Community College Research Initiatives

Strategy Briefs

The Strategies for Transformative Change brief series provides summaries of strategies employed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) consortia. Included in each two-page brief is a description of the strategy and any available evidence of success. The briefs are organized below in the following five areas of innovation:

Career Pathways and Program Redesign

Adopting and Adapting Competency-Based Education: Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, is the lead of a three-state consortium with Austin Community College and Broward College, that adopted and adapted the Western Governors University competency-based education (CBE) model to accelerate information technology instruction.
Building a Foundational Model for Credit for Prior Learning: Making the Future: The Wisconsin Strategy, under the leadership of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, received a Round Two U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance for Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant, and brought together all 16 colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College System to implement Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) practices throughout each of the autonomous districts.
Collaborating on a Sectoral Approach Strengthen Workforce Training: The Air Washington consortium used a sector approach to strengthen training for employers in the aerospace industry across the state of Washington.
Strengthening Career Pathways in Manufacturing Education: The Illinois Network for Advanced Manufacturing (INAM) priorities address students’ needs by: creating a practical career pathway; using individualized educational plans; establishing common terminal certificate objectives in innovative manufacturing curricula; purchasing advanced manufacturing equipment; expanding and maintaining employee partnerships; developing job placement services; and establishing articulation agreements between community colleges and four year institutions to streamline further pursuit of advanced degrees.
Short Term and Accelerated Training through Blocked Scheduling: The Tribal College Consortium for Developing Montana and North Dakota Workforce (DeMaND) Project has utilized blocked scheduling to accelerate short term and certificate training toward the goals of improving retention and achievement rates and/or reducing time to completion.

Curriculum Redesign

Building Bridges for Student Success: The National STEM Consortium (NSC) is a collaborative of ten community colleges in nine states that developed five nationally portable, one-year (30-credit) certificate programs. Each of the five programs of study includes a STEM Bridge that is designed to be consistent across all fields and transferable to other colleges.
Building a Common Foundational Curriculum with Stackable Credentials: The centerpiece of the Arizona Sun Corridor – Get Into Energy Consortium (ASC-GIEC) activities is the industry-vetted Get Into Energy (GIE) Competency Model that delineates basic competencies (knowledge, skills and abilities), along with industry-specific fundamentals and technical competencies for programs of study in mining and energy across the consortium.
Centralized Curriculum Process for Health IT Programs: The Health eWorkforce (HeW) Consortium employs a centralized curriculum development support and review process to ensure uniform high standards and continuous improvement.
Creating Resiliency and Pathways to Opportunity: The Northeast Resiliency Consortium (NRC) includes seven Northeast community colleges addressing what resiliency means in times of crisis, change. The consortium developed a Competency Model used by faculty with students enrolled in programs in energy, healthcare, and information technology.
Health Care Core Curriculum: The Health Professions Pathways (H2P) consortium is developing a core curriculum and galvanizing a national movement to improve healthcare education via the adoption of a core curriculum.
Service Learning for Engaged Work-Based Learning: This brief focuses on the service learning program developed by Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) to provide its students with hands-on work-based learning as part of their work with the Intentional Networks Transforming Effective and Rigorous Facilitation of Assessment, Collaboration, and Education (INTERFACE) consortium.
Transforming Nursing Programs to Reduce Time to Completion: The Path to Accelerated Completion and Employment (PACE) initiative was undertaken by a consortium of all 22 community and technical colleges in Arkansas, led by NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC). PACE Consortium member Phillips Community College – University of Arkansas transformed their nursing programs by reducing time to completion and improving pathways for students.

Developmental Education Redesign

Developmental Education Redesign: The Colorado Online Energy Training Consortium (COETC) developmental education redesign involves replacing the traditional sequence of developmental education courses with courses that employ acceleration, modularization, and contextualization.
Intrusive Student Support and Contextualized Developmental Education: MoHealthWINs colleges are redesigning developmental education and implementing intrusive student support services.

Intentional Partnerships

Building Intentional Partnerships to Sustain Student Success: The Oregon CASE (Credentials, Acceleration, and Support for Employment) Management Team collaborated with Oregon’s Employment Department to hire a TAA liaison to the community colleges, to support improved processes and communication for TAA-eligible students participating in the programs of study.
Business and Industry Leadership Teams:The National Information, Security, and Geospatial Technology Consortium’s (NISGTC) BILTs are national and local teams of business and industry leaders who meet quarterly and provide leadership in the development of curriculum in their specialty area.
Leveraging Partnerships to Expand Education, Training, and Employment Opportunities: The Community College Consortium for Biosciences Credentials (c3bc), a national consortium led by Forsyth Technical Community College, received a Round Two TAACCCT grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to increase education and training for biosciences jobs. The twelve colleges in eight states in the consortium worked to strengthen existing and build new collaborations with biosciences employers, industry associations, and workforce agencies.
Partnership Trifecta: Education, Workforce, and Industry: In their activities to improve upon Florida’s training and education system in advanced manufacturing, the Florida TRADE Consortium sought broad engagement of key stakeholders, including college presidents, academic deans, and corporate college directors; state and local workforce board representatives; and small and large manufacturers and industry association.
Transforming Delivery of Education and Training Across the State: The Massachusetts Community College Workforce Development Transformation Agenda consortium brought together the higher education, economic development, adult basic education and workforce development systems with industry stakeholders to transform the delivery of education and training programs in six key sectors.

Student Engagement and Supports

Building Student Engagement Through Technology: Consortium for Healthcare Education Online (CHEO) is focused on utilizing technology to build collective impact and break down geographical barriers across the five states in which the eight colleges are located. The technology includes interactive lightboards, simulation hospitals, and mobile ambulances to support student learning.
Implementing a Military Transitions Program: This brief provides information on how TRAC-7’s Military Transitions Program was designed, implemented, and then sustained by KanTRAIN, including a) key factors that facilitated the implementation of the program, b) key factors for effectively serving veteran populations, and c) strategies for stakeholder engagement.
Using Navigators to Support Student Success: Gulf Coast IT Consortium supported student success and diversity through career navigators.