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League for Innovation Awarded $1.4 Million for Learning Outcomes Project

With a $1.4 million grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts, the League for Innovation in the Community College will direct a three-year 21st involving 16 community and technical colleges from across the country. The goal of the project is to increase the capacity of community colleges to define and document critical learning outcomes students need to succeed in today’s society. The colleges participating in the project will design and test innovative performance-based methods for defining and certifying student achievement. In addition to coordinating this national demonstration project, the League will document and disseminate project activities to showcase the models for educational leaders and decision makers nationally and internationally.

As stage two of a large-scale partnership between the League and The Pew Charitable Trusts aimed at enhancing undergraduate learning, the project involves implementation and advocacy activities to catalyze a new standards movement in community colleges. The first stage of the project explored community college involvement in defining core learning outcomes and outcomes-based learning approaches to prepare students for success in the 21st Century. The findings from Stage One are available in the League publication, Learning Outcomes for the 21st Century: Report of a Community College Study.

The new Learning Outcomes Project is the latest addition to the League’s expanding Learning Initiative and is funded for two years, with the League committed to securing or providing funding for a third year. Through its Learning Initiative, the League has (1) created a bimonthly publication, Learning Abstracts, delivered to more than 700 community colleges that are members of the League’s Alliance; (2) published 10 monographs on issues related to learning, including Terry O’Banion’s Creating More Learning-Centered Community Colleges, which has sold more than 14,000 copies; (3) secured grants to support special projects on the Learning College and asynchronous learning networks; and (4) realigned its two annual conferences as learning-centered experiences for the 5,000 participants.

Dr. Bill Wenrich, League Board Chair and Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District, notes, “With the support of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the combined efforts of the participating colleges, the League hopes to take another bold step toward improving and expanding learning in community colleges.”

The sixteen community colleges in the 21st Century Learning Outcomes Project will work with each other, with project facilitators, and with members of the League staff to develop models and best practices for identifying and delivering student learning outcomes and for assessing and documenting student achievement of those outcomes. The participating colleges are Butler County Community College (KS), Central Piedmont Community College (NC), Cuyahoga Community College (OH), Foothill College (CA), Hocking College (OH), Inver Hills Community College (MN), Johnson County Community College (KS), Kingsborough Community College (NY), Mesa Community College (AZ), Midlands Technical College (SC), Montgomery College (TX), San Diego Miramar College (CA), Santa Fe Community College (FL), Schoolcraft College (MI), Skagit Valley College (WA), and Waukesha County Technical College (WI).

Contacts: Cindy Miles, Senior Program Officer
Cynthia Wilson, Vice President, Publications and Research, Editor in Chief