“ All individuals should have the opportunity to rise to their greatest potential.” Virginia community colleges offer several paths for the prepared and less prepared student to consider at a lower cost and in many cases geographically located close to the student’s home. Remedial work is made available as well as more individualized attention if the student desires to eventually transfer to a four year institution after two years. Vocational-technical education may also be an option to train students for positions in business and industry, although, in many cases, since the 1970s, high numbers of students who complete vocational programs have been transferring to universities. Mission Statement. (2009). Retrieved April 15, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/WhoWeAre/Mission/tabid/102/Default.aspx
In April 1966, Governor Mills E. Godwin, Jr. signed a bill for a statewide system of community colleges. The system actually did not start with nothing. There were nine technical colleges and seven branch colleges. Governor Godwin quoted the statement above to show the need and the desire for the colleges in the statewide system to be united. Virginia’s Community Colleges: Celebrate the Power of Potential. (2006). Retrieved April 15, 2011, from http:// leg2.state.va.us/dls/h&sdocs.nsf/fc86c2b17a1cf388852570f9006f1299/1beef 4c50bd88cc8852570b900500950/$FILE/RD272.pdf
The Slaughter Commission was created in 1962 for the purpose of deciding whether there was a true need for vocational and technical education. The commission soon discovered that there was a “growing” need for technical training and for young people to have a higher level of skills prior to entering the workforce. In 1964, the State Board of Technical Education was created to establish and oversee the formation of the vocational and technical schools. Prior to the action by the State Board of Technical Education, the Vocational Education Commission not only formed the foundation for a system of technical colleges, but recommended that the state should meet postsecondary needs through a community college system. The Virginia Higher Education Student Commission was then assigned to make the necessary decisions so to constitute the establishment of a community college system. The recommendations of the Slaughter Commission and the Higher Education Study Commission ultimately led to the legislation that Governor Godwin signed into effect in 1966. Bassett, Max L. (1997, June). Virginia community college system: Three decades of educational service. Community College Journal and Research & Practice, 21 (4). doi: 10668926
From the beginning, the three basic principles of the community college system have been accessibility, comprehensiveness, and lifelong learning. Accessibility requires the open access and low tuition and even in present day remains a top goal. Comprehensiveness pertains to the curriculum, and lifelong learning relates to the community college student engaging in his/her studies as time, interest, and opportunities allow. In 1966, the Virginia Community College System grew rapidly. Starting with two technical institutes that became the first community colleges. Four years later, fourteen community colleges became part of VCCS. The original plan was to divide the state into 22 regions with a community college in each region and one region having two. Today, there are 23 just as there was then, but there are additional campuses. Enrollment continued to grow as colleges were established. Today, the enrollment continues to grow, but funds are becoming more difficult to come by. Budget cuts have become a top concern for all higher education institutions. Bassett, Max L. (1997, June). Virginia community college system: Three decades of educational service. Community College Journal and Research & Practice, 21 (4). doi: 10668926
This chart shows the number two-year, community colleges, and four-year institutions there are in the state of Virginia. There is also the number of undergraduates per public and private colleges with the community colleges having the highest number of undergraduate students. State Council for Higher Education for Virginia. (2008). Basic enrollment report by institution (the E2 Report) [Data file]. Retrieved from http://research.schev.edu /enrollment/e2_report.asp
The enrollment increases at Virginia community colleges are due to several reasons, stemming from general population growth, which encompasses the fact that older students’ are participating, financial aid is available, students can attend part-time while holding down a job, remedial courses are offered, and the technical or vocational education is available. In addition, “Students are able to attend more selective four-year institutions if they first attend community colleges.” The community college is a benefit to all students those academically ahead and those needing support. It is also there for those that are not college bound, but seek training and skills to earn a living. With access to community colleges everyone can be a “potential student.” Cohen, Authur M. & Brawer, Florence B. (2008). The American Community College . (5 th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
T he majority of students entering open-door community colleges come from the lower half of the high school classes, both academically and socioeconomically.” These students probably would not be in college at all if community colleges did not exist, due to the inability to meet admission requirements for the four-year institutions. For those wanting to transfer and earn their baccalaureate degree, the community college lends a way for students to achieve that goal, providing remedial courses and a structured plan of study. Another group to consider would be the adults who want to learn new skills to gain employment as well as working adults to improve the skills they already possess for which part-time attendance would be available and not discouraged. Third, let’s not forget those who seek classes strictly for pleasure or personal reasons. By testing and preparing a plan of study for each student as a part of the entrance requirements “retention can be enhanced,” and the dropout rate decreased. Students who have the opportunity to be acclimated to college through testing, a plan of study, and appreciative advisement, increases the chances of students completing a two or four-year degree. Structure would be present, placing the student on the right path to succeed. In the reading, in most cases the reasons for students dropping out are “related to situations beyond the college’s control.” However, institutional interventions might be an option or an ounce of prevention. If a student is advised properly, encouraged by those at the college, and gaining self-confidence that comes with the feeling of achievement, the thought of dropping out or allowing something to interfere for many would not be an option. The community college lends a way for students to achieve that goal, providing remedial courses and a structured plan of study. for which part-time attendance would be available and not discouraged. Cohen, Authur M. & Brawer, Florence B. (2008). The American Community College. (5th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Bassett, Max L. (1997, June). Virginia community college system: Three decades of educational service. Community College Journal and Research & Practice , 21 (4). doi: 10668926
