enculturated into our daily lives.
Look at the data or, if you are more anecdotal in nature, look at the number of grey-headed attendees at an annual meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). Either way, you realize there is going to be shortage of community college leaders in the next decade. Study after study has documented this coming reality.
A well-educated, technically competent and civically informed and engaged citizenry is the foundation of a healthy society and economy. Such citizenry begets innovation, productivity, wealth and a social fabric to support it all.
In today’s community college, the last thing a president needs is a group of “cave dwellers” busily working away at their little slice of the “big picture,” without peeking out of their caves to assess the rest of the institution.
Three powerful headwinds are pushing back at community college leaders: the all-too-familiar “do more with less” arctic blast; the “It all comes down to completion and numbers” storm; and the business and industry jet stream: “Completers must demonstrate a set of skills, knowledge and discipline that will enable them to perform effectively in an increasingly changing and sophisticated workplace.”
The year 2012 has been a big one for adjunct awareness.In January, Michael Bérubé, newly elected president of the Modern Language Association, went before the New Faculty Majority to recommend that minimum compensation for teaching a standard, three-hour course be $6,800.
In an election year that’s heavily focused on jobs and the economy, one of the few things both parties seem to agree on is that the nation’s community colleges have a key role to play in developing the higher-skilled workforce that’s needed to keep the U.S. competitive.
In our 110-year history, the community college has evolved through many stages, and each stage has required a different kind of leader — leaders who build, leaders who consolidate, leaders who negotiate, leaders who partner.
A college education is an expensive venture. Students can face a $50,000 annual bill at an elite college or something more reasonable, like about $3,000 a year at a community college. But reasonable is a relative term. The working single mother with several children may find each and every dollar to be extremely precious. The young adult working in an entry-level job while supporting himself finds even the most inexpensive educational experience a financial struggle. Many families simply see higher education as financially out of reach.
As we focus our attention on student success and completion around the nation, and search for proven best practices to increase graduation rates, it has become clear that we are in need of systemic, revolutionary, change. We must adapt from segmented organizations which are reactive and embrace our identity as living systems and become proactive about helping students achieve their goals.
Concern lately about rising college tuition and the question as to the necessity of a postsecondary degree has driven a good deal of inquiry into higher education. More specifically, the question has arisen as to whether a postsecondary credential is worth the investment. On one hand, the answer is easy to see.
We’ve all been hearing about the importance of education in America. You may have heard that the United States is failing on the global education front. You may have also heard that many students who start a college education don’t finish. What you may not know is everything that San Jacinto College is doing to change these statements in our corner of the world.