On April 22nd and 23rd, Edvance Directors Brian Mitchell and Kurt Thiede attended the 2012 AACC Convention in Orlando, FL. Among the largest and most dynamic annual gatherings of educational leadership, the Convention provided Mitchell and Thiede an opportunity to attend sessions and share ideas with many of the more than 2,000 community college presidents and senior administrators in attendance.
In fall 2011, Edvance board members met with Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter, who provided valuable insight and feedback on the Edvance Foundation’s strategic plan based on her many years of community college work and national perspective on higher education. Dr. Kanter also referred board members to the Department of Labor to discuss how the Edvance Foundation’s Nexpectation Network program might fit into the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Training Grant Program that was launched in 2011. Board members met with Gerri Fiala, deputy assistant secretary of employment training, to discuss the Nexpectation Network’s potential applicability to the grant program, which is a joint collaboration between the departments of education and labor. The Edvance Foundation was encouraged to watch for the announcement of new regulations for the grant program, which should be available late winter.
More than 300 representatives from two- and four-year institutions learned about the potential opportunities available through the Edvance Foundation’s Nexpectation Network program and provided helpful insights and questions during a series of 10 webinars hosted by the Nexpectation Network leadership. More than 80 discrete questions were generated from webinar participants. These were collected, responded to, and posted on the Edvance Foundation website for reference. Feedback from participants will factor into the development of the program’s business and financial plans.
Edvance Director Brian Mitchell recently participated on a panel with Presidents Lynn Pasquerella (Mt. Holyoke College) and Mary Pat Seurkamp (Notre Dame of Maryland University). Hosted by Rosemont College President Sharon Hirsh, the panel members discussed partnerships between two- and four-year institutions and how the Edvance Foundation’s Nexpectation Network program is planning to foster and expand those partnerships across the country. The panel was part of the three-day Presidents’ Institute, an annual conference hosted by the Council of Independent Colleges. Attendees heard about the lessons learned by panelists with regard to their institutions’ partnerships as well as how those lessons are being incorporated into the Nexpectation Network model.
A major aspect of the current planning process for the Edvance Foundation’s Nexpectation Network is sharing the program concept with, and receiving feedback from, two- and four-year institutional leadership within various states. To date, the Edvance Foundation has held 10 meetings with leaders of two-year schools and another 16 meetings with leaders of four-year schools. Most of these meetings were facilitated by executives of the state associations of independent colleges and universities. Many of these state executives also introduced the Edvance Foundation to their counterparts in the two-year sector, which led to additional meetings with those leaders. Across the board, meeting participants showed significant interest in the program and provided valuable feedback to the Nexpectation Network team.