University Business - March 2011 - (Page 22)

VIEWPOINT A proposal about the intersection of today’s and tomorrow’s student marketplace Community College/Four-Year Partnerships By Brian C. Mitchell and Kurt M. iede D O YOU BELIEVE THAT some of the best and brightest of the next greatest generation of college students will begin their higher ed experiences at a community college? Well, we do. at is why we reallocated over $7 million of scholarship funds and operating support at Bucknell University (Pa.) for a period of six academic years to facilitate the Bucknell Community College Scholars Program. Supported by a significant grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Community College Transfer Initiative, the program has been a tremendous success for our students and the Bucknell community in general. It has opened our thinking as a university community to how the lessons learned through this experience might be leveraged to provide these important learning opportunities to more students and more four-year campus communities across America. ese are times of rapidly changing national and global demographics and economics. It could be said that community colleges are where the current and future student markets and higher education intersect. Millions of these students are pursuing their higher education on a full-time basis; others are cobbling together academic programs around work and family schedules. Depending on institutional interest and strategic plans, we believe community colleges could prove to be invaluable partners with four-year schools (particularly private colleges and universities) seeking to enroll the best students available and reshape their enrollments to reflect our changing nation and world. Community colleges could be invaluable partners for four-year schools seeking to reshape enrollment. We propose a national network of interconnected regional consortia to encourage and facilitate access and greater choice for highly-motivated and accomplished community college students to four-year institutions. is would be a truly collaborative effort, leveraging the resources of each participating institution and being supported by a combination of public and private funding. How can this be done? What would a national network of regional consortia look like? e details of the proposed organization—some of which are listed below—are still in the works, but in essence, each regional consortium would be coordinated by a central regional office that provided all the services of a robust transfer center one might find at a large institution that enrolled significant numbers of transfer students. Some examples of the responsibilities of the regional office include: 1) identifying prospective students who fit best at the member four-year schools, 2) assist- ing member institutions with the policies (e.g., articulation and course equivalency agreements) that accompany these arrangements, 3) establishing active working relationships between institutions and students to ensure that the transition for each student is as seamless as possible, and 4) providing fundraising support to keep membership expenses to a minimum. Once the basic structure is put into place, each regional office might work with subsets of the membership for specific programs such as STEM grant opportunities for schools with strong preEngineering and Engineering programs. e concept is based on the following assumptions: • The practice of comprehensive enrollment planning and management must consider the complete life cycle of a student-alumnus/a; • CC students must be seen as another pool (somewhat untapped to date) of highly qualified students from which institutions can draw; • CC students must be viewed as an integral part of the institution’s enrollment and student life plan, not simply as individuals to fill seats; • CC students, as with first-year students, must be viewed as potential alumni who will have a lifetime affiliation with the institution; • CC students will enrich a campus community with their life experiences and perspectives. ese students will provide institutions the opportunity to begin Brian C. Mitchell served as president of Bucknell University from 2005 to 2010. Kurt M. iede is Bucknell’s current vice president for enrollment management. 22 | March 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - March 2011

University Business - March 2011
Editor’s Note
College Index
Company Index
Advisory Board
Behind the News
Sense of Place
Human Resources
Universities and Investment Fraud
Going the Distance
Meeting the Transparent Pricing Mandate
Community Colleges
What’s New
End Note

University Business - March 2011