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Community Colleges Get Online Hub for Student Success Materials

Tools for scaling successful practices in community colleges tied to student success have a new home. The Association of American College and Universities (AAC&U) has launched a resource hub intended to be a repository for templates, campus examples, webinars and online discussions that come out of institutions participating in the organization's Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP) initiative.

This isn't the first time that the AAC&U has pulled artifacts together and made them available. The LEAP Campus Toolkit served a similar purpose, although that project seems to have ceased growing. The newer effort, The LEAP Connections Resource Hub, covers eight areas, each with resources and an invitation to begin or participate in an online thread on the topic:

  • Assessment;
  • E-portfolios;
  • Faculty development;
  • Guided learning pathways;
  • High-impact practices;
  • Signature work;
  • Transfer student success;
  • Transparency.

As an example, coverage of "guided learning pathways" provides 17 resources, including a glossary developed at the Community College of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania; a visual flowchart from Alamo Colleges in Texas that lays out the student pathway from enrollment to graduation; presentation slides about roadmaps from various colleges; and handouts made available for students from Lane Community College in Oregon. The assets are freely available on the site.

The site also features resources from other community college organizations, including the American Association of Community Colleges, Jobs for the Future and Achieving the Dream.

"AAC&U has provided our team ... with incredible resources and connections that have been invaluable in the work we're trying to accomplish related to student equity, success and completion," said Audrey Green, associate vice president for academic affairs at the College of the Canyons in California, in a statement. "The LEAP Connections Resource Hub puts all of these resources and more in one place and allows us to continue the dialogue related to our work and challenges via the Hub. Our team is excited to be active participants on the Hub."

"Our shared objective is to meet the equity imperative, not only by ensuring access, but by inspiring and accelerating educational excellence as a means of enhancing both completion and student success," added AAC&U President, Lynn Pasquerella.

Funding support for the work came from the Kresge Foundation as part of AAC&U's Advancing Roadmaps for Community College Leadership to Improve Student Learning and Success initiative.

The LEAP Connections Resource Hub is on the AAC&U website here.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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