A typology of the various types of collaborations in which colleges can engage in order to provide guidance for fiscal and regulatory policy change to meet students’ needs and help them transition to four-year institutions and the workforce.
"Improving access to post-secondary credentials is an important way to help individuals invest in their human capital and increase their access to high-wage careers. The challenge for community colleges is to provide learning opportunities in an affordable and efficient time-to-degree manner, while at the same time meeting the occupational and training demands both of student constituents and of an increasingly knowledge-based economy. In recent years, this challenge has intensified due to a growing student population, a depressed economy, decreased funding, greater accountability of student performance, and a mismatch between students’ college preparedness and the technical demands of our economy. Community colleges are addressing this challenge, in part, by engaging in institutional innovations that allow them to partner with other institutions in order to streamline their services and meet the needs of students more efficiently and effectively.  Partnerships (also referred to as collaborations) can take many forms and serve many purposes. They can also be supported—or hindered—by local, state, and federal policies.  We hope that providing such a framework will help policymakers identify the types of activities they want to support and develop appropriate policies to do so" (p.1). (Abstractor: Author)

Major Findings & Recommendations

"Community college-based partnerships consist of a wide range of collaborative activities. This paper intentionally limited its discussion to partnership activities that promote college access, student and staff development, and institutional stability. To varying degrees, the activities discussed have helped community colleges respond to the economic pressures, legislative demands, and institutional constraints that have challenged their ability to address the needs of increasing numbers of students. [This paper] discussed four types of collaborative partnership activities: • CURRICULAR ALIGNMENT AND ARTICULATION: to facilitate the transfer of college course credits and completion of subbaccalaureate and baccalaureate credentials. • ACADEMIC AND SOCIAL SUPPORT: to promote motivation and provide information about college preparedness, expectations, procedures, and guidelines. • STAFF DEVELOPMENT: to promote high quality training for teaching faculty and enhanced curriculum design to better prepare students for college and the workplace; and • RESOURCE SHARING: to promote a fiscally sound environment that maximizes inter-institutional resources and minimizes costs" (p.13). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)