The past few years have required community colleges to grapple with the effects of a worldwide pandemic, economic uncertainty, and social upheaval. Responsibility has fallen on the shoulders of leadership, faculty, and staff to enhance institutional practices, teaching methodology, and support services that will positively affect student success and best serve the community.

This issue of Innovatus focuses on what colleges are doing today to ensure relevancy and growth in the future. Tara Zirkel, for instance, asserts that efforts to enhance and grow dual enrollment can help offset enrollment declines, while Lindsay White reviews an innovative model for project funding. Chukwuemeka A. Ikegwuonu and Leila Ellis-Nelson focus on the critical need for mental health services on campus, and Lisa Larson discusses micro-pathways as an option for new majority learners who might otherwise skip higher education. And, finally, the team at San Carlos Apache College highlights that institution’s efforts to draw upon cultural traditions to support student success.

On behalf of the League, I encourage you to use this magazine to start or expand conversations on your campus about supporting students in a changing world. Acknowledging our need to evolve so that we may more effectively guide students into their future lives is the first step.


Dawn Lindsay
Chair, Board of Directors, League for Innovation in the Community College
President, Anne Arundel Community College


Fueling Dual Enrollment Momentum to Combat Declining College-Going Rates

Since 2020, enrollment at community colleges has declined 5.4 percent, which has prompted institutions to reflect on practices that impact student…

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Designing Our Colleges for Change: The Leadership Challenge of Processes

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many educators recognized that higher education is operating in an increasingly complex and volatile world. While…

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San Carlos Apache College’s New Traditional Vision of Enhancing Student Support Services

San Carlos Apache College (SCAC), one of the newest tribal colleges in the U.S., has become a major player in efforts to build an innovative, yet…

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Can AI Actually Bring Instructors and Students Closer Together?

In today’s community college classrooms, technology is everywhere you turn. As higher education institutions embrace the role of emerging…

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Wellness at the Intersection of Retention and Student Support

Higher education has been in upheaval for the last two years due to the pandemic. Broader funding for higher education has increased, but funding for…

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A New Model: How Community Colleges Are Centering Learners and Their Skills

As we look back at how the pandemic has shifted higher education, the message moving forward is that the learning and upskilling experience must…

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