1 This seems to be a critical time where communication is desperately wanted. A recent decline in enrollment, coupled with a known decrease in the number of graduating high school students, coupled with minimal communication from EICC leaders is creating an uneasy atmosphere for some internal stakeholders.
2 The New York Times, The Choice, Demystifying College Admissions and Aid, February
27, 2012: Noting that Inside Higher Ed reported on a study from Sallie Mae finding
that 22% of college students with a family income of over $100,000 opted for a community
college last year, up from 16% four years prior.
3In addition to discussion about current trends impacting the "stigma" of community colleges, many forum participants compared EICC Colleges to Kirkwood. The comparison was made to highlight that not all community colleges suffered from the “Plan B Stigma.” Many people asked what Kirkwood is doing or has done to distinguish itself from other community colleges and thus create an appeal or demand for services in a way that EICC has not. Many suggested that Kirkwood’s relationship with the University of Iowa, availability of housing and certain programmatic draws make it more appealing.
4 Prior to the forum process, we anticipated learning about specific new careers on the horizon or upcoming technology changes that may impact EICC’s academic offerings. However, this was not the case. The consensus based on the industry forum participants is that the employers can (and want to) handle job-specific training and they expect graduates to come to them with basic academic (e.g., writing and math) and soft skills (e.g., communication skills, ability to work as a team member, work ethic).
5 At least one board representative echoed the need for focus on tutoring.
6 Interestingly, there seems to be pockets of students that are 100% satisfied with the level of academic support available and rave about the faculty. The other pockets of students are disappointed with faculty engagement and other student support services. The student forums were fewer in number but had the most diversity in terms of opinions.
7 The Scott, Muscatine, Clinton and EICC Foundation Boards, along with the EICC Board of Trustees, met in joint session to review the draft report and provide additional insights for purposes of the upcoming strategic plan.
8 Critical thinking skills, problem solving, communications, working as a team member and leading in a lean environment were listed as soft skills concerns by members of the affiliated boards.
9 The following shares meritorious points raised on a single, or infrequent basis.
10 "Screaming" and "!" are intentionally used in the same sentence.
11 While “rave” correctly describes the majority opinion, a significant minority shared concerns about a recent decline in quality teaching and encouragement to maintain current technology at the Blong Center.