Policy and Practice

July 2019
Nearly a decade after completion surpassed access as the primary goal of community colleges, completion statistics for community colleges are still not encouraging. Three years after enrolling, only 32 percent of first-time, full-time community college students have graduated with an associate degree or certificate (National Center for Education Statistics, 2019). At the same time, state budgets have become more restricted, and state lawmakers are carefully considering how to allocate their limited funds to higher education (Miao, 2012). Instead of traditional funding based on enrollment,...
June 2019
At Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), Student Affairs professionals have always played an integral role in the development of students, providing an authentic learning experience outside of the classroom leading to student success. They are recognized for helping students to learn in real-life settings and to reflect on the meaning of what has been learned in the context of their own lives. In the past, Student Affairs staff have not paid a great deal of attention to their role as learning facilitators, nor developed the language to describe what is being accomplished in teaching/...
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...