CATALYST v23n3 - Community Colleges: School Community Relationships

Volume XXIII, Number 3
Summer 1993

Community Colleges: School Community Relationships

David Deckelbaum
User Services Coordinator

The community college functions of community service and continuing education persistently tie the colleges' goals and objectives to their surrounding communities. The community colleges have an opportunity to invest in their own future by embracing and nurturing their relationship with the community. This fostering of an enhanced school- community connection occurs when the colleges involve themselves in the educational, cultural, recreational, and social services of the community. The economic and business links to the community must be strengthened where they already exist and new programs promoted with an eye toward mutually beneficial endeavors.

The following citations reflect the current ERIC literature on community colleges and their relationship with the community. ERIC documents can be viewed on microfiche at approximately 900 libraries worldwide. In addition, most may be ordered on microfiche or in paper copy from the ERIC Document Reproduction Service by calling 800/443-ERIC. All citations preceded by an asterisk (*) refer to journal articles, which are not available from EDRS. Most journal articles may be acquired through regular library channels, or purchased from the UMI Articles Clearinghouse at 800/521- 0600, ext. 533. For an EDRS order form, or for more information on our products and services, please contact the ERIC Clearinghouse for Community Colleges at 310-825-3931, or via the Internet at

Black, Marjorie. Community College Partnership. Farmington, NM: San Juan College, 1991. 14 pp. (ED 333 928)

Community colleges must assume a proactive leadership role to develop strategies that establish and maintain partnerships with business and other community organizations. San Juan College (SJC) has forged partnerships with a variety of local organizations, including governmental, civic, business, educational, medical, and cultural groups. Government and civic partnerships have been established with both the Chamber of Commerce and the Navajo Tribal Government. In addition, the college has hosted CoMex 2000, a regional conference of civic and government leaders from Colorado and New Mexico. To establish links with the business community, SJC operates its own small business development center and has joined four local organizations in creating the San Juan Economic Development Service to assist the county in attracting business and industry to the area. SJC's participation in educational alliances includes the establishment of 2 + 2 articulated programs with area vocational and local high schools, the Conference on Aging in collaboration with senior citizen groups, the Women's Conference, and many special activities for particular public school students. The college's Early Childhood Center not only offers special educational opportunities for children but also serves as a laboratory school for teachers. Recently, SJC was selected as a Beacon College in an intercollegiate alliance of the American Association of Community Colleges. To improve local health care services and education, SJC has fostered a close partnership with the Regional Medical Center and other local health care providers. The college also participates in the Fine Arts Committee, a partnership linking local artists, musicians, and patrons of the arts. Recreational partnerships include a collaboration with the city to develop an 18-hole golf course. Finally, SJC has acted as the catalyst in the development of a county-wide leadership training program. Through these diverse partnerships, SJC has been able to respond to community needs and gain broad community support.

Boone, Edgar J. Guidelines for Community Colleges to Follow
in Community-Based Programming. Raleigh, NC: North
Carolina State University, Raleigh. Academy for
Community College. Leadership Advancement, Innovation,
and Modeling, 1992. 8 pp. (ED 340 439)

Community-based programming (CBP) is a process in which a community college becomes the leader in effecting collaboration among the people, their leaders, and community-based organizations and agencies in its service area to identify and seek resolution to major issues facing the community and its people. To facilitate CBP, a community college should (1) reach consensus on a definition of CBP; (2) determine which of its programs are consistent with its working definition of CBP; (3) review its mission to determine whether it is compatible with CBP; (4) evaluate organizational operating procedures and the college's capacity to engage in CBP; (5) assess the competencies and skills of existing staff; and (6) develop and implement a strategy for equipping staff with the skills to undertake CBP, including in-house workshops to review the concept and process of CBP, and self-directed staff learning programs on CBP, utilizing available print materials, video programs, and visiting consultants and speakers. In addition, the college should establish an environmental scanning committee comprised of college personnel and community representatives; identify, rank, and legitimize community issues; identify the target public for each issue and spokespersons within the target population; develop, in conjunction with these spokespersons, plans of action for addressing the issues; develop and implement programs to carry out the plans of action; and establish evaluation procedures.

