Community colleges: Times of crisis and opportunity?
Their presentation — “Austerity and Innovation: Strange Bedfellows or Creative Confederates?” — was just one of scores being made at the Innovations 2011 community college conference that began Sunday and runs through Wednesday. Approximately 1,700 representatives of two-year colleges in the United States, Canada and Mexico are attending.
Rodgriguez expanded on his advice by explaining that his district has used the financial crunch facing community colleges across the continent to re-evaluate everything it does, from how employees are assigned to whether early retirement incentives can save money.
“Things that heretofore have been unspeakable” must be considered, he told the group.
Among those issues, he said, are the possibility of moving resources from free noncredit courses that serve the community to for-credit courses for which fees are charged.
“Intercollegiate athletics,” he said. “I’m a big fan, but can we continue to support it?
“Sabbaticals, can we offer them every single year ...? Class size maximum ... Our four-year counterparts teach the same courses we do, but at triple the size.”
Carroll and Miles sounded similar themes.
“Who should have access the services we provide?” Carroll asked, noting that her district serves many undocumented immigrants. “Should they, or should they not, have access?”