Press Release: Community Colleges Planning Transformative Changes with Unprecedented Federal Investment

by OCCRL / Aug 30, 2013

(CHAMPAIGN, Ill.) – Initial college self-reporting compiled and released today from the Office of Community College Research and Leadership provides a glimpse into the potential transformative change that is beginning at community colleges in the wake of one of the largest federal investments in community college grant funding in the nation’s history. The Community College Transformative Change Initiative leads this effort.

“The education and employment trajectories of Americans have a tremendous opportunity to benefit from the groundbreaking efforts of these colleges,” said Dr. Debra D. Bragg, one of the report authors and OCCRL director.

Mindy Feldbaum, CEO of The Collaboratory, LLC, and OCCRL project partner, said, “The opportunity that the Department of Labor is presenting to community colleges is unprecedented in its level and potential to create change.”

Bragg reiterated the need for more research.

“While there is great enthusiasm among college practitioners and state officials, research is needed to confirm that student outcomes are improving,” Bragg said.

Under President Obama’s administration, the United States Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Act Community College Career Training program offers unprecedented investment—nearly $2 billion—in community colleges. Designed to transform community college education, put Americans back to work, and improve the US economy, TAACCCT is directed at a diversity of adult learners but most centrally low-skilled adults.  TAACCCT supports the testing and scaling of strategies that accelerate applied learning that leads to credentials and living-wage employment.

OCCRL and The Collaboratory, LLC, with generous support from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lumina Foundation for Education, and the Joyce Foundation, formed the Community College Transformative Change Initiative. CCTCI documents, disseminates, and supports the scaling of evidence-based strategies that improve community college student success in collegiate learning and completion and in the labor market.

The OCCRL report, “Lessons from TAACCCT Round One Consortia: The Community College Transformative Change Initiative,” provides brief, self-reported descriptions of the key strategies and scaling plans of the eight founding Round One TAACCCT consortia in the CCTCI.

CCTCI grantees are implementing such innovations as reforming developmental education, granting credit for prior learning, the creation of Open Educational Resources, and establishing a core curriculum for healthcare occupations.

CCTCI works with numerous TAACCCT consortia to capitalize on the window of opportunity to scale change and grow impact. The TCI project has invited 19 consortia, 8 Round One and 11 Round Two, involving 231 community colleges in 24 states to be part of transformative change network.

View the full report.