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Report Urges Reforms in Preparation and Hiring of Community-College Presidents

With community colleges facing many changes, including an expected wave of presidential retirements over the next five years, the institutions must reform their practices for preparing and hiring leaders in order to keep up with demand and heightened expectations, concludes a report released today by Achieving the Dream and the Aspen Institute.

The report, “Crisis and Opportunity: Aligning the Community-College Presidency with Student Success,” explores the changing landscape for community colleges, which serve more than 40 percent of students at American colleges, as well as the qualities of successful presidents and the leadership programs used to train them.

It makes several recommendations for matching training programs to the skills that it says successful community-college presidents need, including adding hands-on training experiences and building relationships with industry, schools, community leaders, and other groups. It also lays out recommendations for those who hire community-college leaders, which include identifying the common traits of successful presidents and using them to choose leaders that will increase student success.

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