Internal Constituent Feedback
As noted above in the EICC Communication section, improvement is needed to EICC’s overall communication efforts. Internal constituents expressed growing frustration over the lack of communication strategies. For example, students shared that it is difficult to share college events and resources in timely and effective ways. There is no “go to” resource for students. Likewise, the employee base expressed a feeling of being “in the dark” about happenings at the administrative level and frustration that transparency hinges on the openness of individual supervisors or department heads.
The subject of lean staffing was often met with a great deal of emotion. One employee stated that “lean” staffing would be acceptable; however, they are facing “malnourishment.” Like many companies in the region, EICC employees have been asked to do more with less. Many of the staffing conversations also evolved into conversations about full time versus part time faculty. While internal constituents favor full time faculty, members of business and industry seem to favor the notion of incorporating business persons / community members into the pedagogy as a means to update curricula, elevate quality and enhance the overall student experience.
Perhaps the only unanimous or united call for focused attention from student participants involved elevating the quality of academic support.5 Specifically, there is an expressed need to attract and retain higher quality tutors and to provide tutors with necessary resources (e.g., current text books). Students shared concern that many of their peers seeking academic support6 are not satisfied with current availability.
|D.||Community v. Commuter Atmosphere
Student forums included a great deal of discussion around a commuter v. community atmosphere and there were strong opinions supporting both models. Clearly, students attend a community college for a variety of reasons. Some forum participants expressed a strong desire for their community college to feel more like college, more like a four-year institution. As noted in other sections of this report, a shift to this model involves facilities changes, extracurricular options, social programming and more. At the same time, other students are perfectly satisfied with attending class and then leaving campus. These students are strictly interested in earning college credit for purposes of a two-year degree, certificate or subsequent transfer to another institute of higher education. Satisfying both camps is a tall order and one that faces community colleges around the country.