Tri-C at Forefront of Reimagining Access
Inside Higher Ed column notes College aligning opportunities to increase access
Though society is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, its impacts are still far-reaching and have caused leaders in many fields to reassess their processes and policies. Education is one such area.
In a recent Inside Higher Ed column, Karen A. Stout takes a look a number of colleges around the country — including Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) — that have started rethinking how they approach educational access in light of the pandemic and the economic hardship it has caused for many students.
Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream — a nonprofit that champions higher education improvement and student success — notes that Tri-C took the traditional view of education and reversed it, leading to a realization about how to best connect its students with access to education.
“At Tri-C, institutional leaders saw that some students didn’t need college so they could get a job; they needed a job so they could go to college,” Stout writes. “Consequently, Tri-C is looking at ways to better align employment with education and training opportunities as a matter of access to college.”
Stout writes that the physical location of a college campus plays a major role in access — particularly when it comes to poverty and unemployment rates in the immediate vicinity.
She recommends that college and community leaders continue working together to analyze the unique needs created by the setting in which each campus is located and to build programs that meet the needs of students and employers in an ever-changing, post-pandemic environment.
“Community colleges will recover from the pandemic,” she continues. “Those that thrive will be those that are beginning to move on from the boom demographic years and the enrollment and management apparatus of past success. We must begin to build a new pipeline for the talent that is being lost in our communities. The strength of community colleges has always been local, and we can leverage our localness in new ways.”
May 28, 2021
Erik Cassano, 216-987-3577 or firstname.lastname@example.org