In 2015, JFF established The Policy Leadership Trust to marshal evidence, expertise, and insights of postsecondary practitioners to influence the direction of state and federal policy.
Community college leaders and state system officials serving on the Policy Trust identify key considerations for how policy can help more learners and workers attain credentials and skills and succeed in the labor market.
JFF promotes the Policy Trust positions through
- Strategic outreach to state and federal policy makers and influencers
- Dialog with the field of postsecondary practitioners and stakeholders
- Thought leadership in the media
The Policy Trust recommends that federal and state officials keep the following principles in mind when crafting policy solutions:
No Silver Bullets
No single policy intervention will—on its own—move the needle on student success. Good policy takes a multi-pronged approach.
State context matters when designing policy. What is working in one state may not work in another because of differences in political landscape, priorities, governance, capacity, collaboration, and current and past reforms.
Flow from Practice
Policy should flow from practice, not the inverse. In most instances, it is better to use policy as a tool to accelerate implementation and scaling of proven practices that are already taking hold locally—rather than attempt through policy to ignite reforms that have yet to emerge.
Sense of Ownership
Policy is most likely to be implemented with fidelity when practitioners have informed the policy process and have a sense of ownership. Practitioners should have a seat at table when policy is developed.
Good policy creates incentives and structure to catalyze change within institutions and among systems.
Good policy respects the autonomy of institutions over academic and student affairs.
Does Not Prescribe Rigid Implementation
Good policy does not prescribe rigid implementation.
Includes High Level Directives
High-level directives can be useful at times in steering the direction of reform, deepening commitment, overcoming resistance and creating leverage.
Meet the Trust
Marcia Ballinger, Co-Chair
President, Lorain County Community College
Michael Baston, Co-Chair
President, Rockland Community College
Vice Provost, Miami Dade College
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University System of Georgia
President, Central Arizona College
President, New Jersey Council of County Colleges
President and CEO, Tulsa Community College
President, Michigan Community College Association
President, Columbus State Community College
Executive Vice President, North Carolina Community College System
President, Ohio Association of Community College
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Connecticut State Colleges and Universities
President, Amarillo College
Vice Chancellor for Academic Services & Research, Virginia Community College System
"Good policy is strategic, evidence based, and integrated."
Assistant Superintendent/Vice President, Student Services, Pasadena City College
Executive Director, Oregon Community College Association
Executive Vice President and Provost Vice President of Academic Affairs, Tallahassee Community College
Yves Salomon Fernandez
President, Greenfield Community College
Deputy Executive Director of Education, WA State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
President, Louisiana Community and Technical College System
President, Mohawk Valley Community College
President, St. Petersburg College
- Scott Ralls (former Co-Chair), President, Wake Tech Community College
- Reynaldo Garcia (former Co-Chair), President Emeritus, Texas Association of Community Colleges
- Maria Hesse, Vice Provost for Academic Partnerships, Arizona State University
- Jon Kerr, Director, Basic Education for Adults, Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges
- Lawrence Nespoli, (retired) President, New Jersey Council of County Colleges
- Mary Rittling (retired) President, Davidson County Community College
- Karen Stout, President & CEO, Achieving the Dream