Most important, it allowed senor staff and board members to understand the differences between the articulated mission of their organization and what their fundraising and investor relations talent were actually promoting to target companies and individuals.
It is no secret that students desire proof that the power of a degree or certification is demonstrated by accessing a career pathway with solid wages. It is also no secret that employers want proof that the power of a higher education relationship is demonstrated by access to high-performing talent. Students invest in classwork and labs. Employers invest precious dollars in talent acquisition and retention. Investors and grant-making regimes continue to look to tracking employment outcomes to measure the impact of the dollars they dedicate to college programs. Ask any college team of staff and faculty dedicated driving talent and wages, and they will tell you they are doing the best they can, given their resources and limitations, to track students from coursework to job and wages. Ten Florida state colleges looked at barriers and opportunities in tracking of student employment and careers to understand and improve the evidentiary bases for program strategies. Engagement in a 3-year U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) grant included tracking and taking a close look at the broad assortment of tracking options available to colleges. Electing to understand the complications, the colleges engaged in an analysis of the data collection processes, and reached a bold consensus on the need for a single, statewide platform for success.
The breakout media coverage of Columbus State Community College’s President, Dr. David Harrison, is distinguished from other reporting on education and workforce development leaders because the story is about success instead of aspiration.
Fairfield Index first worked with Dr. Harrison when he served as Vice Provost of The University of Central Florida, America’s second largest university. He was championing alignment of curriculum, communications, and data between some of the largest school districts in the nation, including many outstanding community colleges. The Direct Connect program pushed the envelope, and we think pushed the national agenda, on how colleges could align with and commit to a bachelor’s degree for its students with an outstanding university. As is his style, Harrison ensured superintendents, school boards, college presidents, and expert staffs called the shots and set the standard for
Many regions today are focusing efforts to support a wide and growing interest in transforming the highly susceptible economies of the past into diversified and fast growing innovation economies.
Some take a communications focus to the exercise by developing regional scorecards to demonstrate attractiveness, with the intent that those harboring capital will take notice. Some were borne of the right timing and recipe of talent, research, disruptive technology, and sufficient resources. And some regions took action to install or ensure innovation activity where scale was below a prosperous threshold.