In the Know with ACCT

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January 23, 2020  

Part 1: Community Colleges Are Leading the Way in Prison Education

Since 2015, over 25 community colleges throughout the United States have been offering college programs in prisons funded by the Department of Education’s Second Chance Pell Grant experiment. Part of ACCT’s congressional advocacy has been to support a repeal of the ban on using federal financial aid in prisons.

This episode, recorded live during the 50th Annual ACCT Leadership Congress, explains how trustees can help to bring their colleges' educational resources to area prisons.

The episode features colleges that have been offering college in prison programs and campus reentry services. You will also hear from two students whose participation in college in prison transformed their lives.

Panelists include:

Related information:

January 14, 2020  

Part 2: Meet Maria, Amarillo College’s Most Promising Student

The leadership at Amarillo Colleges in Texas wants nothing more than for its students to succeed. And they knew that in order to empower every student to make the most of their potential, they need to understand every student. But how? The college has operated in its community for 90 years, and the makeup of the community and the needs of students have changed dramatically over time.

In this episode, Amarillo Colleges Regent Jay Barrett and President Russell Lowery-Hart profile the college's most significant student, Maria, and explain how getting to know her has transformed the institution. 

Maria is a “the typical student at Amarillo College. She’s...female. She’s first-generation; 71 percent of our students are first generation. She goes to school part time; 60 percent of our students go to class 12 (credit) hours a year. She’s working two part-time jobs. She’s the mother of at least 1.2 kids, and she’s 28 years old," according to Lowery-Hart. She is highly intelligent and tenacious—but she won't reach her potential without higher education. Maria is a composite representative of the typical Amarillo College student, and understanding her needs and motivations has proven to be the key to success for the college.

By empowering Maria as a secret shopper, asking her to write the college values, and redesigning systems around her, completion rates at the college improved from 19 percent to 48 percent over three years. 

This episode was recorded live during the 50th Annual ACCT Leadership Congress in San Francisco, California.

January 7, 2020  

Part 1: Meet Maria, Amarillo College’s Most Promising Student

The leadership at Amarillo Colleges in Texas wants nothing more than for its students to succeed. And they knew that in order to empower every student to make the most of their potential, they need to understand every student. But how? The college has operated in its community for 90 years, and the makeup of the community and the needs of students have changed dramatically over time.

In this episode, Amarillo Colleges Regent Jay Barrett and President Russell Lowery-Hart profile the college's most significant student, Maria, and explain how getting to know her has transformed the institution. 

Maria is a “the typical student at Amarillo College. She’s...female. She’s first-generation; 71 percent of our students are first generation. She goes to school part time; 60 percent of our students go to class 12 (credit) hours a year. She’s working two part-time jobs. She’s the mother of at least 1.2 kids, and she’s 28 years old," according to Lowery-Hart. She is highly intelligent and tenacious—but she won't reach her potential without higher education. Maria is a composite representative of the typical Amarillo College student, and understanding her needs and motivations has proven to be the key to success for the college.

By empowering Maria as a secret shopper, asking her to write the college values, and redesigning systems around her, completion rates at the college improved from 19 percent to 48 percent over three years. 

This episode was recorded live during the 50th Annual ACCT Leadership Congress in San Francisco, California.

December 17, 2019  

Graceful Transitions: How Wyoming’s Incoming and Outgoing College Presidents Are Working Together

On this episode In The Know, ACCT Director of Strategic Communications David Conner and Educational Events Director Christina Simons talked with Dr. Kim Dale, the incoming president at Western Wyoming Community College, and Dr. Karla Leech, the outgoing president. They discuss how they have worked together to avail Dale of Leech's extensive experience and her relationships throughout Wyoming, while handing the college reins to Dale so that she can run the college in her own way. Their mutual respect is evident throughout the conversation, and it sets an example for an ideal presidential transition.

This episode was recorded in August 2019 during the Governance Leadership Institute (GLI) for New Trustees. Check out our events page for more information about the GLI and other events.

December 10, 2019  

2020 Legislative Priorities and National Legislative Summit

On today’s episode, ACCT Associate Writer Jacob Bray spoke with Director of Government Relations Jennifer Stiddard about what's at stake for community colleges in the coming year. In addition to an overview of the 2020 Community College National Legislative Summit, Jennifer discusses the legislative priorities that all community college leaders and advocates should be aware of during the next legislative session. A lot is changing next year with a presidential election, along with house and senate elections. It will be important to make sure your voice is heard in the higher education conversation.

To register for the National Legislative Summit visit NLS.ACCT.org. For more information, you can email Jennifer at jstiddard@acct.org.