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Re-visioning Community Colleges

Positioning for Innovation

Debbie Sydow and Richard L. Alfred

Re-visioning Community Colleges traces the development and generational evolution of community colleges, explores the past success and future capacity of community colleges as disruptive innovators, and analyzes this sector’s unique advantages and vulnerabilities. Ultimately, Sydow and Aflred presents alternative futures for community colleges as they—like all sectors of higher education—face rapidly changing environmental forces and conditions. Re-visioning, the primary thrust of the book, is the process of foresight into the shape that community colleges will likely take in the future, on the basis of their growth and innovation trajectory and in response to the dramatic industry shift that is currently underway in the higher education enterprise. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers / Amer Council Ed Ace (Post Acq)
Pages: 148Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/4
978-1-4422-1486-6 • Hardback • December 2012 • $76.00 • (£49.95)
978-1-4422-1488-0 • eBook • December 2012 • $74.99 • (£49.95)
Debbie L. Sydow is the president of Richard Bland College.

Richard Alfred is professor emeritus of higher education in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan.
  • Breaking Barriers, Boundaries and Beliefs
  • Paradox of the Present
  • Organizing for Innovation
  • Shape of the Future
  • Epilogue: Perspective and a Change in Focus
    About the Authors
    Sydow (president, Richard Bland Coll.) and Alfred (education, emeritus, Univ. of Michigan) analyze the role of community colleges in higher education. Their rapid growth in the 20th century improved access to higher learning. In the 21st century, access is no longer sufficient; completion and accountability are needed. Reduced resources have forced community colleges to restructure through a lens of growth and reduction, abundance and scarcity, continuity and change, access and success. Here the authors present models of restructuring that have been successful; for instance, one case study shows a community college using 'reaccreditation as a catalyst for systematically reinventing itself'— a part of the college’s strategic plan to improve management and the institution as a whole, including its enrollment, use of physical space, budget development, and programming. Most valuable are the sections with concrete illustrations of innovations at community colleges around the country and reports from foundations and education associations calling for specific changes. The authors address the challenges facing community colleges through a combination of theory and case studies, historical perspective, an explanation of institutional stagnation, and potential paths to revival. VERDICT This title is best suited for the professional educator.
    Library Journal

    With the spotlight on community colleges as never before, this book is a MUST READ for all community college educators! In honoring the past, Sydow and Alfred provide a great synopsis of the history of the community college movement. As we look toward the future, they challenge educational innovators to lead the way for community colleges to be 'change adept' as opposed to 'change adverse.' Opportunities abound as never before for community colleges to help insure the economic future of our country. The ideas contained in Re-visioning Community Colleges will inspire and motivate educators to chart a bold future for this important sector of higher education.
    E. Ann McGee, president, Seminole State College of Florida

    Sydow and Alfred have provided, through this text, a desperately needed field guide for the uneven and shifting landscape surrounding today’s community college. Grounded in thoughtful context, yet providing a view of promising practices, the authors ask fresh questions of the reader, suggesting opportunity, and ideally prompting deliberate action for grappling with the seemingly unending disruptive innovation in higher education.
    Daniel J. Phelan, President/CEO, Jackson Community College; Chair of Board of Directors of American Association of Community Colleges