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SREB Community College Commission
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Beth Day, SREB Director of Communications
(404) 879-5544

Cheryl Blanco, SREB Vice President for Spe
cial Projects, (443) 501-3656

SREB Commissions
In 2013 and 2014, the Southern Regional Education Board focuses on pathways that span the K-20 spectrum through two commissions: the SREB Commission on Community Colleges, as well as the SREB Career and Technical Education Commission, which is chaired by Kentucky Governor Steve Bashear.

These commissions continue SREB’s long-standing role of bringing together state leaders from across the region to address major issues from pre-K through Ph.D. They build on SREB efforts in recent years to help states grow the share of their populations who hold degrees and certificates — by building consensus on essential statewide policy to improve college completion, implement effective policy changes, and narrow the gap between high school graduation and readiness for careers and college.

Related SREB Reports
Available in PDF format at

Fact Book on Higher Education, 2013. 

No Time to Waste: Policy Recommendations for Increasing College Completion, 2010.

Promoting a Culture of Student Success: How Colleges and Universities Are Improving Degree Completion, 2010.

Essential Elements of State Policy for College Completion: Statewide Transfer Policies, 2013

Essential Elements of State Policy for College Completion: Transitional Courses for College and Career Readiness, 2013

Essential Elements of State Policy for College Completion: Dual Enrollment2013
Essential Elements of State Policy for College Completion: Outcomes-Based Funding. 20122
The Southern Regional Education Board works with 16 member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Atlanta, SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region.
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SREB Commission Focuses on Critical Role of Community Colleges
Pathways from K-12 to Certificates, Degrees and the Workforce
— October 18, 2013 â€” The Southern Regional Education Board’s Community College Commission convened this week in Atlanta, charged with recommending ways to strengthen the role of community and technical colleges in raising educational attainment in Southern states.
The SREB Community College Commission will focus on policies and strategies that hold significant potential to 
increase college access and success — and help more students graduate from college and enter careers in demand in their communities.

The Community College Commission is co-chaired by SREB Board members Joe Pickens, president of St. Johns River State College in Florida, and Tim Shaughnessy, associate provost for academic affairs at Gateway Community and Technical College in Kentucky. Both are former state legislators. Other commission members include chancellors and presidents of community and technical systems and individual colleges, as well as state legislators. 

Readiness to succeed
Fostering students’ success in education and work after high school — with a goal of increasing the numbers of credentials and degrees awarded — is one primary focus of the Commission. This means helping K-12 systems get students ready for college and finding better ways to help students succeed once they arrive at college. Students’ likelihood of finishing a degree or certificate is directly related to how well prepared they are when they begin credit-bearing, entry-level college courses.  
Pathways to careers
Preparing students for good jobs available in their communities today — with a goal of moving more Americans into careers that support families and contribute to their communities — is another key priority.  This means creating pathways from the middle grades and high school through community and technical programs into four-year degrees or good jobs that are in demand in local and regional workforces.
The Commission will study data on the impact of effective pathways, ways to make pathways more transparent for students, and strategies to keep them on the path toward completion. It will also examine proven ways to align program offerings with careers that are in demand and strategies to keep those pathways current.
“We are very focused on educational pathways that connect to job opportunities,” Shaughnessy said, 
Students come to community college programs from many different places in their lives, and with different aims — directly from high school, as career changers after losing a job, to earn credits before pursuing a four-year degree, to earn certificate credentials for immediate jobs, or to complete a degree after years away from college.
“We need to make it easier for  students to see the goals that will motivate them to succeed,” said Pickens. â€œStudents have enough hurdles in life without us creating more."
The Commission will produce recommendations for consideration by the SREB Board in June 2014. Pickens and Shaughnessy stressed that the recommendations will be objective and nonpartisan and will focus on strategies that can be applied statewide and systemwide.
“Community colleges are a cornerstone of education in the South,” said SREB President Dave Spence. “Their performance will be the most critical factor in meeting our goals for postsecondary completion, preparing more people for good jobs, and closing achievement gaps.” 

Southern Regional Education Board
Community College Commission

Dan Branch, State Representative

Walter Bumphus, President
American Association of Community Colleges

Thomas Campbell, State Board of Education Member
West Virginia
Glen DuBois, Chancellor
Virginia Community College System
Joyce Elliott, State Senator
Randy Hanna, Chancellor 
Division of Florida Colleges

Sheilla Lampkin, State Representative
Joe May, President
Louisiana Community & Technical College System
Mike McCall, President
Kentucky Community & Technical College System

Commission Co-Chair
Joe Pickens, President
St. Johns River State College
John Polk, State Senator
Scott Ralls, President
North Carolina Community College System
Bernie Sadusky, Executive Director
Maryland Association of Community Colleges

Commission Co-Chair
Tim Shaughnessy, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs
Gateway Community and Technical College, Kentucky

Jabar Shumate, State Senator
Jim Skidmore, Chancellor
West Virginia Council for Community & Technical College Education
Francis Thompson, State Senator

Yvonne Wood, Chair
Tennessee Economic Council on Women

Copyright © 2013 Southern Regional Education Board, All rights reserved.

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