With declining enrollment and more states moving to performance-based funding, community colleges face continuing challenges to their traditional business models.
However, community colleges’ longstanding tendency toward flexibility makes them uniquely prepared to meet the challenges currently facing all institutions. For instance, they are more able than four-year colleges and universities to quickly gear up when enrollment increases or launch new programs to meet market demands.
In a Sunday afternoon session at the NACUBO 2015 Annual Meeting in Nashville, representatives of two thriving community colleges shared how their institutions have capitalized on flexibility to quickly make changes that have yielded great success. For the complete coverage of the annual meeting, read “Music City Master Class.”
At Columbus State Community College in Columbus, Ohio, where state funding has become completely performance-based, a new president changed the school’s focus overnight from access to student success, says Terri Gehr, senior vice president of business and administrative services. For instance, the president met personally with every school superintendent and every college president in Central Ohio to create the Central Ohio Compact. Together, the group has developed systemwide solutions to retain students within the education pipeline by reducing or eliminating remediation, expanding early college opportunities, and guaranteeing a bachelor’s degree pathway to universities in the region. More details on Columbus State Community College efforts will appear in an article scheduled for a fall issue of Business Officer magazine.
In addition to partnering with others who share common goals for student success, Columbus State has established deep partnerships with industry in order to develop solutions that align with labor market needs. For instance, the college employs three faculty members who are embedded at the local Honda plant. And through partnerships with local insurance companies, Columbus State has created Insuring Ohio Futures, a focused set of curricula and certificate programs to help prepare students to enter the insurance industry.
Brazosport College in Lake Jackson, Texas, came up with a plan to avoid dependence on state funds by raising tuition and property taxes. But local voters approved the plan because the college provides a steady stream of qualified graduates to local industry. Part of that plan included becoming one of only three community colleges in the state of Texas approved to offer bachelor’s degrees. The college’s first bachelor’s degrees were awarded in 2007, and it now accepts about 60 students each year into its four-year degree programs.
Nancy Mann Jackson, Madison, Ala., covers higher education business issues for Business Officer.
Primary Reps’ Responsibilities Expanded
At this year’s business meeting of NACUBO Primary Representatives, a new app facilitated some on-site polling via smart phones. Two results of the instant survey underscored now-frequent discussions regarding the scope of the CBO’s duties.
ACCA USA, the U.S. arm of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, and American University have entered a partnership that allows students pursuing a Master of Science in accounting at AU’s Kogod School of Business to complete coursework that will qualify them for six exemptions from ACCA’s 14 exams.
A student who successfully graduates from the AU program will receive exemptions for those specific exams and be able to use them toward the completion of the ACCA qualification.
The program is expected to attract a healthy number of international students interested in obtaining a degree while working toward their ACCA qualification.
A recent ACCA survey of current students shows an overwhelming interest in studying ACCA in the United States. Accreditation enables ACCA to award a specific level of exemption to graduates of an educational program following a full assessment of the program’s regulations, syllabus, and assessments.
American University, Washington, D.C., is the second higher education institution in the United States to partner with ACCA USA.
Earlier this year, ACCA USA announced its first U.S.-based partnership with Pace University’s Lubin School of Business in New York. Globally, ACCA works with more than 600 higher education institutions through Exemption Accreditation to accredit their programs, including Oxford Brookes University in U.K., University of Sri Jayewardenepura in Sri Lanka, Amity University in India, and Edinburgh Business School in Scotland.
RESOURCE LINK To read more about the partnership, visit www.accaglobal.com and www.american.edu.
Millennials in the Workforce
As of the first quarter of 2015, the millennial generation (ages 18 to 35 in 2015) now makes up the largest portion of the U.S. workforce, according to the Pew Research Center. Data indicate that 53.5 million millennials are part of the workforce, followed by 52.7 million Gen-Xers (ages 34–49), 44.6 million baby boomers (ages 50–68), and 3.7 million of the silent generation (ages 69–84).
Mindset List for the Class of 2019
Wi-Fi is an entitlement, e-mail is the new “formal” way of communicating, and TV has always been in high definition for members of the entering college class of 2019, who were mostly born in 1997, according to the latest Beloit College Mindset List. Beloit College, Beloit, Wis., has been releasing the mindset list each August since 1998, to provide a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college in the fall. Among other things on this year’s list: Google has always been there; parents have gone from encouraging students to use the Internet to begging them to get off it; and hybrid automobiles have always been mass-produced.
By The Numbers
State of College Admissions
Source: National Association for College Admission Counseling, 2014 State of College Admission