April is Community College Month!

What can trustees do?

April 1, 2019

Community College Month is a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of our institutions to communities and to students. Here are some things that trustees and boards can do to bring attention to your college:

Use your platform to speak up.

One of the primary roles of trustees is to engage with and to represent their communities to the college. Here are a few ways you can do that:

  • Get out into the community. This month, go out and meet local business leaders and ask them if their workforce needs are being met. Let them know that your college is there to meet those needs. 
  • The power of the pen. Publish an op-ed in your local newspaper to remind residents how important your college is to the lives of students and for local economic welfare.
  • Get social. Celebrate your community college’s success stories by sharing information through Twitter, Facebook and other social media using #CCMonth. (When possible, tag @CCTrustees so we can share your stories!)
  • Use your face and your voice. Whether through the board chair, the president or both, work as a team to get the authorized spokespeople for your college booked on the local news to talk about the economic impact of the college, or about a specific program’s or student’s successes. 
  • Be a gracious host. Hold an “open campus week” celebration. Invite the public, elected officials and the media to see how your college is transforming lives.
Advance the agenda.

Trustees are primary advocates for the students at their colleges and throughout the country. Whenever possible, work the community college legislative priorities into your talking points to leverage Community College Month attention to make a difference for your students.

Make Community College Month your very own Self-Education Month.

Throughout the month of April, commit to learning something new or brushing up on what you already know about community colleges, community college advocacy, governance and your students. Read highlights of a recent research report. Brush up on parliamentary procedure. If you don’t normally read now.acct.org, Inside Higher Ed or the Chronicle of Higher Education, add them to your daily reading list. You’ll have a lot more knowledge under your belt by May!

  • Reach out to your peers. Find out what’s going on at colleges beyond your own—throughout your state, your region, and throughout our vast country. You’ll find a lot of similarities and also a lot of differences—in some cases you’ll learn about solutions to challenges you may face down the road. 
  • Write something! Read our Trustee Quarterly writers’ guidelines and pitch us a story about something unique, new or exciting that your board has done recently.
  • Don’t be shy about reaching out to us at ACCT. Send us questions that have been on your mind. 
  • And be sure to submit a presentation proposal for the 2019 ACCT Leadership Congress before the end of April; the deadline is May 3!