Seminole State College of Florida's president has been tapped to assist in a national effort to reshape community colleges.
Dr. E. Ann McGee, president of Seminole State College of Florida, has been named one of five co-chairs for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) 21st Century Initiative Implementation Steering Committee.
During the next 18 months, a group of approximately 100 educators from across the United States will be making recommendations to AACC regarding the implementation of the findings contained in the recent 21st Century Commission Report on the Future of Community Colleges.
McGee will serve as a co-chair for the implementation initiative and also will co-chair the implementation team that will address documenting structured pathways for community college students to increase their completion rates by 50 percent by 2020.
Nine committees, or “implementation teams,” are focusing on one or more of seven recommendations prepared by the AACC’s 21st-Century Commission. The commission’s report, “Reclaiming the American Dream,” envisions major changes to the nation’s community college system to prepare students for the global marketplace and to meet the national goal of significantly increasing degree and certificate attainment by 2020.
“The committee’s primary responsibility will be to construct a road map – with a variety of streets, avenues and lanes – that colleges can adopt as they seek to enhance student success and create the pathway to success for their students,” McGee says.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Kresge Foundation are among the organizations funding the effort to “redesign, reinvent and reset” community colleges to meet the goals spelled out in “Reclaiming the American Dream.” In addition to higher completion rates, the goals include improved college readiness, reduced skills gaps and redefined institutional roles to meet 21st-century education and employment needs.
“Since community colleges now enroll nearly half of all students in higher education in the United States, the major challenge will be the scope of the effort,” McGee says. “The roadblocks that our students have to overcome just to be students have only increased. With limited resources and a growing population who needs us, we must be incredibly creative to devise student success measures that can be easily – and cost-effectively – adopted and implemented.”
The 21st-Century Initiative Steering Committee co-chairs are: Dr. Walter Bumphus (chair), president and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges; Dr. Rey Garcia, president, Texas Association of Community Colleges; Dr. Alex Johnson, president, Community College of Allegheny County (Pa.); Dr. Steven Lee Johnson, president, Sinclair Community College (Ohio); and Dr. Karen A. Stout, president, Montgomery County Community College (Pa.).
Seminole State operates six sites in Central Florida, including campuses in Altamonte Springs, Heathrow, Oviedo and Sanford/Lake Mary. Seminole State, one of the fastest growing two-year colleges in the nation, has enrollments of more than 32,000.
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