Now Available: Connecting Community College Knowledge-Makers to Policymakers

by Regina L. Garza Mitchell / Jul 18, 2015

Community colleges moved to the forefront of higher education when President Obama kicked off the American Graduation Initiative in 2009. Research on community colleges is conducted by a wide variety of people and groups at universities, think tanks, regional collaboratives, and elsewhere. A complaint often espoused by academic researchers is that our research is not being read or utilized by policymakers, and efforts have been made through organizations such as the Council for the Study of Community Colleges to bridge the gaps between research, practice, and policy. Nevertheless, there remains work to be done.

A great deal of good research is being conducted on community colleges, but the articles and reports are often lengthy and difficult to read. In order to make a difference, we must figure out new ways to have this research be both read and understood by a variety of audiences. To this end, Dr. Deborah Floyd, Editor in Chief of the Community College Journal of Research and Practice, commissioned a special issue of the journal entitled “Connecting Community College Knowledge-Makers to Policymakers.” Guest Editors, Christopher M. Mullin, The Florida College System, Regina L. Garza Mitchell, Western Michigan University, and Rivka A. Felsher, Florida Atlantic University took on the task of delivering on Dr. Floyd’s charge.

This issue concisely highlights work being done by a variety of think tanks, regional collaborative organizations, and university-based policy centers. Articles were written concisely in brief, approximately 5-page, formats that highlight current research findings and include recommendations for future areas of research. Contributors to this issue hail from:

In an attempt to further bridge the gap between research and policy, this issue will receive a special printing that will be shared with policymakers across the country. This special issue will also be available free for a two-month period beginning July 20, 2015.

Regina L. Garza Mitchell is an assistant professor in the Educational Leadership, Research, and Technology Department at Western Michigan University. Her research centers on issues of organizational change in the areas of leadership and online education.