Enhancing Performance: A Best Practices Guide for Innovations in Community Colleges is a collection of essays from community college leaders across the country addressing challenges facing today’s community colleges and providing practical, successful solutions their institutions have implemented. Some of the essays address foundational issues, including the role of innovation, strategic enrollment management, and campus safety strategies on the future of community colleges. In the essays, leaders suggest ways campuses can create opportunities for intentional student-faculty connections, provide revitalized advising services, and support the needs of marginalized student populations. The essays also address the role of community colleges in promoting civic engagement, responding to community crises, and addressing critical need. Each essay challenges us to delve deeper into the issues and find workable solutions. The essay authors are community college leaders who are alumni, faculty, or advisory board members in the doctoral program in Community College Leadership (DCCL Program) at Ferris State University (Michigan).
Sandra J. Balkema, PhD, is the dissertation director for the Doctorate in Community College Leadership (DCCL) program at Ferris State University. In this role, she supports the graduate students throughout their dissertation journeys, from identifying research topics and approaches and selecting a dissertation chair and mentor, to defense and subsequent publishing of the final dissertation.
Roberta C. Teahen, PhD, is the director for the Doctorate in Community College Leadership (DCCL) program at Ferris State University and serves as a faculty member and dissertation advisor. Teahen has served in multiple faculty and leadership roles at a community college and at Ferris State University, where she was most recently associate provost. She is a long-time champion of community colleges and takes special pride in mentoring others and encouraging innovation and excellence in higher education.
Introduction: Leadership Matters!
Roberta C. Teahen
SECTION I. CREATING AGILE INSTITUTIONS
Chapter 1: Innovation and the 21st Century Community College
Paige M. Niehaus
Chapter 2: The Power of Connection
Joianne L. Smith and Ruth Williams
Chapter 3: Strategic Enrollment Management: SEM and the Art of Enrollment Maintenance
Chapter 4: Could Your Campus Be Safer? Comprehensive Support and Safety Strategies that Work
Cheryl M. Hagen
SECTION II. MEETING STUDENTS’ NEEDS
Chapter 5: Fearless Leaders: Improving Student Persistence through Advising Transformation
Chapter 6: Institutional Responsiveness to African American Male College Students (AAMCS): Are Minority Male Initiatives Working?
Michael A. Couch II and Tina L. Hummons
Chapter 7: Cracking the Barriers for African American and Latinx Students in STEM Education
Abdel-Moaty M. Fayek
Chapter 8: College Students in Poverty: Examples of Collaborative Efforts and Interventions
Armando Burciaga and Saundra Kay King
SECTION III: ENGAGING STUDENTS AND FACULTY IN LEARNING
Chapter 9: Thinking Civically: Delta College Champions Community Engagement
Kimberly M. Klein
Chapter 10: Persistence and Completion: Solutions for the Classroom
Chapter 11: Emulating Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA): A Model to Sustain Student Learning Outcomes Assessment
SECTION IV: RESPONDING TO CHANGING NEEDS
Chapter 12: Innovation in Challenging Times: Community College Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Chapter 13: Student Success During COVID-19: A Case Study from Eastern Iowa Community Colleges
Chapter 14: Creating Institutions of Excellence
Chapter 15: The Beliefs Agenda: An Extraordinary New Paradigm for College Completion
Lee Ann Nutt
Sandra J. Balkema
About the Authors and Editors
By sharing practitioner-focused strategies for innovation at the community college, this book provides a framework for leaders to ground the good decisions and to lead change. The evidence-based approaches described in this book comprise a field guide for future leaders who aspire to make sustainable, student-centered at their institutions.
The 2020 pandemic was a catalytic event forcing community colleges to accelerate innovation on campuses across the nation. The authors provide a robust sample of effective practices appropriate for the challenges and opportunities facing colleges today. This book serves not only hope, but models, tools, and approaches anchored in empirical evidence and amplified with voices and experiences of students, faculty, staff, and administrators from across the country. Written for “practice-ready” leaders, the authors cover topics from supporting minoritized students, building sociocultural capital, assessing student learning outcomes, evaluating technology to support student retention, and professional development for faculty and staff. The post-pandemic world and the national activism around racial equity calls for modernizing the community college mission to prepare students for greater citizenship in their communities and beyond. The authors touch upon these and other topics relevant for other populations traditionally served by community colleges—the economically disadvantaged, first generation, and adult students. In sum, Enhancing Performance is a powerful collection of examples of collaborations that empower leaders within their institutions to experiment and steward in innovative ways, and in service of their students and communities.
While many books for aspiring community college leaders focus on theory, “Enhancing Performance” delivers the practical, real-world knowledge needed to succeed in a higher education landscape being transformed by rapid economic, technological and demographic change. The skilled practitioners who authored this important text have drawn on their experience as change agents to produce essential reading for those seeking to enhance their expertise in academic and student affairs, finance, information technology, and compliance and risk management.
The sustaining power of community colleges as disruptive innovation is fostered by the ever-evolving "Islands of Innovation" that continue to emerge throughout the community college landscape. This book provides thoughtful insights and practical ideas and reinforces the 1969 writings of B. Lamar Johnson, known as the father of community colleges, that innovation occurs throughout the college.
This book, informed and influenced by higher education practitioners, provides an engaged higher education graduate student or an emerging or seasoned community college leader with insights on how to ensure success for the students of today who choose to change their lives, destinies and family trees at a community college. The relevant and real-world student and organizational success examples presented in this book provide the reader or researcher with demonstrated evidence on what currently works in this ever-changing landscape of higher education, especially within Democracy’s College, the modern-day Ellis Island of higher education — community colleges.
Having worked with the DCCL program for several years I find Enhancing Performance: A Best Practices Guide for Innovations in Community Colleges to be reflective of the high quality and attention to detail seen in the Ferris State University faculty and staff. What a great professional development opportunity for aspiring leaders in community colleges!
Enhancing Performance: A Best Practices Guide for Innovations in Community Colleges stands as a testament to the positive and long-lasting impact of Ferris State University’s Doctorate in Community College Leadership Program. The book takes a comprehensive look at the key issues facing community colleges today. It is an important read for community college leaders committed to action and to making a difference.
A very helpful read. This series of well-curated short essays provides a broad and representative survey of the critical contemporary issues and challenges facing community colleges, drawn from the experiences of institutions from across the nation. Ideas are fresh and innovative, from design thinking in building effective student services to a beliefs-based approach to achieving student success outcomes. They represent some of the best thinking of the emerging generation of leaders who will continue to make community colleges the most relevant institutions of higher education needed to tackle the nation’s most significant challenges. This book is an important contribution to the literature, as is Ferris State’s contribution to the development of community college leaders as reflected here.