Report Examines Biggest Issues Facing Community Colleges, 5/25/11

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News Brief - 5/25/11

Report Examines Biggest Issues Facing Community Colleges

Eleven community college leaders’ answers to ‘Eight Important Questions’ shed light on college readiness, remediation, technology adoption, funding issues, and other challenges

SALT LAKE CITY— Reflecting its important relationship with the nation’s community colleges and an ongoing commitment to driving innovation in higher education, Western Governors University (WGU) announces the release of “Eight Important Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues, Trends & Strategies.”

The report was published this month by The SOURCE on Community College Issues, Trends & Strategies, a new online resource. The research was conducted with the support of WGU, the Salt Lake City-based nonprofit online university that serves students seeking bachelor’s and master’s degrees in more than 50 degree programs nationwide.

WGU provided its support to this research because of the important role community colleges play in providing educational options and opportunities for post-secondary students. The WGU approach is particularly well-suited to the community college graduate or student who has completed substantial college already. More information on opportunities for community colleges to partner with WGU can be found at www.wgu.edu/partners.

“We based this extensive Q-and-A project on many of the key issues that community colleges are dealing with these days,” said George Lorenzo, author of the report and publisher of The SOURCE on Community College Issues, Trends & Strategies. “The community college leaders who participated had plenty to say. The report, which is extremely valuable and available for free, is only the beginning of a much more expansive dialogue and sharing of important information that we are starting to publish on a regular basis. Many thanks go out to WGU for helping us with our overall effort to publish relevant and timely information about the community college sector.”

The report found that there exists a broad and varied outlook among the nation’s community college leadership on some of the most important issues facing their industry, including college readiness, remedial education, workforce development, educational technologies, student services, data analysis, funding and grants, and the future. But despite the diversity of opinions expressed, some common themes rose to the top as challenges many community colleges face as they plan for the future: Keeping up with technology and the so-called “completion agenda” were chief among them.

The full report is available for free download at www.wgu.edu/eightquestions. It features interviews with leaders from Guilford Technical Community College, the League for Innovation in the Community College, Imperial Valley College, Shoreline Community College, Dallas County Community College District, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the University of Texas at Austin Community College Leadership Program, Valencia Community College, Ivy Tech Community College, and Foothill-DeAnza Community College District.