The first chart shows the enrollment for fall 2009 based on the total headcount and full-time equivalent students. The second chart reveals the enrollment based on gender. Virginia Community College System. (2010). Faculty and staff . Retrieved March 12, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/Research/hcfte09.html Virginia Community College System. (2010). Faculty and staff . Retrieved March 12, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/Research/gender09.html
The VCCS has prepared for more detailed tracking by race/ethnicity by increasing the choices to accommodate the diversity present in the college environment. Virginia Community College System. (2010). Faculty and staff . Retrieved March 12, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/Research/newrace09.html
By testing and preparing a plan of study for each student as a part of the entrance requirements “retention can be enhanced,” and the dropout rate decreased. Students who have the opportunity to be acclimated to college through testing, a plan of study, and appreciative advisement, increases the chances of students completing a two or four-year degree. Structure would be present, placing the student on the right path to succeed. In most cases the reasons for students dropping out are “related to situations beyond the college’s control.” However, institutional interventions might be an option or an ounce of prevention. If a student is advised properly, encouraged by those at the college, and gaining self-confidence that comes with the feeling of achievement, the thought of dropping out or allowing something to interfere for many would not be an option. According to the chart, the total enrollment for fall has increased as well as the number of returning students, meaning that the retention rate has increased each year. VCCS must be doing something right! Virginia Community College System. (2010). Student retention. Retrieved March 12, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/Research/retention.htm
The Virginia Community College graduation rate for Fall 2009 consists of students who were first-time, full-time, and program-placed. The graduates are students earning an award in three academic years, plus the following summer. This is a 150% completion period which attaches summer awards to the prior year. The transfers are students beginning with the Fall 2006 Cohort, National Student Clearinghouse Data was used to determine enrollment at another institution. This does not include graduates who transferred. The result is a graduation rate of 17.5%. The graduation rate had a two year decline from 15.1% in 1998 to 13.7% in 2000. In 2001 there was a slight increase to 14.2%, but then for the next two years the graduation rate dropped to 13.7% in 2002 and then 13.9% in 2003. From 2004 to 2009 the graduation rate crept up slowly from 15.9% to 17.5% with only a slight drop to 16.0% in 2006. Virginia Community College System. (2010). Faculty and staff . Retrieved March 12, 2011, from http://system.vccs.edu/graduates/rates.asp
There are 5,000 faculty and staff employed in the Virginia Community College System. They are responsible for providing educational opportunity to more than a quarter-million students. Being a faculty member not only plays a large part academically for the students, but they also are a great source of guidance in determining the path for their students’ lives. Faculty teaching associate degree courses designed for transfer to a baccalaureate degree are required to have a doctor’s or master’s degree in the teaching discipline. However, Virginia c ommunity colleges have the responsibility to prepare in-field experts to be effective community college instructors. Many in-field experts bring to the job valuable work experience on which to draw on but no actual teaching experience. “Pedagogical training” is considered the “best preparation” for those in occupational fields. Where are sources of pedagogical training found? There are university-based programs for which in-service preparation programs, including incentives such as “discipline-based institutes, release time, and tuition reimbursements for instructors” are provided. Other sources are “short courses or workshops” to prepare these individuals for classroom instruction. Peer observations would also provide great insight into various methods of teaching, types of assessments, as well as the planning of lessons. How to integrate the use of technology in teaching could also be gained through observing and discussion with other instructors. Learning from those who instructors who have, “Been there, done that,” are an excellent source. Last of all, practice and time are an integral part of becoming a good instructor, getting to know your students, trying new approaches, and realizing your own teaching style will aid in being a successful community college instructor. Virginia Community College System. (2010). Faculty and staff . Retrieved April 5, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/Portals/0/ContentAreas/Workforce/VWN/VWC% 200910%20Annual%20Report%20Web.pdf
