A Typology of Community College-based Partnership Activities
Improving access to postsecondary credentials is an important way to help individuals invest in their human capital and increase their access to high-wage careers. The challenge for community colleges is to provide learning opportunities in an affordable and efficient time-to-degree manner, while at the same time meeting the occupational and training demands both of student constituents and of an increasingly knowledge-based economy. In recent years, this challenge has intensified due to a growing student population, a depressed economy, decreased funding, greater accountability of student performance, and a mismatch between students’ college preparedness and the technical demands of our economy. Community colleges are addressing this challenge, in part, by engaging in institutional innovations that allow them to partner with other institutions in order to streamline their services and meet the needs of students more efficiently and effectively.
Partnerships (also referred to as collaborations) can take many forms and serve many purposes. They can also be supported—or hindered—by local, state, and federal policies. The purpose of this paper is to present a typology of the various types of collaborations in which colleges can engage in order to provide guidance for fiscal and regulatory policy change. We hope that providing such a framework will help policymakers identify the types of activities they want to support and develop appropriate policies to do so.
This paper focuses on partnerships between community colleges and outside organizations. These partnerships allow funding for education and job placement for adults. The report provides a framework that can assist policymakers in identifying types of activities that they want to support and in developing policies allow implementation of these activities.