Head, Ronald B. Serving the Community: Results of the 1991
Piedmont Virginia Community College Community Survey.
Research Report Number 4-91. Charlottesville, VA:
Piedmont Virginia Community College, Office of
Institutional Research and Planning, 1991. 49 pp. (ED
335 090)

In spring 1991, Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) administered a community survey to residents of Charlottesville and the surrounding counties. The purpose of the survey was to determine how much citizens knew about PVCC and its services, how satisfied they were with these services, and what additional services they would like the college to offer. A total of 6,026 surveys were sent to every 10th household in the service region. Study findings, based on a 10.7% response rate, included the following: (1) males, minorities, and people under 25 tended to be underrepresented among survey respondents in comparison to service region population characteristics; (2) over 90% of the respondents were aware that PVCC serves the entire service region, and over 80% were aware that classes are available at locations throughout the region; (3) 69% had attended PVCC; (4) 75% had learned about PVCC courses, programs, and services from class schedules mailed by the college to their homes; (5) proximity to the college had little bearing on either awareness of or attendance at the college; (6) when asked what services and course options would encourage attendance at PVCC, respondents seemed less interested in traditional college services such as student activities or counseling, and more interested in a wider range of course offerings provided at additional locations and more convenient times; and (7) over 50% of the respondents were extremely satisfied with their educational experience at the college. Data tables, open-ended responses, and the survey instrument are included.

Jardine, Douglas K. "Involving the Community." Paper
presented at the 1990 Summer Academy of the Association
of Washington Community College Administrators, Blaine,
WA, August 7-9, 1990. 27 pp. (ED 326 257)

When a college is held in high esteem by the important and prominent leaders in the larger community, that community can be counted on in times of need or crisis. Therefore, community involvement, though clearly a high moral imperative, also grows out of the college's enlightened self-interest. In an effort to increase involvement in and with the larger community, Capilano College (CC) in Vancouver, British Columbia, sought to involve itself in an important community project that would have long-lasting positive outcomes for the community. The opportunity for involvement arose during British Columbia's recession of 1985. CC funded a feasibility study and then an economic development plan that gained the respect of local government and area business leaders. The successful implementation of the plan placed the college in high esteem. Having earned the respect of local governments and the local community, the college received funding from both sources for construction of a new gymnasium at the college. Encouraging faculty and staff to involve themselves in community projects of interest to them became another mechanism to raise the visibility of, and regard for, the college. Aspects of the curriculum, such as the labor studies program that educates and trains members of the trade union movement, has also served to increase community involvement and the college's positive image. Finally, an international student exchange program involving host families has helped to foster cross-cultural awareness in the community. Community involvement can take many forms and have many benefits and should be on the college's corporate agenda.

McClenney, Kay, and others. Building Communities through
Strategic Planning: A Guidebook for Community Colleges.
Washington, DC: American Association of Community and
Junior Colleges, 1991. 84 pp. (ED 331 550) Available
from American Association of Community Colleges, One
Dupont Circle, N.W., Suite 410, Washington, DC 20036
($18; AACC members $15).

Using the conceptual framework outlined in "Building Communities: A Vision for a New Century," a 1988 report of the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges, this guidebook explores eight phases in the development and implementation of a strategic plan. Chapter I provides an overview of the planning process and the essential elements and conditions of strategic planning. Chapter II discusses organizational and logistical issues in the "planning to plan" phase, focusing on the planning council, staff support for planning, the role of the governing board, and the use of outside consultants. In chapter III, methods for reviewing and clarifying the college's mission are explored. Chapter IV looks at the process of articulating the values shared by the college and its community, and chapter V presents different approaches to environmental and institutional scanning. Chapters VI and VII explain the processes of identifying strategic issues and formulating the strategic plan. After a discussion in chapter VIII concerning the presentation, approval, endorsement, and dissemination of the strategic plan, chapter IX considers the implementation and follow-up phases and ways of linking strategy to operations and resources. Each of the chapters dealing with particular phases of the strategic planning process concludes with a list of suggested activities and resources. The final chapter presents a guide for discussion and evaluation of the goal of building communities. Appendixes include a self-assessment instrument and Owensboro Community College's (KY) strategic plan, which was developed using the eight-phase process presented in the guidebook.

