FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Corinne MacIntire
Community Colleges from Four States Join AACRAO at Strategic Enrollment Management Planning Convening
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 27, 2023) – Nearly 160 representatives from 56 community colleges across four states came together this June at the AACRAO Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Planning Convening to showcase their long-range plans for increasing access and improving student success. More than nine million students are enrolled in community colleges in the U.S. and around 41 percent of all undergraduate students are at two-year institutions. The community college is a key factor in degree completion. To meet the evolving needs of a diverse group of learners and to meet the business constraints of access-oriented educational institutions, community colleges need resources and technical assistance to advance their knowledge of SEM.
In advance of the convening, AACRAO Consulting coaches worked with participating community colleges to establish comprehensive SEM plans developed with specific strategies and tactics to address the enrollment and success of adult learners, especially those of color. The cohort of colleges is an example of how philanthropy and education institutions are working together to address the needs of students, colleges, and communities. Each college established goals for increasing enrollment, persistence, and completion in their programs. More than half of these colleges have already begun implementing their plans. This work was made possible by a grant from Lumina Foundation.
“There has never been a more important time for community colleges to reach the millions of people who could benefit from earning a credential that will help them progress to their personal and professional goals and ultimately improve their economic mobility. As higher education professionals you know how life-changing it is when education and opportunity align, and for that to happen it takes more than a wish or a hope. It takes strategy,” says Lumina Strategy Director for Community College Participation, Shauna Davis.
In a time of declining enrollment, budget challenges, and high staff turnover, this SEM planning initiative supports the work that colleges are doing to link, integrate, and extend strategies to close equity gaps in persistence and completion. Sharing successes and challenges with each other at the convening energized college leaders to act and implement SEM plans that will help their institutions support adult learners and fulfill their commitment to equity and access. By taking a more intentional, global, and strategic approach, institutions can ensure equitable and accessible programs and opportunities that prepare all learners for the workforce and beyond. AACRAO Consulting looks forward to its continued collaboration with community colleges to advance their knowledge of strategic enrollment management and implementation of plans that support improved opportunities and outcomes for students.
Visit AACRAO’s learning mobility resources to learn more about AACRAO’s efforts to create equitable and accessible programs and opportunities that prepare all learners for the workforce and beyond.