A Video Look Back… at MACC’s 2nd Annual Statewide Summit on Completion!

Here’s a quick highlights video… of a spectacular day, as more than 400 community college administrators, faculty and staff from across the state gathered together at CCBC Catonsville on December 9 for MACC’s 2nd Annual “Summit on Completion.” Attendees shared best practices and strategies during the full-day conference and reaffirmed their joint commitment to increasing the number of students who complete degrees and other credentials, and successfully transfer to four-year institutions.

Please visit the MACC website for a full conference recap. There, you’ll find The Community College Times article about the event: “Md. colleges advance completion agenda,” along with the conference program, posted conference materials, photos from the event, and more. You’ll also be able to access full-length videos of the speakers from the opening, luncheon and closing sessions.

Thanks to the outstanding team from the Community College of Baltimore County for hosting the event at CCBC Catonsville, and for making these videos available!

More Than 400 Turn Out for Maryland Association of Community Colleges’ 2nd ‘Summit on Completion’

More than 400 community college administrators, faculty and staff from across the state — along with Maryland Higher Education Secretary Danette Howard and  other prominent education leaders — gathered for MACC’s 2nd Annual “Summit on Completion,” on December 9. Attendees shared best practices and strategies during the full-day conference and reaffirmed their joint commitment to increasing the number of students who complete degrees and other credentials, and successfully transfer to four-year institutions.

Thanks to Dr. Sandra Kurtinitis, President of CCBC (Community College of Baltimore County), and her team for hosting a fabulous event out at CCBC Catonsville. Please visit the MACC website for a conference recap. There, you’ll find The Community College Times article about the event: “Md. colleges advance completion agenda,” along with the conference program, posted conference materials, photos from the event, and more.

Federal Report to Recommend Revised Methodology For Tracking Community College Completion

Not only are community colleges making great progress toward improving student completion success, they are also making huge strides in urging education policymakers, nationally, to develop a more accurate and effective methodology for tracking graduation rates and other measures of completion success. Maryland’s community colleges welcomed the news this week that a federal committee’s just-released draft report recommends to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan a broad series of changes in measuring completion success, including that of fully counting students who transfer from community colleges to four-year institutions.

“That move would be a victory for community colleges,” notes an article in Inside Higher Education about the recommendations. Maryland’s community colleges have been in the forefront of this issue, as noted on this blog and reflected in a commentary piece authored by Dr. Craig Claggett of Carroll Community College, which ran earlier this fall in that same publication. A final report will be transmitted to Secretary Duncan within the next few weeks.

Montgomery College: Creating a Supportive Environment for LGBT Students

Access and affordability have always been hallmarks of our community colleges. And in recent years, they have become well known for their cultural diversity and commitment to inclusiveness. Day in and day out, our colleges are working to create a supportive environment for learning, to ensure that all students have the opportunity to pursue and, ultimately, achieve their goal of completing a college education.

One example is found in a new awareness campaign that was launched recently by Montgomery College. A group of concerned Montgomery College employees developed “Making It Better,” a college-wide statement that celebrates the College’s diversity and takes a stand against bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) students, faculty and staff. To learn more about the campaign, the college has posted a web page featuring links to two videos that have been created.

 

Engaging Business in the Completion Agenda

Community colleges across America are undertaking innovative initiatives and strategies to ensure an increase in student completion rates, and now they are stepping up the effort by engaging prominent business leaders in the college completion agenda. Recently, the American Association of Community Colleges’ Corporate Council signed a new “Call to Action” that aims to strengthen partnerships with businesses to create more opportunities for applying successful business strategies to the challenge.

Saluting… and Serving Our Veterans as Students!

 

Courtesy of Montgomery College

As we join our entire nation in pausing to salute our veterans on this very special Veteran’s Day of 11-11-11, we also celebrate the longstanding bond that has always existed between veterans and community colleges – dating back, in part, to the times when so many community colleges burst on the scene, as a result of the GI Bill.

Maryland ‘s community colleges are working diligently each day to help all students to earn a college degree or certification that will prepare them for success in our 21st century economy. And they are working especially hard to provide added services and support to help today’s returning war veterans in integrating back into our communities and community colleges.

One such program that has garnered national attention is the “Combat2College” program that was launched at our own Montgomery College. Community colleges around the state are proudly welcoming veterans into their classrooms and are ready to serve those who have served all of us. If you know a veteran who is looking to start or re-start his or her college education, we hope you’ll encourage them to check with their local community college.

We’ve provided some links below to pages on various Maryland community college websites, with information of particular interest to our returning veterans. On behalf of Maryland’s 16 community colleges, our deepest appreciation to all of our veterans!

Allegany College

Anne Arundel Community College

Baltimore City Community College

Carroll Community College

Cecil College

Chesapeake College

College of Southern Maryland

Community College of Baltimore County

Frederick Community College

Garrett College

Hagerstown Community College

Howard Community College

Montgomery College

Prince George’s Community College

Wor-Wic Community College

 

Washington Post Article: Community Colleges ‘Draw More Affluent Students’

‎”Middle-class and affluent students are enrolling in community colleges because it is a good value.” So reports the Washington Post today, in an article by the Post’s higher education reporter, Dan de Vise. Read the article here and find out what students and families are saying about the academic quality and value they find at community colleges!

One notable excerpt from the piece: Community colleges, many with two-year honors programs, are competing with four-year schools for the accomplished high school graduate. Their top students can transfer to prestigious universities and finish their education at reduced expense.

Do you have a great story to share about a student or students who are choosing community colleges as their first choice and starting place for the pursuit of their college degree(s)? We’d love to hear from you.

National Study Shows Community College Degree and Certificate Attainment is Far Outpacing Enrollment Growth

The American Association of Community Colleges recently released a revealing policy brief that examines trends in the educational attainment of community college students. And it bears out some good news. Over the past 20 years, during a time of rapidly rising enrollments, the number of credentials awarded to community college students has risen at double the pace of enrollment — and at an even higher rate for students of color.

More good news from the study: actual student transfer rates are much higher than have been commonly reported in the past. The full document, entitled “The Road Ahead: A Look at Trends in the Educational Attainment of Community College Students,” is available on the American Association of Community Colleges web site.

CCBC: Taking on the ‘Financial Literacy’ Hurdle Faced by Many Students

There can be many hurdles in front of students aiming to earn a college degree, including those of the financial challenges that await them when student loans and other debt may pile up. The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) is working closely with students to counsel them on the issue of “financial literacy,” helping them to better prepare themselves in managing their personal budgets. CCBC Developmental Education Coordinator Sonya Caesar discussed the challenge this week in a segment on the national PBS program, “Nightly Business Report.”

CCBC has also produced an enlightening video of its own on the financial literacy issue, entitled: “Beyond the Classroom Walls.” Please check it out!

Pledging Our Commitment to Completion…

How committed are Maryland’s community colleges to increasing student completion success? So much so that all 16 have signed on to a national completion pledge sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges. With the full participation of all 16 of its community colleges, Maryland is the only state to have signed on, as a whole, to the national campaign.

Perhaps even more importantly, our students are pledging their individual commitment to completing their college education by signing on to the Community College Completion Challenge, which is sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa, the world’s oldest and largest community college honors society. Events to recruit students to participate in the completion pledge, such as this function held recently at Wor-Wic Community College, are being hosted on community college campuses throughout the state.