In comparing community college faculty and university faculty in relation to the workplace, there are going to be areas of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. There are several points of satisfaction for community college instructors. The first would be their salaries even though they are higher than in secondary schools, but lower than in universities. Faculty in the community college environment also enjoys the favorable reputation of not only their institution as a whole but of their individual departments. This gives the faculty a feeling of being proud that interjects a job well done. Another interesting point is that where the pressures of research are absent and teaching is the top priority in community colleges, the path to tenure is shorter, awarded after only one year or a probationary period of two or three years. There is a standard seven years required for faculty to be granted tenure in universities. Finally, the opportunity to have more family time and social interaction with other faculty makes for increased satisfaction outside and inside of their working environment. Dissatisfaction comes for the community college faculty in the “low academic “achieving caliber of students, “high achievement, dedication to study, and academic goal directness” are nonexistent. Even though community college faculty will agree that the level of stress is lower in comparison to the teaching requirements and research demands of university faculty, they would like the option to seek out “scholarly pursuits and professional recognition.” Cohen, Authur M. & Brawer, Florence B. (2008). The American Community College . (5 th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Part-time instructors are a tremendous benefit to the VCCS. Along with the need to prepare part-time instructors for classroom instruction, community colleges have found that it is vital that they be a part of a faculty development program, serve on committees, and be provided sources of continuing orientation throughout the year. As mentioned above, it is essential that they are given the opportunity to learn from their full-time peers and assessed accordingly throughout the year as to their proficient teaching skills. The need for part-time faculty is great. The main advantage mentioned is the lower pay rates with no benefits. Others are that many have “special capabilities” such as those who have extensive backgrounds in business or are experts in varying fields which serves to enhance their teaching. Real world experience is priceless. Part-timers can also be easily hired, dismissed, and rehired. This is a positive because they are inexpensive labor that aids in balancing a college’s budget and a negative because they are chosen “less carefully,” making one question their quality. However, in the part-timers defense, studies show that students learn equally as much as from full-timers. The catch is when part-time instructors out-number the full-time instructors completion rates are lower. Along with the satisfaction that part-timers have with their teaching jobs, they enable community colleges to offer more courses whether a “popular” course or one that cannot be accommodated in a full-timers schedule. Even with the positives, replacing an experienced full-time instructor with two or more mediocre part-time instructors should be avoided or at least, not be made a common practice . Cohen, Authur M. & Brawer, Florence B. (2008). The American community college . (5 th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Virginia Community College System. (2010). Faculty and staff . Retrieved April 5, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/Administration/tabid/156/Default.aspx
The chart shows how the outcome of more growth and less funding can impact the number of full-time faculty for the Virginia community colleges. Based on the chart, from years 2000-2010, the percentage of part-time faculty (+34.8%) far outnumbers the full-time faculty (+9.9%) by (+24.9%) in the Virginia Community College System in which (+48.9%) full-time equivalent students are being served. Assuming that the same pattern holds for the next ten years, part-time faculty (+81.7%) will continue to widen the gap of full-time faculty (+20%) by (+61.7%). As mentioned earlier, there are benefits to hiring part-time faculty. However, when the more experienced, better quality full-time faculty are weeded out due to funding, the students, faculty, and system will suffer. VCCS Reengineering Taskforce: Restructuring to Meet the Challenge of Increasing Needs & Declining Resources. (2010). Consequences of growth and erosion of funding . Retrieved March 23, 2011, from http://rethink.vccs.edu/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Retreat-BigIdeasReengineeringTaskForce-081010.pdf
The Virginia Community College’s staff and faculty make every effort for developing new courses, programs, and teaching methods to meet the always changing educational needs of their students. In doing so, they have offered to them numerous professional development opportunities, including conferences and web-based tools. Presently, there is a state-wide program to promote faculty development in the following four areas: Discipline development which enables faculty to gain additional knowledge and develop skills relative to their chosen academic discipline or professional field. Instructional development enhances and develops varying methods of classroom instruction, learning, and provides the best and most appropriate assessment techniques. Career development offers faculty the necessary tools for personal planning to assure a better quality of work and life. Organizational development improves administrative and leadership skills to enable faculty to meet the challenges accomplish the goals of the community college. There are many types of professional development programs with the most popular being discipline-based institutes, release time, and tuition reimbursements for faculty to have the opportunity to attend a university-based program. Faculty are also able to take advantage of short courses or workshops that are sponsored by specific institutions. Sabbatical leave is an option in about half of the colleges, but is not the norm for community college faculty. Professional development in the form of a new faculty orientation programs are also available for new full-time and part-time faculty. It is important that new faculty become involved and participate on committees and are provided various forms of professional development throughout the year. Cohen, Authur M. & Brawer, Florence B. (2008). The American Community College . (5 th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Virginia Community College System. (2010). Faculty and Sta ff. Retrieved April 5, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/FacultyStaff/Prof essionalDevelopment/tabid/120/Default.aspx
The Virginia Community College System has the VCCS Professional Development e-News as a way of communicating all of the latest information and important dates pertaining to professional development, including the professional events calendar, peer group updates, current topics in teaching and learning, and much more. A great source of information. Virginia Community College System. (2010). Faculty and Staff . Retrieved April 5, 2011, fromhttp://www.vccs.edu/FacultyStaff/ProfessionalDevelopment/ tabid/120/Default.aspx
Governance and Administration are used interchangeably. Governance pertains to the decision-making process, and administration is who and how the decisions will be made. Cohen, Authur M. & Brawer, Florence B. (2008). The American Community College . (5 th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
