Building College Capacity

In the context of Accelerating Opportunity, ‘college capacity’ is the ability of the college to be able to assert its talent, mobilize its resources, and invoke will and ingenuity to unconditionally meet the goals and objectives of the this initiative. A college with strong “capacity” is characterized by: committed leadership (president, Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, and adjuncts) toward:

  • Ensuring integrated pathways are developed according to the non- negotiables, provide long term tracking, including embedded support services;
  • Enhancing longitudinal tracking capabilities and making necessary modifications to the data system to ensure that students are “flagged”;”
  • Embracing a deep cultural and operational shift by ensuring adequate resources and embedded support services leading to sustainability and institutionalization of integrated pathways as the preferred instructional delivery system.

How Do You Assess Capacity? 

States could approach the college capacity assessment in any number of ways. A few suggested approaches are:

College survey

Send a survey to key college stakeholders (president, chief academic officer, vice president of student services, lead campus coordinator/director) with questions focused on:

  • Ability to redesign and implement integrated career pathways with embedded support services that lead to credential attainment;
  • Capacity to collect data on student progress;  Campus integration strategies to ensure adult basic education students are treated as “college students;” and
  • Plans for professional development and embedded support services leading to credentials.

Site visit protocol

Visit potential pilot campuses and conduct interviews utilizing a set of questions as referenced above (commitment of college leadership, ability to mobilize and prepare faculty and programs for redesigned integrated instruction, ability to modify data systems to include longitudinal tracking of ABE students into postsecondary and to the labor market, etc.)