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ERIC Number: ED535906
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Apr
Pages: 56
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 19
Reclaiming the American Dream: Community Colleges and the Nation’s Future. A Report from the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges
American Association of Community Colleges (NJ1)
In the summer of 2011, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) launched a new 21st-Century Initiative. The overall goal of the initiative is to educate an additional 5 million students with degrees, certificates, or other credentials by 2020. Grounded in the enduring commitment of community colleges to improving the lives of students through opportunity and excellence, the initiative, which enjoyed the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, ACT, and the Educational Testing Service, unfolded in two phases. In Phase 1, a listening tour, AACC staff gathered information from across the nation on student access, institutional accountability, budget constraints, big ideas for the future, and what AACC can do for its members. During that activity, AACC staff heard from more than 1,300 stakeholders in 10 regions of the country--students, college faculty and staff, administrators, trustees, state policymakers, and college presidents and chancellors. The 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges represents Phase 2 of the AACC effort. The Commission was handed an imposing charge. Recognizing that emerging challenges require unprecedented vision, ingenuity, courage, and focus from community colleges, the Commission was asked both to safeguard the fundamental mission of the community college--ensuring that millions of diverse and often underserved students attain a high-quality college education--and to challenge community colleges to imagine a new future for themselves, to ensure the success of our students, our institutions, and our nation. In this investigation, everything was to be put on the table, including the issues of the nation's prosperity and its global competitiveness, community college student success and completion rates, equity of access and outcomes across student groups, public accountability for institutional performance and student success, and effectiveness and efficiency in preparing students for real jobs paying family-supporting wages. This report, "Reclaiming the American Dream," is the culmination of that effort. Appended are: (1) Members of the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges; (2) Experts Who Presented to the Commission; (3) Overview of the Listening Tour; and (4) List of 21st-Century Commission Working Briefs. (Contains 3 figures, 7 tables and 25 source notes.)
American Association of Community Colleges. One Dupont Circle NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20015. Tel: 202-728-0200; Fax: 202-833-2467; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Kresge Foundation; ACT, Inc.; Educational Testing Service
Authoring Institution: American Association of Community Colleges