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UC, Calif. Community Colleges Partner to Support Community Colleges Through Professional Development, Leadership Training and Research

June 23, 2005

UC contact: Ravi Poorsina (510) 587-6194


ravi.poorsina@ucop.edu

CCC contact: Ron Owens (916) 327-5356


rowens@cccco.edu



The University of California and the California Community
Colleges are forming a new collaborative program that will provide
professional development, leadership training and policy research
for the community college system.



California Community Colleges Chancellor Marshall (Mark)
Drummond and UC President Robert C. Dynes today (June 23) signed a
memorandum of understanding creating the “California Community
College Collaborative at the University of California, Riverside,”
dubbed “C4 at UCR.”



Based in Riverside, the new policy center,will also involve
collaborations with faculty and administrators at Riverside
Community College, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara,
UC Santa Cruz, the University of Southern California and California
State University, Sacramento.



California’s community colleges face major challenges in
serving a growing and increasingly diverse student population, and
preparing it for a knowledge-based economy, in an era of funding
challenges and often-changing expectations. The goal of C4 at UCR
is to improve the quality of student learning in the community
colleges through data-driven policy research and professional
development for faculty and administrators in the community college
system.



“Working in partnership, we are going to bring our research
capabilities to bear on the challenges and opportunities facing the
community colleges,” Dynes said. “We at the University of
California are very interested in seeing a strong community college
system. It is important for the state’s economic growth, for
college opportunity for many students and for the continued
strength of the Master Plan for Higher Education that has been so
successful for California.”



Drummond noted the memorandum of understanding will foster an
invaluable relationship between both higher educational systems.
“Historically, community colleges relied on UC to research our
successes and our shortcomings,” he said.

“We also relied on UC to provide professional development and
prepared graduates to staff our colleges. I salute President Dynes
and Chancellor France Córdova in providing leadership and
stepping forward to see that we can return to our former relationship.”

The largest system of higher education in the nation, the
California Community Colleges provided educational, vocational as
well as transfer programs to more than 2.5 million students during
academic year 2003-04. UC’s 10 campuses serve as the state’s
principal research arm and also have a mission of providing
undergraduate and graduate education through the doctoral degree.



The new collaborative builds on a history of cooperation
between the two systems.

In 1998, the California Community Colleges and UC signed a
memorandum of understanding that has led to substantial increases
in the number of students transferring from the community colleges
to pursue a bachelor’s degree at UC, ensuring multiple paths to a
four-year degree in California.



The new initiative also is an example of the strengths of the
California Master Plan for Higher Education, the state’s higher
education framework that gives each segment of public higher
education in California a distinct mission while also encouraging
collaborations between institutions.



“We have advocated for this type of center for many years,”
said Salvatore G. Rotella, chancellor of Riverside Community
College District. “Community colleges educate nearly 75 percent of
college students in California. Our faculty is our greatest
resource. This collaborative will provide many new opportunities
for community college faculty, including access to doctoral
education, advanced teaching and leadership skills development, and
expanded access to advanced research.”



“This collaboration brings the community colleges and the UC
campuses together on research and policy that will accelerate the
development of the educated work force that California needs to
remain competitive,” said Córdova, UC Riverside’s chancellor
and key driver of the collaborative effort between UCR and the
California Community Colleges.



Among other things, the policy center, working in
collaboration with the California Community Colleges system office,
will create a databank on the fiscal, academic, organizational, and
demographic conditions of California’s community colleges and the
communities they serve. Policy research will be conducted on
educational, management, and cultural issues within the community
colleges. In addition, an array of seminars, workshops and
institutes will be developed to aid the professional development of
leaders and faculty throughout the California Community College
system.



The collaborative will be governed by an advisory council of
six to eight members consisting of key constituency groups,
including community college leaders, state policy-makers, and
academic researchers, and chaired by Rotella. In addition, five
advisory boards composed of members from a variety of constituent
groups will provide special substantive expertise and advice to the
lead faculty and projects in each program area of the
collaborative.



The interim director of the collaborative for its initial
year of operation will be Steven Bossert, dean of the Graduate
School of Education at UC Riverside. The leadership and formal
structure of the collaborative are likely to evolve as its agenda develops.


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