WGU report examines issues faced by community colleges

community college online learning

Western Governors University (WGU) recently released a report entitled "Eight Important Questions for Eleven Community College Leaders: An Exploration of Community College Issues, Trends & Strategies," [PDF] which was published online by The SOURCE on Community College Issues, Trends & Strategies.

The research was conducted with the support of WGU, a Salt Lake City-based non-profit online university offering more than 50 different bachelor's and master's degree programs. WGU sees community colleges as providing crucial educational opportunities for post-secondary students, and feels that its approach is particularly well-suited to the needs of community college students and graduates.

The report found that community college leaders hold widely varying perspectives on several important issues, including college readiness, remedial education, workforce development, educational technologies, student services, data analysis, funding and grants, and the future.

Still, the report finds, some common themes exists among the challenges community colleges face, including keeping up with technology and the "completion agenda."

The report features interviews with the following people:

  • Donald Cameron, President of Guilford Technical Community College
  • Gerardo de los Santos, President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College
  • Ed Gould, Superintendent and President of Imperial Valley College
  • Lee Lambert, President of Shoreline Community College
  • Wright Lassiter, Chancellor, Dallas County Community College District
  • Mark Milliron, Deputy Director for Postsecondary Improvement with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Terry O'Banion, President Emeritus and Senior League Fellow of the League for Innovation in the Community College
  • John Roueche, Professor and Director, Sid W. Richardson Regents Chair in Community College Leadership, University of Texas at Austin Community College Leadership Program
  • Sandy Shugart, President of Valencia Community College
  • Thomas Snyder, President of Ivy Tech Community College
  • Linda Thor, Chancellor, Foothill-DeAnza Community College District

"We based this extensive Q-and-A project on many of the key issues that community colleges are dealing with these days," George Lorenzo, author of the report and publisher of The SOURCE on Community College Issues, Trends & Strategies, said in a statement. "The community college leaders who participated had plenty to say. The report, which is extremely valuable and available for free, is only the beginning of a much more expansive dialogue and sharing of important information that we are starting to publish on a regular basis."

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