CONNECT Part I
CONNECT Part II
CONNECT: Part II
Community College Collaborations in Public Higher Education, summarized by Kathleen Schatzberg, President, Cape Cod Community College, for the Massachusetts Senate Task Force on Higher Education, November 4, 2004
Let me begin by commending you on your work. We are gratified by the support this signifies for our public higher education systems, and we are more than pleased to provide you with any information you may need for this vital work.
It is a privilege to be able to outline here some of the community college collaborations that are abundant throughout public higher education in Massachusetts, and “outline” is indeed the operative word, for I could easily spend a couple hours and still just skim the surface. Community colleges, embedded as we are within our communities, view collaboration as fundamental to our operations. For today, I will briefly summarize some of the major types of collaborations, and offer to provide you with as much more detail as you may need.
Connect is a collaboration among five public institutions in southeast Massachusetts: Bristol, Cape Cod and Massasoit Community Colleges, Bridgewater State College, and U-Mass Dartmouth. Driven by a board consisting of only its five CEOs, Connect has emerged as a model that is now being replicated, in various forms, across the Commonwealth. The Connect collaborative, in just a few short years, has designed and implemented numerous joint projects. Initially, we collected a list of all the collaborations involving our five institutions, and the list ran to twelve pages! Here are just a few of the most major undertakings:
Several regions around the state are also coalescing into similar collaboratives, although each region, of course, will be a distinctive response to the particular conditions and needs of that region. You will also see the themes of this collaboration repeated in numerous ways throughout my report.
Community College Leadership Academy (CCLA) is a professional development program developed by the 15 community colleges to identify emerging leadership in our institutions and “grow our own” future senior managers and presidents. The first group of fellows completed the program last June, and the second has begun. Each of the fellows has completed a project of importance to their own campuses, and aside from those projects, it is gratifying to see the ways in which fellows are exercising their leadership talents in stronger ways on their campuses, as well as keeping in touch with each other, forming a collaborative network that promises to have further impact as time passes and they advance their careers.
Mass Colleges Online (MCO) is a collaboration among the 15 community colleges and several of the state colleges to make online courses more widely available across the Commonwealth. Now four years since its inception, MCO offers more than 800 courses which are available to the students of any of our institutions. In other words, one of my students on Martha’s Vineyard or living in Provincetown can take an online course that my college may not offer but that, say, Middlesex or Mt. Wachusett offers. MCO is also working on a shared online Nursing program to address nursing shortages in the Commonwealth, and working with various state associations, online training programs for fire fighters, police officers, EMTs and other vital homeland security staff across the Commonwealth.
Articulation of Degree Programs are typical of our operations. Often this means a negotiated agreement between the four-year and the two-year program faculty to insure that students can easily transfer without loss of credit. What is becoming more common, however, are shared degree programs that reside totally on the community college campus.
Career Ladders are common collaborations in our institutions. These articulated programs are designed to get people working in entry level jobs and at the same time, provide them with further education and an avenue to career advancement and higher-wage jobs.
Boston Higher Education Partnership (BHEP) is a cooperative effort of 30 Boston-area universities, colleges and the Boston Public Schools to support the academic achievement of young people in Boston. BHEP focuses on six areas:
Among the BHEP partners are Bunker Hill and Roxbury Community Colleges, Mass College of Art, U-Mass Boston, and 26 other higher education institutions including Boston College and Harvard.
Pipeline STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Grant Program provides funding as administered by BHE to improve the teaching of STEM disciplines in K-12 systems and recruit more students into associate degree, baccalaureate and advanced degree programs in these fields. Virtually all of our community colleges are involved in the program which partners our colleges with K-12 systems and employers in science and technology fields.
Other K-12/Community College Partnerships abound across the Commonwealth. Here are just a few examples, which are typical of efforts at all of our colleges to respond to the professional development and workforce shortages in Pre-K and all of K-12 education systems:
Northern Essex and Amesbury Public Schools have partnered for several years to provide teleconferenced, online, and courses located at both Amesbury High School and an elementary school. Currently, up to 35 high school students are enrolled in courses they select with the advice of their guidance counselors and some 25 paraprofessionals are enrolled in courses leading the Early Childhood Education Associate’s degree, consistent with the federal “No Child Left Behind” law.
Building Careers in Early Childhood is a program in which Mass Bay Community College partners with 22 Metrowest childcare providers and agencies to provide childcare workers with a route to the Associate’s degree at Mass Bay.
ACCCESS, the Adult Collaborative of Cape Cod for Education and Support Services, is a collaboration among Cape Cod Community College , area K-12 districts, the Literacy Council of Cape Cod, and the Wampanoag Tribal Council to deliver a region-wide coordinated system of Adult Basic Education (ABE), English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and General Equivalency Diploma (GED) classes.
Western Massachusetts Collaboratives also abound, many similar to those already cited. To name just a few of the partnerships:
One more example of one of the many ways in which the colleges share expenses for common needs:
And finally, a pitch for you to consider a program of immense value which was lost in the wake of the recent economic crisis:
The Dual Enrollment Program, funded through the Department of Education, enabled high school juniors and seniors to enroll with the advice of guidance counselors, in college courses that satisfied high school graduation requirements and enabled students to earn as much as a semester’s worth of college courses that they could transfer to virtually any college in the country. Many, of course, went on to enroll at our own institutions. Students accelerated into college work, families saved money on college costs, and transition to college was facilitated for many students who might never have considered college, an effect that certainly impacted the future workforce of the Commonwealth.
When the state tragically cut funding of this program, many of us kept it alive in various ways with local scholarship money and the support of school districts, but gradually our fiscal crisis and the scholarship needs of our own college-age students have diminished these programs to a fraction of what they once were. We urge you to consider ways of restoring this highly effective program.
I could go on at great length, I assure you, to catalogue all of the myriad of ways in which our public higher education institutions partner with each other, with K-12, and with area employers to better serve the Commonwealth and its citizens. Each one of our institutions could no doubt provide a list as lengthy as the one I present today, which merely skims the surface. I would be happy to elaborate or answer any questions you might have. Thank you. ***
CONNECT Part I
CONNECT Part II