During the summer of 2001, Dr. Glenn DuBois was hired to serve as the chancellor of the Virginia Community College System. Since becoming chancellor, he has led the 23-college system through its first (Dateline 2009) and into its second strategic plan (Achieve 2015) while dealing with both record enrollment growth and deep cuts in state operating funds. With Dr. DuBois at the reins, Virginia’s Community Colleges have signed groundbreaking guaranteed transfer agreements with more than twenty-four public and private universities; become Virginia’s leading provider of workforce development services, helped Virginia close extraordinary economic development deals; expand community college funding sources, doubling foundation-led private fundraising; and retained a tuition rate that is one-third of the comparable rate at Virginia’s universities. Virginia Community College System. (2010). Faculty and staff . Retrieved March 12, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/Default.aspx?tabid=874#access Virginia Community College System. (2010). Faculty and staff . Retrieved March 12, 2011, from https://www.vccs.edu/Default.aspx?tabid=423 Virginia Community College System. (2010). Faculty and staff . Retrieved March 12, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/WhoWeAre/Chancellor/tabid/99/Default.aspx
Achieve 2015, a six-year strategic plan for Virginia's Community Colleges. Achieve 2015 is focused on the needs of the communities we serve, not the needs of our community colleges. Community input served as the beginning of this strategic plan. Formal and informal conversations across Virginia with students, business and community leaders and elected officials guided the plan's creation. The ultimate success of the plan will be judged with Virginia's Community Colleges report back to those communities with the results of its five measurable goals. Access · Affordability · Student Success · Workforce · Resources Virginia’s Community College System’s reform efforts focus on a key component — student success. Student success is at the center of all their decision-making and strategic planning. Their goal, outlined in the strategic plan (Achieve 2015), is for Virginia’s 23 community colleges to increase by 50 percent the number of students graduating, transferring, or earning a workforce credential, with a 75 percent increase for students from underserved populations. Chancellor Glenn DuBois, has set the bar high and intends to see it through. How seriously does he take student success? The VCCS presidents are held accountable by the chancellor for meeting student success goals at their colleges. VCCS acknowledged that, if they are going see the dramatic increases in degrees earned, then they must take responsibility for their actions and measure results through the collection and analysis of data. Virginia Community College System. (2010). Achieve 2015 . Retrieved March 15, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/ Default.aspx?tabid=874#access Truehart, W. (2010, October 11). Virginia leads way on community college reform. Community College Week . Retrieved from http://ccweekblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/11/ virginia-leads-way-on-community-college-reform/
With a slow moving economy, the college autonomy, in most states, is repeatedly compromised. However, Virginia has presented an impressive program that will allow for greater self-sufficiency among its institutions of higher education. Public colleges within the state will be allowed to earn interest on the tuition and fees that they collect, carry over unused balances into successive years, and seek increased operational authority. Areas included will be “procurement, leases, personnel, and capital outlay” (Couturier, 2006). This program will enable an institution that shows responsibility the opportunity to petition of autonomy in other areas such as selling of surplus property, using locally developed construction management contracts, and establishing policies for designating which staff are classified as administrators and which as faculty. Ultimately, an institution may have the self-governing powers as those of a charter school with the authority to determine its own tuition and fees as well as finance and accounting procedures. Cohen, Authur M. & Brawer, Florence B. (2008). The American Community College . ( 5 th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Virginia Community College System. (2010). Achieve 2015 . Retrieved March 15, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/Default.aspx?tabid=874#access
For the academic year 2009-10, the Virginia Community College System had 34,412 students who received financial aid in the total amount of $26,853,770. An average amount of $780 was given. Financial aid is divided into three distinct categories: Grants and Scholarships – financial aid for which no work or repayment is required Work-Study – paid work on or off campus for a nonprofit organization Loans – financial assistance that requires repayment, beginning six months after graduation State Council for Higher Education for Virginia. (2008). VA student financial assistance program report - FA10 [Data file]. Retrieved from http://research.schev.edu /fair/vasfap_all_report.asp Virginia Community College System. (2010). Financial aid . Retrieved April 5, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/Students/FinancialAid/tabid/69/Default.aspx
Virginia's state government budget is comprised of an operating budget and a capital budget. The operating budget includes costs to manage the day-to-day activities of government. T he one-time costs in capital budget includes building, improving, or repairing government facilities. The budget of the Commonwealth of Virginia for 2008-2010 consists of $73.0 billion for operating expenses and $1.8 billion in capital spending. Looking at graph, the total operating funds from all sources shows that the majority of the money goes to education (39.4 percent), health and human resources (27.7 percent), and transportation (12.1 percent). Virginia Department of Planning and Budget. (2010). Where does the money go?. Retrieved March 12, 2011, from http://www.dpb.virginia.gov/budget/faq.cfm
The Virginia Community College System budget table shows the biennium budgets for Year 1 – 2008-2010 and a Year 2 - 2010-2012. Each biennium total budget is divided into the general fund and non-general fund. The non-general fund consists of a larger part of the total budget for both Year 1 and Year 2. However, the total for Year 2 for 2010-2012 is lower. Could this be caused due to the present economic times? Cuts in the budgets for higher education is happening everywhere. Virginia Department of Planning and Budget. (2010). Virginia community college system budget table. Retrieved March 23, 2011, from http://www.dpb.virginia.gov/budget/vabud/agency.cfm?agencycode=260