Shaffer, Richard A. General Community Needs Assessment:
Conducted for the Development of the Educational and
Facilities Master Plan. San Luis Obispo, CA: Cuesta
College, 1990. 80 pp. (ED 328 315)

In 1990, a needs assessment survey was conducted of residents of San Luis Obispo County to gather information regarding community members' experiences with Cuesta College (CC), opinions about what CC should be doing, assessment of how good a job the college is doing, and obstacles preventing people from attending CC. Study findings, based on telephone interviews with 769 adult county residents, included the following: (1) over 90% of the respondents were able to identify CC as the local community college; (2) nearly 60% had attended a community college, and, of these, 53% had attended CC; (3) over 15% said that they planned to attend CC in the next 12 months; (4) 47.3% of the respondents indicated that an important obstacle to attending CC was that the campus was not conveniently located for them, 43% said that the college did not offer what they needed, 39.4% mentioned job conflicts, and 33.8% indicated that they needed a more advanced degree; (5) while 87% of the respondents indicated that it was "very important" for CC to provide education and training that help people get jobs, only 18% of the respondents felt that CC was doing an "excellent" job in fulfilling this function; and (6) 43% of the respondents indicated that they or their family had taken part in nonclass activities at CC, including theatrical events and concerts. A question-by- question breakdown of survey results and the interview schedule are appended.

Vorp, Ron. Economic Impact of Miami-Dade Community College
on Dade County. Miami, FL: Miami-Dade Community
College, Office of Institutional Research, 1991. 31 pp.
(ED 340 427)

In an effort to determine the economic impact of Miami- Dade Community College (M-DCC) on Dade County, a study was conducted of the economic benefits of educational opportunities for human development of Dade County residents; the increase in business due to direct expenditures by the college, employees, and students; and "second round" expenditures consisting of expenditures for goods and services by businesses patronized by M-DCC, its staff, and students. Results of the study included the following: (1) for the 1989-90 fiscal year, M-DCC employed 2,783 full-time salaried professional and administrative staff, the full-time equivalent of 493 part-time instructional staff, and the full-time equivalent of 2,061 part-time hourly staff for a total of 5,337 full-time jobs for local residents; (2) expenditures made by M-DCC within Dade County create approximately 14,815 jobs indirectly, for a total of over 20,000 jobs created by the presence of M- DCC; (3) the education provided to Dade County residents by M-DCC results in an annual increase in income for Dade County residents of over $36.5 million dollars; (4) assuming that 50% of M-DCC expenditures are to county businesses and that 85% of M-DCC employees reside in Dade county, expenditures made by the college include $79.9 million in personnel expenditures, $36.3 in college expenditures, and $95.3 million in nonlocal student expenditures, for a total of $211.6 million in business volume; (5) business volume stimulated by "second round" spending of direct expenditures is estimated to be at $264.5 million; and (6) the total economic impact of M-DCC for fiscal year 1989-90 is estimated at $512.7 million. Detailed data tables are included.

