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Vanguard Learning Colleges


League staff were delighted with the response to their latest project. Expecting approximately 40 applications from community colleges wanting to be one of the ten Vanguard Learning Colleges, the League received 94 applications and had to add more evaluators to handle the load. The high response rate was not expected because the Learning College concept is relatively new, the application process required applicants to meet a tough set of criteria, and funds for the participating colleges are minimal.

“We are very pleased with this response” said League Board Chair Bill Wenrich, Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District. “It is a clear indication to us of the timeliness and value of the Learning College concept. This project will provide us with an exceptional laboratory for testing out ideas and innovations to help community colleges across Canada and the U.S. to become more learning-centered institutions.”

The proposal for the Learning College Project called for 10 Vanguard Learning Colleges to be selected, but the applications were so excellent the League Board agreed that the League would fund two additional colleges for a total of 12 Vanguard Learning Colleges.  The other 82 applicants will be invited to participate in the project as Learning College Champions. The twelve Vanguard Learning Colleges will become incubators and catalysts for other educational institutions around the world as they share models and practices to transform community colleges into more learning-centered institutions.

The Vanguard Learning Colleges include Cascadia Community College (WA), Community College of Baltimore County (MD), Community College of Denver (CO), Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology (ON), Kirkwood Community College (IA), Lane Community College (OR), Madison Area Technical College (WI), Moraine Valley Community College (IL), Palomar College (CA), Richland College (TX), Sinclair Community College (OH), and Valencia Community College (FL).

Teams from the 12 Vanguard Learning Colleges met for an Initial Seminar June 17-21 in Scottsdale, Arizona. At the seminar, teams met with each other and with a number of consultants, including Alfredo G. de los Santos Jr., Michael Dolence, Steve Gilbert, Roy Giroux, Robert McCabe, Kay McClenney (Project Evaluator), Cindy Miles, Mark Milliron, John Roueche, Michael Skolnik, and Jerry Sue Thornton.

Project Director Terry O'Banion
Project Coordinator
Cynthia Wilson