The VCCS has publicly and operationally maintained its goal since 2003, to keep VCCS tuition and fees at less than half the cost of tuition and fees at the Commonwealth's public four-year institutions. In 2007, VCCS in-state tuition and mandatory fees were $2,270, approximately 32% of the average cost of tuition and fees at Virginia's public senior institutions ($7,083). However, Virginia undergraduate students can expect to pay on average 10.6% more in FY2011 than they did the prior year in tuition and all fees, including mandatory Education and General (E&G) and mandatory non-E&G fees. In FY2011, students at four-year institutions will pay about $838 more. Community college students will pay about $504 more in the upcoming year. (VCCS full-time students were already paying nearly $88 more in the spring semester of 2010 as a result of the mid-year tuition increase. The net increase for VCCS full-time students for FY2011 will be approximately $416.) Virginia Community College System. (2010). Virginia’s community colleges dateline 2009 update . Retrieved April 5, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/Default.aspx?tabid=423 State Council for Higher Education for Virginia. (2010). 2010-11Tuition and fees at Virginia’s state-supported colleges and universities. Retrieved April 12, 2011, from http://www.schev.edu/Reportstats/2010-11TuitionAndFeesReport.pdf?from=
Virginia’s nationally known system of public higher education is at risk due to five consecutive years of general fund (state tax revenue) budget reductions. The affordability and ease of access is in jeopardy. The size of the student cost share of education and the cost as a percent of per capita disposable income at Virginia institutions have both exceeded their highest historical levels. The aid of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF), part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), has lessened the risk. It would have been much more problematic. However, the results will be that this funding, which is provided over a two-year period, will not be available after September of 2011. In comparing Virginia institutions to other state institutions, the 2010 tuition and fee survey conducted by the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board, a widely recognized national survey of total mandatory charges at higher education institutions, Virginia institutions were less cost competitive regionally and nationally compared to the 2000-01 academic year – a time when tuition had been frozen for several years and actually reduced by 20% in 1999-2000. The national rankings for Virginia public colleges and universities are expected to remain steady for FY2011 while the VCCS ranking is estimated to increase. Although, the VCCS tuition and fees are expected to be at about the national average for community colleges in FY2011. State Council for Higher Education for Virginia. (2010). 2010-11Tuition and fees at Virginia’s state-supported colleges and universities . Retrieved April 12, 2011, from http://www.schev.edu/Reportstats/2010-11TuitionAndFeesReport.pdf?from=
A little history, vocational programs did not flourish before the 1960’s for several reasons. One was that the technical programs were emphasized which caused many students who were in pursuit of a baccalaureate degree to be disinterested in attending. Another reason was due to fact that vocational colleges were small, limiting what occupational courses could be offered. A third reason was that the relationship between junior colleges and high schools because collegiate courses could be taken with fourth-year high school courses as opposed to occupational courses. This would also eliminate the hiring of new teachers. Another reason had to do with the location of junior colleges in cities and towns where a college had never been, and the people wanting it to be a “real college” which offered bachelor’s degrees not vocational programs. Finally, employers in the fields offered in vocational education in community colleges had to be in demand before there would be any growth in the community college. Studies have shown that 80 to 90 percent of students are satisfied with the training they received and would recommend the programs to others. Those who were in programs temporarily in most cases did not finish because they felt that they had received enough training for the jobs that they were doing. Employers are equally satisfied with the training given at community colleges as well as other job preparation skills; however, they are not pleased with the communication skills in comparison to the other skills learned. Virginia community colleges combine education and economic development to prepare people through developmental courses, and providing training and programs out in the communities. In 2010, more than 254,000 people benefited from workforce programs across the state of Virginia ,and colleges provided over 103,600 individuals with workforce related training. Of these, 68,000 individuals received instruction through noncredit delivery. Cohen, Authur M. & Brawer, Florence B. (2008). The American Community College . (5th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Virginia Community College System. (2010). Workforce development services . Retrieved April 5, 2011, from https://www.vccs.edu/WorkforceServices/tabid/76/Default.aspx
Throughout the past decade, Virginia's Community Colleges have been the linchpin to securing the biggest economic development announcements across the state. The ability of our community colleges to create and administer customized training programs is a benefit to potentially every employer in Virginia and an essential ingredient to the efforts to attract opportunities to Virginia. Some 97 percent of employers who have used this resource at their community college say they would do it again, according to a recent survey. As Virginia companies emerge from the recession, our colleges stand ready to help them ensure their employees are on the industry's cutting edge. The types of instruction related to workforce can include courses that improve skills, such as training in Microsoft Office, leadership and supervision, and project management. Workforce departments also offer instruction that prepares individuals to earn an industry certification or state licensure. The coursework can range from the health technologies fields, such as training as a certified nursing assistant, pharmacy technician, and medical coding and billing specialist, to trades-related occupations, such as general contractor, HVAC technician, and welder. In total, over 156,000 course enrollments related to workforce were provided. Virginia Community College System. (2010). Achieve 2015 . Retrieved April 6, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/Default.aspx?tabid=874 Virginia Community College System. (2010). 2010 Workforce annual report supplement . Retrieved April 5, 2011, from https://www.vccs.edu/Default.aspx?tabid=863
