Dr. Risley, 21st-Century Teams Meet on Student Success

Phi Theta Kappa Executive Director and CEO Dr. Rod Risley recently met with the American Association of Community Colleges’ 21st-Century Implementation Team Steering Committee and Team Co-Chairs in Washington, D.C., to discuss progress being made in the student success initiative.

Dr. Rod Risley and the 21st-Century Implementation Team Steering Committee and Team Co-Chairs in Washington, D.C., discuss the student success initiative.

Risley serves as Co-Chair of the Faculty Engagement Team, and he is a member of the College Completion Team and Steering Committee. The nine 21st-Century Implementation Teams are charged with developing strategies and identifying promising practices to address the recommendations of the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges, established in 2011 by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

Risley was one of 36 appointees to that commission, which produced the set of recommendations in the landmark report, Reclaiming the American Dream, last spring. Commission members represented a broad base of expertise in education and other key areas and were tasked with scrutinizing both challenges and opportunities confronting community colleges, especially in light of President Obama’s call for an additional 5 million students with degrees, certificates or other college credentials by 2020.

“The work of the Faculty Engagement Team is paramount to the student success initiative, as its work cuts across the work of nearly every other team,” Risley said. “Without the support and engagement of faculty in the student success initiative, the effort will fail.”

The Team Steering Committee and Co-Chairs met to share and discuss progress reports of the implementation teams. The teams will convene in September and submit their final recommendations to AACC in November.

The steering committee will convene in February 2014 to review the draft of the final report, which will be unveiled during the AACC Convention, April 3, 2014, in Washington, D.C.

Risley has long called for community colleges and their constituencies to expand their mission toward supporting student success.

“Phi Theta Kappa chapters across this nation and around the world are raising awareness of the need for college completion and working with colleges to implement initiatives leading to student success,” he said.

Reclaiming the American Dream calls for a reimagining of community colleges through imperatives termed the three “Rs”: redesigning students’ educational experiences; reinventing institutional roles; and resetting the system to create incentives for student and institutional success. Read the full report.

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