Statement by Dr. Walter G. Bumphus, President American Association of Community Colleges: Community Colleges Act on Recommendations of 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Recent announcements by the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges and the Texas Association of Community Colleges are impressive first steps toward the implementation of recommendations from Reclaiming the American Dream: A Report from the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges. This report, released by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) on April 21, calls for transforming our nation's community college system to ensure America's competitiveness.

The Pennsylvania community colleges' decision to be the first state-wide system to endorse AACC's Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA) [http://www.aacc.nche.edu/Resources/aaccprograms/VFAWeb/default.aspx] is a bold step. This decision reflects a true commitment to address the challenges community colleges are facing as outlined in the AACC report.  The VFA metrics will make transparent Pennsylvania community colleges' progress in student achievement, career and technical education programs and overall learning outcomes.

In Texas, all 50 community colleges will work with the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin to adopt a new system called "Mathways" [http://www.utdanacenter.org/mathways/index.php] in order to redesign the delivery of developmental math courses statewide. This too is in line with the recommendations outlined in the AACC report, which calls for "Three R's" in community college reform:  Redesign, Reinvent and Reset. Texas is also making a bold commitment through a dramatic and pragmatic approach that will redesign a critical element of student success, math literacy.

"Pennsylvania and Texas are in the vanguard of innovative thinking that will help ensure we have a highly educated population, fundamental to our country's economic growth and the achievement of the American dream.  Most importantly, these new initiatives demonstrate the commitment community colleges have to dramatically improving  students' learning experiences --  the central and urgent message of the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges."

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is a national organization representing close to 1,200 community, junior and technical colleges nationwide. Community colleges are the largest and fastest growing sector of higher education, enrolling more than 13 million credit and non-credit students annually. To learn more about community colleges and AACC, see www.aacc.nche.edu.

SOURCE American Association of Community Colleges



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