The Academy for Community College Leadership Advancement,
Innovation, and Modeling (ACCLAIM): Abstract. Raleigh,
NC: North Carolina State University, Academy for
Community College Leadership Advancement, Innovation,
and Modeling, 1992. 9 pp. (ED 340 438)

The Academy for Community College Leadership, Innovation, and Modeling (ACCLAIM) is a three-year pilot project funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, North Carolina State University (NCSU), and the community college systems of Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. ACCLAIM's purpose is to help the region's community colleges assume a leadership role in community- based programming and in effecting collaboration among community leaders and organizations to identify and seek solutions to critical concerns. The program has four main components: (1) a continuing education program for community college presidents, administrators, faculty, governance officials, and other community leaders; (2) a doctoral degree program in community college leadership; (3) the development and dissemination of program materials, guides, and aids focusing on strategic planning, environmental scanning, mapping of community college publics, community leader identification and involvement, networking, needs assessment, coalition formation, community development, and evaluation; and (4) collaborative university program enrichment. Evaluation data will be systematically collected and analyzed throughout the pilot program. Three advisory groups will advise and guide the project staff in its management of the pilot project: the intra-university steering committee; the regional community college leadership development advisory board; and the executive committee of the advisory board.

SUCCESS (Students Utilizing Collin County's Educational and
Service Systems). A Model Cooperative Education-based
Community Service Program. McKinney, TX: Collin County
Community College, 1991. 172 pp. (ED 344 013)

During the 1990-91 funding year, Collin County Community College in Texas piloted a service-learning program, Students Utilizing Collin County's Educational and Service Systems (SUCCESS). SUCCESS involved students in community service activities for learning both about their careers and about their capabilities as agents for community change. The program provided opportunities through service agencies for vocational-technical students as a part of the curriculum for elective credit. The program was available to students of diverse abilities, backgrounds, levels of maturity, and academic achievement. Stipends were provided for participants. The SUCCESS Consortium, a fund-raising system, and Career-based Service Learning components were initiated at the college. This document contains six sections of which the first four deal with: (1) the SUCCESS Model Program--purpose and description; (2) program implementation of the SUCCESS Model Program; (3) student/agency profiles; and (4) evaluation. The last two sections consist, respectively, of acknowledgements and a 23-item annotated bibliography. Thirteen appendices form the bulk of this document. They contain (1) a description of the SUCCESS structure organizational/consortium, (2) a list of advisory board members, (3) letters of support, (4) program coordinator's job description, (5) forms, (6) marketing materials, (7) life/work skills curricula, (8) operational format, (9) student letters and forms, (10) statistical analyses, (11) student reaction papers, (12) evaluations/letters of support, and (13) a program for an evening event for participant recognition.

Community Needs Assessment Survey Report, Fall 1990.
Gainesville, GA: Gainesville College, Office of
Planning and Institutional Research, 1990. 145 pp. (ED
345 827)

As part of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, self-study process for reaffirmation of accreditation, Gainesville College (GC) conducted its second decennial needs assessment survey in fall 1990 to obtain data to assist in college planning and program improvement. Separate survey instruments were developed to gather data from community leaders (n=90) and area high school principals and counselors (n=43). Selected findings included the following: (1) GC's convenient location, small size, reasonable cost, and open-door admissions policy emerged as the college's greatest assets; (2) community leaders felt that GC's transfer and career programs were most important, while high school principals and counselors thought the college should place more emphasis on its transfer and developmental studies programs; (3) GC students were perceived to be well-prepared for transfer to four-year institutions; (4) the college was encouraged to become more involved with local high schools through presentations, summer programs, and other activities; (5) a need existed to increase the visibility of the college; (6) respondents recommended expanding CG in the areas of offerings beyond the two-year degree level; cooperative activities with other schools, colleges, and technical institutes; business and language/multicultural areas; off-campus settings; creative scheduling; and intercollegiate athletics; and (7) there was a need for some type of student housing. Related data tables, and the survey instruments are appended. A paper focusing on the study's methodology, "Environmental Scanning through a Community Needs Assessment," by Norma R. Seerley and J. Foster Watkins, is also attached.

Please help us keep the ERIC database current and comprehensive by submitting your written works to the Clearinghouse for review for inclusion in the ERIC system. Send two copies of each manuscript to the attention of our Acquisitions Coordinator, ERIC Clearinghouse for Community Colleges, University of California, Los Angeles, 8118 Math Sciences Building, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 9004.

Tracy Gilmore