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Creating a Postsecondary Vision for Alabama

Overview: 

The Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education has asked MDC to collaboratively develop a vision and an agenda to propel the Alabama Community College System forward. In doing so, MDC is applying its knowledge and experience in the community college field to the opportunities and challenges faced in Alabama.

This work builds upon the 1997 Alabama Task Force for Effectiveness Planning for Postsecondary Education project, in which MDC was asked to conduct a thorough review of the Alabama Community College System and to submit recommendations on how to effectively structure higher education delivery throughout the state. MDC provided a working paper with research analysis and recommendations for the Task Force’s consideration. Included in MDC’s recommendations were significant changes in the structure and governance of the Alabama Community College System.

In January 2014, MDC provided a second report to the Alabama State Board of Education that offered an analysis and a means to enact an agenda, with recommendations to strengthen the System’s threefold mission: “to provide a unified system of institutions dedicated to excellence in delivering academic education, adult education, and workforce development.”

In fall 2014, MDC will collaborate with the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education to craft and execute a strategic planning process that will set the foundation for a statewide conversation to clearly define the role of Alabama’s community college system. This process will include a listening tour designed to provide opportunities for college administrators, Department staff, and State Board of Education members to discuss the System’s issues, solutions, and priorities.

We approach this strategic planning task with the firm conviction that community colleges serve as a critical intellectual and educational infrastructure that improves the life-prospects of citizens and enhances the economy of states and communities. This work with the Alabama Community College System goes to the core of MDC’s values, its rootedness in the South, and its long dedication to expanding the economy to the benefit of people and places often left behind.

Goals: 
  • Gain clarity and context on the Alabama Community College System’s needs.
  • Support the Alabama State Board of Education in identifying best practices for community college organization, governance, and strategic planning.
  • Provide the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education with the means to create a forward-looking agenda that gains the buy-in of state and local leaders, public officials, and business executives.

Go Deeper:

For more information on MDC and Creating a Postsecondary Vision for Alabama , contact: Shun Robertson, PhD.