Thanks in part due to President Obama’s ambitious college graduation goals for America, community colleges are hot. So clearly community colleges need to step up, change how they do things in order to be an effective part of producing more American college graduates.

According to Community College Times, community colleges are looking to make this happen. Their winning strategy is to… go back and look a document published during the Reagan Administration.

According to an article by Matthew Dembicki:

A 22-year-old report on the future of community colleges may serve as a model to help the nation’s public two-year colleges forge a strategic framework for the next 10 to 20 years, according to Walter Bumphus, who will become president and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) in 2011.

“Building Communities: A Vision for a New Century,” a report that in 1988 served as a catalyst for such discussions, is something Bumphus would like to revisit. The AACC report, resulting from an 18-month study, detailed the status of community colleges in the ‘80s and presented recommendations on an array of key areas. Many of those areas are still priorities. “It’s time for us to come together in a formal way and develop a strategic plan,” he said, noting that the 1988 report and subsequent workshops pertaining to its recommendations served as a blueprint for many community colleges.

The report was published by the organization Bumphus will take over next year; it’s understandable that he wants to promote AACC work, but this strategy seems a little feeble.

Currently, due in part to their conflicting missions of training people for local jobs and helping them to transfer to traditional schools, community colleges aren’t terribly effective. One hopes Bumphus can do something more innovative than recycle a two decade-old report that “served as a blueprint for” something that’s only mildly successful. [Image via]

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer