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Corporate involvement boosts community colleges


ACCT/Collegis Study Predicts Hottest Markets for Career Growth,
Greater Efficiency and Effectiveness Through Technology

For the second consecutive week, a gathering of community college
trustees looked toward corporations and improved technology to help
lead community college students toward better academic achievement and
career success.

A survey of more than 450 community college trustees from the
Pacific, Western and Central regions of the United States revealed
stark predictions for the proliferation of public/private partnerships
in education and the continued growth of technology investment among
community colleges.

The survey was conducted by the Association of Community College
Trustees (ACCT), based in Washington D.C., at its Pacific, Western and
Central regional trustee leadership conference held this week in San
Francisco. The survey was co-sponsored by Collegis, the leading
technology-services provider to higher education, based in suburban
Orlando, Fla. A similar survey took place last week at the Northeast
and Southeastern regional trustee conference in Tampa, Fla.

Despite the many perceived deep state budget cutbacks and
self-imposed budget limitations at several participating institutions,
community college trustees remain optimistic about the ability of
their institutions to fortify the local and national economy with a
talented, intelligent and well-skilled workforce to help promote rapid
and sustained economic growth.

Allied health professionals, said the trustees, may witness the
greatest boost from workforce development efforts and course
concentration on the community college level. A 57 percent majority of
trustees said these professions, which include massage therapists,
radiologists, certified athletic trainers and biotechnology
professionals, would reap the greatest reward from workforce programs
in community colleges throughout the nation. Information technology
professionals, which include user support (help desk) technicians,
systems analysts, network and database administrators, ranked second
(37 percent), with education (teachers and administrative aides)
placing a distant third (21 percent). Other "hot" career paths worthy
of note include agricultural management, mining and fuel industry
professionals, and public servants, which include state and local law
enforcement, fire fighters and paramedics.

Other survey findings include:

-- 96 percent of community college trustees predict more
corporate involvement in higher education in the form of
private/public partnerships. These will help defray the costs
of technology investment for community colleges and provide
solid career opportunities for graduates in the local

-- 90 percent of community college trustees said they would
"increase or maintain current levels of technology investment"
at their respective institutions, which could signal an
increase in Web-enhanced coursework and revenue generation
through advanced distance learning curricula

-- 91 percent of those polled believe state funding and the
influence of the state legislature have the greatest impact on
a community college's decisions to allocate resources for
teaching and learning, more so than federal education budgets,
local property taxes and/or the general state of the
local/national/world economy

Trustees at the conference were optimistic about the national and
local efforts of community colleges to fulfill the mission of
"training tomorrow's workforce," with 94 percent giving high marks to
these efforts nationwide. Ninety two percent graded their own schools
"excellent or above average" in this area.

This survey of 450 ACCT leaders from the Western, Central and
Pacific regions, representing 39 states, follows by one week a similar
survey conducted among community colleges in the Northeast and
Southern region, which represented 21 states. The results for both
surveys were similar, emphasizing an increase in technology investment
and a greater willingness to involve corporations as contributors and
collaborators in community college programs. The combined survey of
700 community college presidents and trustees in the United States
reveals key trends in public higher education and may help college
administrators better assess their own needs at individual
institutions, when viewed as part of a national trend toward increased
public/private partnerships and technology-enhanced instruction.

About Collegis Inc.

Founded in 1986, Collegis Inc. provides technology-related
services to higher education. Collegis helps colleges and universities
advance their technology by managing networks, supporting academic and
administrative applications and by redesigning curriculum programs for
today's learners. Collegis partners with institutions to stabilize IT
costs, increase revenues and better serve students and faculty by
offering unparalleled knowledge, expertise and accountability with
product-neutral technology services and solutions exclusive to higher
education. Visit the Collegis Web site at www.collegis.com

About ACCT

Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), based in
Washington, D.C., exists to develop effective lay governing board
leadership to strengthen the capacity of community colleges to achieve
their missions on behalf of their communities. ACCT represents more
than 600 governing boards and 7,000 trustees throughout the U.S.,
Canada and the United Kingdom. ACCT's membership and special
constituencies represent more than 12 million students currently
enrolled in America's community colleges. Visit the ACCT Web site at

Run dates: 2003-06-27 - 2003-07-04

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