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U.S. Department of Education
Selects League for Innovation to Lead
Collaborative Initiative to Improve College
and Career Transitions

Initiative designed to support the principles established in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

Phoenix, AZ – Octob
er 11, 2002 – The College and Career Transitions Initiative (CCTI) is a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) Office of Adult and Vocational Education (OVAE) and the League for Innovation in the Community College (League). The initiative is designed to strengthen the role of community and technical colleges in easing student transitions between secondary and postsecondary education and to improve academic performance at both the secondary and postsecondary levels.

The initiative will further the development, by postsecondary institutions in partnership with secondary schools, of academically rigorous programs of study organized around broad occupational areas (initially to include but not be limited to IT, Health Care, Engineering, and Teacher education). These programs of study will equip students with the skills required for success in high-demand, high-wage career fields. Measurable outcomes of the initiative will include the development of model strategies that contribute to: increased enrollment and persistence in postsecondary education, increased academic and skill achievement, increased number of postsecondary degree or certificate attainment, increased entry into employment, and decreased rate of remediation. The terms of the cooperative agreement include an initial award of $2.5 million to develop and implement the programs in the first year, and four additional years possible.”

To implement this cooperative agreement, the League will serve as the lead organization, working under the direction of the U.S. DOE OVAE. The League will work closely with project partners: the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD), The Chauncey Group International (Chauncey), the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), the University of Texas at Austin's Community College Leadership Program (CCLP), and an impressive array of eminent national figures who have agreed to serve as the Advisory Working Group, as they engage select higher education/secondary partnerships across the nation in this five-year effort to discover, develop, deliver, and document best practice strategies in college and career transitions in these strategic occupational areas.

The 10 lead community college/secondary partnership sites will be chosen through a comprehensive RFP review process, which will seek to identify over the next seven months those secondary/postsecondary partnerships that best represent excellence in college and career transitions in the principal program areas. Dr. Laurance J. Warford, formerly Community College Liaison, United States Department of Labor, Washington, D.C., and Vice President for Instruction, Lane Community College, Eugene, OR has been named League CCTI Project Director, and Dr. Mark David Milliron, President and CEO, League for Innovation in the Community College, Phoenix, AZ, has been named Executive Lead.

Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton, Board Chair of the League for Innovation and President of Cuyahoga Community College, noted, "This exciting initiative invests in strategies to close the achievement gap, creates meaningful education options that help students with diverse backgrounds and needs reach high standards, and ensures that these students are able to successfully manage their subsequent college and career transitions."

"The ultimate goal of this DOE Initiative is to help people with educational and career transitions in their lives," says Project Director Warford. "I am looking forward to working on a project of such national importance."

About The League for Innovation in the Community College
The League for Innovation in the Community College is an international organization dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement. The League hosts conferences and institutes, develops Web resources, conducts research, produces publications, provides services, and leads projects and initiatives with more than 750 member colleges, 100 corporate partners, and a host of other government and nonprofit agencies in a continuing effort to make a positive difference for students and communities. Information about the League and its activities is available online.