ACCT Launches Center for Policy & Practice
New Center Dedicated to Implementing Community College Policy Solutions
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) today announced the formalization of the new Center for Policy and Practice at ACCT. The Center, a part of ACCT’s public policy division, is dedicated to finding effective ways to inform policymakers and implement programs related to the advocacy goals of the association and its membership.
“We are thrilled to announce the launch of the Center for Policy and Practice,” said ACCT President and CEO Jee Hang Lee. “ACCT is a longtime leading advocate for policies that positively affect the studies and lives of community college students and the sustainable well-being of institutions. The launch of the Center represents a commitment to our policy focus, and a commitment to converting policies into meaningful actions.”
“The goal of our new center,” said ACCT Vice President for Public Policy Carrie Warick-Smith, “is to build on this important advocacy work by helping colleges to find practical solutions, to develop better-informed policies, and to provide technical assistance to member institutions as they work to implement new policies.”
“In short,” she said, “policy informs practice, and practice informs policy. The work of the Center is to ensure that this cycle productively advances the work being done by community colleges.”
The Center for Policy and Practice will use insights from the field to advise policymakers about how federal programs can best serve the colleges in their districts, to facilitate the implementation of programs and laws, and then to use the lessons learned to inform lawmakers.
The Center was born out of the vision for the next evolution of ACCT by Lee, who began his tenure as the association’s new president and CEO in November of 2021. The Center sits between the membership and policy makers, providing both thought leadership and technical assistance to achieve its goals through a combination of case studies, research briefs, convenings, and supporting best-practice development through pilot efforts at ACCT member institutions.
Current initiatives being implemented by the Center for Policy and Practice at ACCT include the Non-Credit and Credit Alignment Lab, SNAP Employment & Training National Partnership, and Strengthening Rural Community Colleges.
“The Center for Policy and Practice at ACCT welcomes support from strategic partners interested in advancing the work being done by community colleges and improving students’ lives,” said Center Director Steve Jurch. “We are excited to work with our partners and members to make meaningful connections between policy and practices and to facilitate the evolution of community colleges as they work to make students’ lives better.”
Some of the issues on the horizon for the center revolve around serving students of color and parenting students, short-term PELL funding, mental health, skills-based hiring, and strategic enrollment management.
As ACCT embarks on its next chapter, the Center for Policy and Practice, along with the Government Relations team, will continue to listen to the needs of the membership and advocate for policies that move community colleges and higher education forward.
Visit the Center for Policy and Practice at ACCT to learn more.
The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) is a non-profit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern over 1,200 community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States and beyond. Learn more at www.acct.org and follow ACCT on Twitter @CCTrustees.