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How States Can Accelerate Community College Innovation by Supporting Faculty Leadership

David Altstadt

States wrestling with the challenge of increasing community college student completion rates recognize that a critical next step is building support among faculty for reform efforts. Empowering faculty to take a substantive role in informing policy decisions, while also supporting pedagogical and curricular changes in their classroom, has proven to be a successful strategy employed by several states.

This JFF publication highlights three key ways that states can help institutions to deepen the engagement of adjunct and full-time faculty in high-priority, completion-focused reforms and marks the progress of 11 states toward following these steps:

  • Step 1. Nurturing Faculty Leadership in Policymaking: Enlist faculty on state-level committees and research projects charged with recommending policy and programmatic changes.
  • Step 2. Nurturing Faculty Development in the Classroom: Expand the availability of professional development to prepare faculty for the need to teach differently.
  • Step 3. Nurturing Faculty Capacity to Use Data: Help faculty make better use of data on student outcomes to inform classroom practices and state policies.