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About the League

About the League
The League is an international organization dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement. We host conferences and institutes, develop Web resources, conduct research, produce publications, provide services, and lead projects and initiatives with our member colleges, corporate partners, and other agencies in our continuing efforts to make a positive difference for students and communities.


A Thumbnail Sketch of the League

Since 1968, the League has been making a difference in community college education and in the lives of millions of educators and students. This thumbnail sketch captures highlights of the League’s thirty-seven years of accomplishments and contributions and offers a glimpse into why Change magazine calls the League the "most dynamic organization in the community college world."

The League is the only major international organization specifically committed to improving community colleges through innovation,  experimentation, and institutional transformation.

CEOs from some of the most influential, resourceful, and dynamic community colleges and districts in the world comprise the League's board of directors. These community colleges are joined by more than 800 institutions that are members of the League's Alliance. The League—with this core of powerful and innovative community colleges—serves nationally and internationally as a catalyst, project incubator, and experimental laboratory for community colleges around the world. Recent recognition of the League's accomplishments includes the following:

  • In 1993, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) recognized the League for Distinguished International Service to Education—the only time in the Council's 40-year history this award has been granted to a community college organization.
  • In celebration of the League's 30th anniversary, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation , Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), The College Board , Educational Testing Service (ETS), and American College Testing (ACT) presented awards to the League for outstanding leadership in community college education.
  • In 1998, Change magazine recognized the League as the "most dynamic organization in the community college world."

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the League provided leadership to developing institutions at a crucial time when community colleges were being founded at the rate of one per week. Sample activities during this time period include the following:

The League is the leading community college organization in the application of information technology to improve teaching and learning, student services, and institutional management. Examples of activities and accomplishments in these areas include the following:

  • STEMtech is an interactive learning experience with a strong focus on STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering, mathematics – in general education and workforce training and in technology use across the institution. In addition, STEMtech continues the 25-year legacy of the Conference on Information Technology (CIT) and its predecessors as the fall "tech" conference: the place to explore the intelligent application of information technology in community and technical colleges.
  • In 1997, the League founded the Technology and Learning Community (TLC) - an asynchronous, Web-based learning community supported by Compaq, Microsoft, and  TechnoMarketing and recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education as an example of the ability of technology to enable powerful sharing among educators.
  • Over the last 32 years, the League has worked with major information technology-related corporations to develop more than $30 million worth of projects funded by such companies as Microsoft, Compaq, IBM, Lotus, Apple, The College Board, Digital Equipment Corporation, and AT&T.
  • In a unique public-private partnership with the Stevens Institute of Technology, Channel Thirteen/WNET (NY), and Educational Testing Service, the League is helping to coordinate a million-dollar national demonstration Internet-in-Education project funded by the U.S. Department of Education in which community colleges serve as conduits to train K-12 teachers in integrating Internet technologies into their curricula.
  • Both the IBM Corporation (1993 and 1998) and Compaq Computer Corporation (1998) have recognized the League with awards for influencing and advancing information technology use in higher education.

The League is spearheading efforts to develop more learning-centered community colleges through its Learning Initiative. The goal is to assist community colleges in developing policies, programs, and practices that place learning at the heart of the educational enterprise, while overhauling the traditional architecture of education. Some examples of the activities and outcomes of the Learning Initiative include the following:

  • The League recently published the monographs Creating More Learning-Centered Community Colleges and  Developing Professional Fitness through Classroom Assessment and Research , sponsored by PeopleSoft and ETS respectively. These best-selling publications have been used by hundreds of community colleges, statewide associations, and university departments of higher education as key guides for conferences, classes, and conversations on the Learning Revolution in higher education.
  • The League, in cooperation with PBS Adult Learning Service , produced three interactive national videoconferences on the Learning Revolution.
  • The League supported the publication of a series of monthly articles on the Learning Revolution in 1998 in  Community College Week (a weekly national newspaper serving the community college field). The series was also featured on a monthly Internet Bulletin Board sponsored by PBS Adult Learning Service.
  • In 1998, the League introduced a new annual international conference, Innovations , which is dedicated to improving student and organizational learning. This conference showcases, explores, and integrates innovations in teaching and learning, student services, workforce development, programs for "at-risk" students, and leadership and organization.

The League is the principal provider of national programs and publications to prepare leaders for community colleges. In cooperation with The University of Texas at Austin, and with major funding from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the League has developed a comprehensive array of development activities that powerfully influence community college leadership:

  • The League's Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) prepares senior-level administrators for the community college presidency and features an array of community college CEOs and senior educators as faculty. Since 1988, well over 700 participants have graduated from ELI, of which 43 percent have since become presidents. In some graduating classes, as many as 70 percent have become presidents.
  • The League's Expanding Leadership Diversity in the Community College program (ELD), which ended in 1999, prepared midlevel managers from urban institutions for senior-level leadership positions in community colleges.
  • More than 30 percent of all minority presidents in the United States have participated in either ELI or ELD.
  • Since 1980, the League, the American Association of Women in Community Colleges, and the Maricopa Community Colleges have sponsored the National Institute for Leadership Development - a program that has prepared over 4,000 women for leadership positions in community colleges.
  • Each month, the League publishes Leadership Abstracts - a brief on key leadership issues distributed to more than 22,000 presidents, trustees, and senior administrators, nationally and internationally. In 1997, IBM and PeopleSoft commissioned a special edition Leadership Abstracts to explore the major trends facing community colleges as the millennium comes to a close.
  • Four times a year, the League conducts the "What Do CEOs Want to Know About?" survey of more than 570 community and two-year college leaders. These surveys provide valuable benchmark data to member CEOs and help inform the League's national and international projects.

The League is a key leader in influencing the expansion and improvement of workforce training programs in community colleges in the U.S. and Canada. Projects and accomplishments in this area include the following:

The League is a major force in garnering recognition for the important role that community colleges play in the overall educational system and in involving major foundations and corporations in community college development. Some examples of this involvement include the following:

The activities listed here detail many of the ways in which the League makes a difference in community college education nationally and internationally. However, the most powerful influence is best seen in the lives of the more than 10 million students served by two-year colleges each year-many of whom are first-time college attendees, returning students, women, and minorities. These students and their aspirations continue to inspire and encourage us to bring all of our resources to bear upon our mission of improving community college education through innovation, experimentation, and institutional transformation.