The Futures Series on Community Colleges

The Futures Series on Community Colleges

The Futures Series on Community Colleges includes six books that offer insight into and guidance on topics that must be addressed today in order to meet the needs of tomorrow’s community colleges and their students. 

Developing Tomorrow's Leaders: Context Challenges and Capabilities

by Pamela L. Eddy; Debbie L. Sydow; Richard L. Alfred; and Regina L. Garza Mitchell

The contributions of community colleges to society are well-documented. Yet, today’s community colleges are at a cross road. Decreases in funding support, a push for college completion, attention on developmental course work, and a host of other demands create a dynamic context for community college operations. Who leads these colleges matters as they face these demands and how they lead influences outcomes. Pending leadership retirements provide a prime opportunity for thinking about community college leadership in new ways. Entering this environment are prospective and aspiring leaders who are often not adequately prepared for the complexities of managing in a paradoxical organization. The era of accountability puts a fine point on the need for leaders to pay heed to the policy making process and to requirements dictated by state legislative bodies and accreditation bodies. READ MORE


The Urgency of Now: Equity and Excellence

by Marcus M. Kolb; Samuel D. Cargile; Jason Wood; Nassim Ebrahimi; Lynn E. Priddy; and Laura Dodge

With the student body evolving quickly, and the looming challenge of the “completion agenda,” community colleges are facing circumstances like never before in serving all students and propelling them to fulfilling their education aspirations. The Urgency of Now suggests a way forward, with students and their learning at the center of what community colleges, and all of higher education, must do to generate graduates in possession of high quality degrees and credentials. READ MORE


Financing Community Colleges: Where We Are, Where We're Going

by Richard M. Romano and James C. Palmer

Grounded in an economic perspective, Financing Community Colleges: Where We Are, Where We're Going helps college leaders make sense of the challenges they face in securing and managing the resources needed to carry out the community college mission. Finance has perpetually been an Achilles heel for leaders at all levels of management. With the premise that leaders are better at winning battles they know something about, this book equips leaders with an understanding of the fundamentals and the complexities of community college finance. READ MORE


Unrelenting Change, Innovation, and Risk

by Daniel J. Phelan

Arguably, the nation’s community colleges have experienced more change in the last several years than they have over the prior 115 years of their existence. Rapid changes in technology, external pressures for accountability and student completion, aggressive competition from other higher education institutions (i.e., public, for-profit, and private), changes in enrollment demographics, as well as new economic, market, and operational models stand to completely disrupt this relatively young enterprise. Unrelenting Change provides useful, practical examples for community college leaders as they seek to thoughtfully and strategically align their organization for the new dynamic in higher education. READ MORE


The Completion Agenda in Community Colleges: What It Is, Why It Matters, and Where It's Going

by Christopher Baldwin

Community colleges in many states are facing intensifying pressure from policy-makers for improved student outcomes overtly manifested in aggressive performance-based funding formulas. In this book, Chris Baldwin asks and answers an overarching question: Are community colleges, government agencies, foundations and other entities aware of the unintended consequences of actions related to the completion agenda? The Completion Agenda in Community Colleges: What It Is, Why It Matters, and Where It's Going explores the potential benefit of increased educational attainment and credentials versus the possible sacrifice of quality and the labor market value of the credentials awarded. READ MORE


Also from Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

First in the World: Community Colleges and America's Future

by J. Noah Brown; published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group 

From his unique vantage point as president and CEO of ACCT, J. Noah Brown writes about the intersection between community colleges and America's need to regain both economic momentum and its position as first in the world with respect to college-degree or -certificate attainment.  By connecting past economic and education policies and investments to possibilities for the future and continued national progress, Brown reminds us that restoring America's prominence is within reach.  More importantly, he succinctly advocates for the power of community colleges to increase educational attainment and reduce income inequality by allowing more Americans access to real economic opportunities. 

The first in an American Council on Education (ACE) series on community colleges, First in the World has been lauded by educational leaders, including former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley, who stated that, "Brown points out eloquently that community colleges prepare our students for additional education, as well as for jobs and, ultimately careers.  It is my hope that First in the World will help renew interest in our community colleges and move us toward a focus on strength and support for them."