The need for vocational education is increasing due to poor secondary school education. More and more students are graduating from high school with low level skills academically. It would be desirable for publicly supported community colleges to have 40 to 50 percent of their enrollment in vocational education. Economically it is also sound to train students through occupational programs to enter the workforce or for those who academically can reach the point of earning a baccalaureate degree or transferring after two years to a University, it is reaching those who need the most help to be both successful and self-supporting. Benefits to the individuals who choose vocational education are that they are more marketable due to learned skills and their earnings potential goes up. “Each year of credit at a community college is associated with a 5 to 8 percent increase in annual earnings.” Actually graduating from a program will further increase the earning prospects. Businesses and technologies also acquire skilled workers. With employers working together with community colleges, benefits are felt by all. Students are trained and exposed to the workforce, making community colleges more favorable because of how well the students do through co-ops and internships. Employers are able to pursue the students that they wish to hire, giving the student the option of going to work or continuing on with their education. Cohen, Authur M. & Brawer, Florence B. (2008). The American Community College . (5th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Virginia Community College System. (2010). Achieve 2015 . Retrieved April 6, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/Default.aspx?tabid=874#access
“ Community colleges are engaged with people on the cusp, people who could enter the mainstream or fall back into a cycle of poverty and welfare.” The majority of students taking advantage of the open access policy come from the lower half of the high school classes, both academically and socioeconomically. As stated in an earlier, these students probably would not be in college at all if community colleges did not exist, due to the inability to meet admission requirements for the four-year institutions. The Community College concept as it relates to being a stepping stone to a four-year institution or for those who want to be trained in a skill in order to enter the workplace enables them to realize their potential. However, both should be receiving preparation in the academics of English, math, reading, writing, psychology, etc. as well as being competent in skills such as reasoning, application, computer literacy, leadership abilities, interpersonal and team relationships. In this day and time, whether pursuing the vocational or academic path, a well-rounded individual is still desired. Cohen, Authur M. & Brawer, Florence B. (2008). The American Community College . (5 th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Virginia Community College System. (2010). Academics . Retrieved April 5, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/Portals/0/ContentAreas/AcademicServices/ The_Turning_Point_DETF_Report_200909.pdf
During Fall 2009 semester, out of a 189,275 total students, 8,194 students took only English, 18,349 students took only Math, 7,366 took both English and math. This shows that 17.9 percent of the total enrollment were taking one or more developmental courses with 155,366 students or 82.1 percent not in need of developmental courses. Since Fall 2007, judging by the percentage, the number of students in developmental courses has increased each year with more students taking remedial math than English. Virginia Community College System. (2010). Faculty and staff . Retrieved March 12, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/Research/dvtl09.html
Outcomes of developmental education are not at acceptable levels and the inability to increase the number of students prepared to complete college-level coursework so to impact Virginia’s economy needs improvement. During 2007-2008 and 2008-2009, the VCCS consulted with a number of national experts in student success to present ideas for restructuring developmental education so to show progress from 2009-2015. As a result, three task forces were formed. The first was to examine the placement policies and practices being used and how they affect student success. The second was to determine how to make the most effective use of the student development course, promoting college survival skills and student engagement. Finally the third involving the Developmental Education Task Force was for the VCCS to design developmental education in a way that reduces the time to complete developmental courses. In approaching the three overarching goals, Virginia community colleges must collaborate with its K-12 administrators and teachers to reduce the need for developmental education so that students are prepared for college-level courses. Students must also be able to complete English, Math, and Reading developmental education courses within a year. Last, by improving developmental education in the VCCS, the number of developmental students graduating or transferring should increase. Virginia Community College System. (2010). Academics . Retrieved April 5, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/Portals/0/ContentAreas/AcademicServices/ The_Turning_Point_DETF_Report_200909.pdf
Community education encompasses many areas, most of which differ from traditional collegiate activities or ways of funding. Many categories make up community education, however there are three quite popular activities: continuing education (Adult education, adult basic education, occupational/workforce education, lifelong learning, and entrepreneurship training), community services (Cooperative arrangements with other community agencies, Community –based education, and recreation and leisure), and contract training (Correctional education, and training provided and funded by specific industries). An aspect of community education that renders it different is the fact that educational services can be provided without the filling out of academic forms, meaning credits, semesters, and grades. Cohen, Authur M. & Brawer, Florence B. (2008). The American Community College . (5th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Entrepreneurship training is designed to help people starting their own businesses, beginning with developing a business