ELYRIA — Lorain County Community College will share in a $500,000 grant with two other Ohio community colleges that will be used to develop a plan to help more non-traditional students graduate.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is providing the funding to develop the plan that will be a joint venture between LCCC, Sinclair Community College in Dayton and Stark State College in Canton. The presidents of each institution along with Suzanne Walsh, senior program officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, announced Tuesday the inclusion of the Ohio Cadre into the Completion by Design Initiative, which aims to eliminate redundant practices and policy that stand in the way of college students obtaining degrees, certificates or credentials.
“The expectation is our institutions will be different institutions in our delivery system by the time we finish this work,” said LCCC President Roy Church. “We will keep the focus on ensuring as many students as possible earn the credentials they need to be successful in the market place of Lorain County and Ohio.”
The three community colleges with Sinclair taking the lead will begin drafting a plan that will absorb all of the best practices from community colleges from across the country into a model that has the goal of streamlining the educational process. The Ohio cadre will then submit the plan back to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for possible implementation funding.
However, they will not be alone in seeking the millions needed to change the community college system of today.
Cadres in Florida and two other states to be announced in the coming days are also developing similar plans.
While global philanthropic efforts of the Gates Foundation focus on overcoming hunger and poverty, nationally the foundation’s goal is to enrich the lives of Americans through education attainment. As such, Walsh said the Completion by Design program lives out that goal by encouraging institutions to redesign the student experience so students have a quick, straight path to degrees.