Policy and Practice

October 2019
According to Inc. magazine (Curtain, 2017), the number one skill that high paying employers want in employees is the ability to solve complex problems. At Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, North Carolina, we are striving to help students develop problem-solving skills with the support of staff and faculty across the college through Student Applied Benchmarking (SAB). Students in this program design solutions to problems with the help of college employees. The culmination of this collaborative effort is the SAB Showcase, an event that provides students with the opportunity to...
October 2019
After a productive career in community college leadership as President at St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley and founding Chancellor at Community College of Baltimore County, I moved on to lead the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACME). NACME is the nation’s largest private provider of scholarships for underrepresented minorities (URMs)—African Americans, Latinos, and American Indians/Alaska Natives—in engineering education. The NACME scholarship and university strategy has proven to be an eminently successful paradigm for undergraduate minority...
December 2018
Community colleges enroll over half of the undergraduate students in U.S. higher education and increasingly serve as the gateway to a postsecondary credential, particularly for first-generation and underrepresented students. As noted by researchers (Astin, 1984; McClenney & Marti, 2006; Tinto, 1993), student engagement within and outside of the classroom setting remains central to an institution’s ability to advance student success. At the same time, the growing demographic diversity of community college student bodies means there is no one-size-fits-all institutional approach to...
August 2017
Since the launch of the American Graduation Initiative in 2009, the call to increase college graduation rates and to create a better educated workforce for the jobs of the future has become nearly universal. According to Former President Obama, speaking at the University of Texas on August 9, 2010, “in a single generation, [the U.S. has] fallen from first place to 12th place in college graduation rates for young adults" (as cited in de Nies, 2010, para. 3). He advocated for America to “once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world” by 2020 (as cited in Fry, 2017,...
January 2017
Meeting the demand for quality professional development programming in times of constrained resources created an opportunity for innovative and creative thinking at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) in Charlotte, North Carolina. Over 1,200 full-time employees at CPCC are required to complete 20 hours of professional development credit annually, and all full- and part-time employees—more than 1,800—must complete a series of three required annual trainings, thus creating a demand for over 60,000 hours of professional development opportunities annually. This demand occurs at a time of...