plan to obtaining licenses and loans to hire people to assist in running a successful business efficiently. In Virginia, most of the community colleges offer at least one course that discusses entrepreneurship and small-business management. Within these programs are courses that concentrate on the development of small businesses through experiential learning, self-assessment, community analysis, and business plan writing. Students may even receive start up support for setting up their own enterprise. Special services is another type of community education in the VCCS. For this type of community-based programming, community colleges are the leaders and catalysts between the community and its leaders, community agencies, and organizations with the goal of improving the life of the community. At Paul D. Camp Community College substance abuse is an issue that is brought to the forefront. In some instances, colleges have community-based forums for participants to discuss newspaper articles, listen to lectures, debates, films, etc. Sometimes community education deals with providing special services to other publicly funded institutions such as the prison system. These types of programs for prisoners seem to be positive for those that are incarcerated. The Workplace and Community Transition Training for Incarcerated Youth Offenders Program in Virginia operates through seven community colleges at 17 correctional facilities and two detention centers. Credit and noncredit courses to 1200 inmates between 2000 and 2004. Students in this program respond positively to improving their situations. Cohen, Authur M. & Brawer, Florence B. (2008). The American Community College . (5th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Great Expectations is a resource for Virginia’s foster youth. It provides an opportunity to address the varying higher education needs of current and former foster youth. Virginia Community College System. (2010). Great expectations. Retrieved April 20, 2011, from http://greatexpectations.vccs.edu/
Guaranteed Admissions Agreements through system-wide negotiated agreements, students who graduate from a Virginia community college with an associate’s degree and a minimum grade point average are guaranteed admission to more than 20 of the commonwealth’s colleges and universities. These agreements provide equal access to our four-year institution partners for students from all of the 23 Virginia Community Colleges. Virginia Community College System. (2010). Guaranteed transfer . Retrieved April 6, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/Students/TransferList/tabid/106/Default.aspx
For students graduating Spring of 2010 and transferring to a four-year institution in Fall 2010, 17 percent of the students graduating with an Associates degree are transferring to a public institution, and 33 percent of the students without an Associates degree are transferring to a public institution. Only 2 percent of the students with an Associates degree are transferring to a private institution, and 7 percent without an Associates degree are transferring to a private institution. Based on the data, a higher number of students transferred to public four-year institutions without having earned an Associates degree followed by students transferring to a public four-year institution with an Associates degree. One could assume that the Guaranteed Admissions Agreement may have played a significant part in students electing to attend a public as opposed to a private institution. Economically, choosing a public institution is a good choice; tuition is lower. State Council for Higher Education for Virginia. (2010). New transfers, VCCS to four year institutions [ Data file]. Retrieved from http://research.schev.edu/enrollment /VCCS_TRF_Report.asp
Since collegiate education is geared toward preparing people for academic degrees, these “Fast Facts” about the VCCS are enlightening as just how beneficial community colleges are for many on the path to a baccalaureate degree. Virginia Community College System. (2010). Fast facts. Retrieved April 20, 2011, from http://www.vccs.edu/PolicyMakers/FastFacts/tabid/114/Default.aspx
Virginia Community College System
VIRGINIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM“A better JOB, A better LIFE, A better FUTURE.” Amy Smith EDLD 8434 – Spring 2011
VCCS MISSION STATEMENTWe give everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened.
BACKGROUND“If we look at the numbers of potential students, and ifwe also look at the relative costs involved, theimplication is clear that a community college system isthe quickest, and the most efficient, the mosteconomical, in fact, virtually the only way the future ofyoung people can be met.” Mills E. Godwin, Jr. Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia 1966-1970,1974-1978
HISTORY• Early 1960s: Slaughter Commission State Board of Technical Education Vocational Education Commission Virginia Higher Education Study Commission
DEVELOPMENT OF THE VCCS• Three Basic Principles Accessibility Comprehensiveness Lifelong Learning• Rapid Growth Number of Community Colleges Increased Enrollment
STATISTICS (2010-2011) TWO-YEAR COMMUNITY FOUR-YEAR CATEGORY INSTITUTION COLLEGES INSTITUTIONS Number of Public - 1 Public - 23 Public - 15 Institutions Private - 0 Private - 0 Private - 32 (Public) 161,417Undergraduates 4,983 195,417 (Private) 72,498
STUDENTS With access to community colleges,everyone can be a “potential student.”
STUDENT GROUPS• Students wanting to • Working adults who want transfer and earn their to improve the skills they baccalaureate degree. already possess.• Adults who want to • Those who seek classes learn new skills to gain strictly for pleasure or employment. personal reasons.
VCCS ENROLLMENT DATA (Fall 2009) TOTAL HEADCOUNT AND FTES COLLEGES HEADCOUNT FTE VCCS 189,275 108,169 BY GENDER GENDERCOLLEGES Female Male TOTAL Students % Students % VCCS 109,467 58 79,808 42 189,275
VCCS ENROLLMENT DATA (Cont) (Fall 2009) VCCS STUDENTS ENROLLED BY NEW RACE CATEGORIES RACE/ETHNICITY Hawaiia Am. Multi Not TOTAL Black Asian Hispanic n/Pacific WhiteIndian Race Specified Islander1,057 39,761 10,933 11,012 899 89 6,675 118,849 189,275
VCCS RETENTION TOTAL RETURNED STUDENTS RETENTIONACADEMIC YEAR SPRING FALL RATE HEADCOUNT HEADCOUNTFY2009-2010 189,275 129,497 68.4%FY2008-2009 175,487 116,644 66.5%FY2007-2008 165,163 108,909 65.2%
THE WORKPLACE• Salaries are higher • The path to tenure is than in secondary shorter. schools, but lower than • The opportunity to in the universities. have more family• Enjoy the reputation of time and social their institution as well interaction with other as their individual faculty is present. departments. • There is a lower level• Teaching is the top of stress. priority.
