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Transforming Community Colleges: 5 Design Questions to Shape the Future of Learning

This June 2023 thought paper focuses on five key design questions, examples, and resources to support community colleges through this transformative moment.

Community colleges have been called upon to meet the rapidly changing needs of today’s learner-earners and industry partners after decades of struggling against outdated models and processes that no longer serve them. Now is the time to consider a new approach.

Since its inception in the fall of 2020, the Community College Growth Engine (CCGE), a design accelerator facilitated by the Lab, has engaged over 40 community colleges and systems across the country to design micro-pathways leveraging a human-centered design process.

Through this work, we have recognized commonalities among our community college partners and identified key questions most critical to driving longterm organizational change that benefits learners, employer partners, and the institutions themselves.

This thought paper focuses on five intentional design questions grounded in the Education Design Lab’s decade of experience working with community colleges, employers, and learners along with examples and resources to support community colleges through this transformative moment.

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