WHY PART-TIME INSTRUCTORS?• Lower pay rates with no benefits• “Special capabilities” – Extensive backgrounds• Real world experience• Easily hired, dismissed, and rehired• Students learn equally as much as from full-timers• More courses can be offered
Consequences of Growth and Erosion of Funding Since Full-time Part-time FTES 2000-01 Faculty Faculty Served Headcount Headcount Last 10 +9.9% +34.8% +48.9% years Next 10 +20% +81.7% +121.8% Years
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT• Discipline development• Instructional development• Career development• Organizational development
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT E-NEWShttp:// www.vccs.edu/Portals/0/ContentAreas/ProfessionalDevelopment/Document
COLLEGE AUTONOMYVirginia has presented an impressive programthat will allow for greater self-sufficiency amongits institutions of higher education.•Public colleges within the state will be allowedto: Earn interest on the tuition and fees that they collect. Carry over unused balances into successive years. Seek increased operational authority.
FINANCEVirginia’s community colleges try to keep tuitioncosts down to make college affordable for everystudent, but many students still need help to covera variety of costs such as of tuition, books, roomboard, and transportation.
VCCS BUDGET TABLE Year 1 Year 2 GeneralBiennium General Fund Nongeneral Total Nongeneral Total Fund2008-2010Chapter872, 2010 $402,055,767 $607,871,905 $1,009,927,672 $373,813,964 $680,675,685 $1,054,489,649Acts ofAssembly2010-2012Chapter874, 2010 $370,127,022 $849,126,377 $1,219,253,399 $334,726,535 $804,222,781 $1,138,949,316Acts ofAssembly
VCCS TUITION COMPARED TO FOUR- YEAR INSTITUTIONS VCCS tuition will not exceed half of the averagecost to attend a public four-year institution in Virginia.
2010-11 Full-Time In-State Undergraduate Charges Tuition and Total Mandatory Fees• Tuition and Total Mandatory Fees - $3,285• % Increase Over – 18.1%• $ Increase - $504
VOCATIONAL EDUCATION 253,186 The number of people who participate inworkforce training programs and services each year at Virginia’s Community Colleges.
WORKFORCE• Through Achieve 2015, a six year strategic plan, the VCCS as one of its goals would like to double the number of employer provided training and services to 10,000, with a specific focus on high-demand occupational fields.• What makes this goal so important?
BENEFITS• More marketable• Earning potential increases• Each year of credit at a community college – 5 to 8 percent increase in annual earnings• Community colleges are looked upon more favorably• Gives students options
DEVELOPMENTAL EDUCATIONPurpose: To prepare students for college-level work.
DEVELOPMENTAL COURSES (Fall 2009, 2008, 2007) VCCS STUDENTS TAKING TOTAL % inYEAR BOTH ENGLISH MATH NONE Dev.2009 7,366 8,194 18,349 155,366 189,275 17.92008 6,252 7,223 15,651 146,361 175,487 16.62007 5,946 6,641 15,011 139,565 167,163 16.5
THREE OVERARCHING GOALS FOR IMPROVING DEVELOPMENTAL EDUCATION IN THE VCCS1. To reduce the overall need for developmental education in Virginia2. Must redesign English, Math and Reading developmental education that reduces the time to complete to one academic year3. To increase the number of developmental education students graduating or transferring in four years from 1 in 4 students (25%) to at least 1 in 3 students (33%)
TYPES OF COMMUNITY EDUCATION IN THE VCCS• Entrepreneurship Training• Special Services• Correctional Education
GREAT EXPECTATIONS RESOURCE CENTER• The Great Expectations Resource Center website, at GreatExpectations.vccs.edu, was launched in late 2009 to provide a one-stop information source for Virginia’s foster youth – and the adults that serve them.• Since then, the site has been visited 5,000 times, with 17,500 pages viewed. A blog for Great Expectations coaches is one of the most popular areas of the site, and students and coaches interact on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. http://greatexpectations.vccs.edu/
VCCS TRANSFER STUDENTS (Fall 2010) (Public w/Associates) 2344 (Public w/o Associates) 4550New Transfers (Private w/Associates) 282 VCCS to a VA Four-Year Institution (Private w/o Associates) 962 Graduation With Year Associates 2009-10 13,791
COLLEGIATE FAST FACTS• 3 out of 5 The ratio of Virginia’s public undergraduate college students who are enrolled in Virginia’s Community Colleges.• 18,400 The number of degrees, diplomas and certificates earned last year at Virginia’s Community Colleges.• 32,550 The number of high school juniors and seniors earning college credit while in high school through Virginia’s Community College dual enrollment courses.• 36% The percentage of bachelors degree recipients who have some community college experience.• 65% The percentage of Virginia Community College graduates in transfer-oriented programs who pursue a bachelor’s degree.
A Special Thank You to Michael Turner,Coordinator of Student Services for VCCS.
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