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Photo of a Stanford GSE event near Cubberley Building

Civic Stewardship to Strengthen Community Colleges

Thursday, March 29, 2018 - Friday, March 30, 2018
10:00am - 4:30pm
Center for Education Research at Stanford (CERAS)

Civic Stewardship to Strengthen Community Colleges is a Two-Day workshop by the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative in partnership with California Forward and the California Community Colleges Vice Chancellor for Workforce  and Economic Development. 

What is Civic Stewardship to Strengthen Community Colleges?

Community colleges, with their ability to train workers with job-ready skills that employers need, have been identified as key drivers to fuel regional economies and enable social mobility.

The California Community Colleges’ Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and Economy, California Forward, the California Stewardship Network, and the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative have joined in an initiative to strengthen the ability of California’s civic leaders to serve as effective stewards of public investments in community colleges. This will help enable our community college system to deliver the skilled workers our economy needs to thrive.

The three organizations have come together to shape a two-day workshop, entitled “Civic Stewardship to Strengthen Community Colleges.” In the initial year of this workshop, 30 members of the California Stewardship Network and 10 community college career education (CTE) leaders will be invited to participate. Nominees from the California Stewardship Network and the California Community Colleges will be forwarded to California Fwd for final selection, with consideration for geographic dispersion and knowledge base. The Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative is also the host to the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence.

The collective impact of this initiative is to deliver on the goal of one million more skilled workers for California – in ways that fuel regional economies and further social mobility.


How are invitees selected?

Civic stewards are individuals who see an opportunity for change and bring the same passion and persistence to community problem solving that business entrepreneurs bring to building new ventures. They mobilize teams and collaborate across boundaries to address interrelated economic, environmental, and social challenges. They come from all walks of life—from the business, public, labor, and non-profit sectors. While they have been responsible for important advances in California’s regions over the last decade, it is an enduring challenge to grow and replenish the pool of civic entrepreneurs in a strategic and systematic fashion.

Workshop invitees have been identified as a prominent civic steward in their region.


Workshop Details

The workshop will be hosted at Stanford University and is scheduled for March 29-30, 2018. Meals and overnight accommodations at Stanford University will be provided.

Five sessions will range from one to two hours each, depending on the topic. Click here to see the agenda and read about the sessions. After successful completion of this workshop, participants will:

Be familiar with the main public and private funding streams for workforce development partnerships
Gain an understanding of the organizational structures, curricular processes of California’s 114 community colleges, and the challenges facing those colleges
Understand how to implement equitable and successful partnerships at the intersection of government policy, industry demand, and public and private funding, and begin to develop criteria for implementing best practices

This workshop will enable civic stewards to understand the processes by which community colleges operate and the ways that long-term partnerships between civic stewards and community colleges can be built, strengthened, and based on sound workforce data, mutual trust, and effective communication.


About the Workshop Hosts

The Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative (SELI) is a collaboration between the Stanford Graduate School of Education and Stanford Graduate School of Business that strives to help education leaders further develop their ability to transform education systems and drive meaningful change.

The California Stewardship Network (CSN), with 15 member economic regions (and counting), began as a civic concept, morphed into an expansive project, and has emerged as an effective network and learning exchange comprised of individuals who love their Golden State—but think it has some room for improvement. The California Stewardship Network joined with California Forward in 2012 to sponsor the California Economic Summit in the midst of a very slow economic recovery, where workforce development surfaced as a priority issue across the regions. Together, these civic intermediaries engaged the California Community Colleges in problem solving.

In 2015, the California Economic Summit established a goal of one million more skilled workers to fuel the state’s regional economies and enable social mobility. With bipartisan support, in 2016, the Governor and legislature responded and funded the $200 million Strong Workforce Program. In addition to the $2 billion a year in exiting CTE, over the next five years, $1 billion will be invested in the state’s 114 community colleges to deliver “more and better” career technical education to meet the needs of the labor market.

The California Community College system currently serves 2.1 million students and is the largest and most complex higher-education system in the nation. Over the last five years, under the Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and the Economy framework, its workforce mission has undergone a significant turnaround from an afterthought to a policy priority. Thanks to the engagement of California Forward and the California Stewardship Network, the California Community Colleges’ Workforce and Economic Development Division pursued systemic changes and successfully aligned monies, metrics, and data towards the goal of delivering on the one million more skilled workers.

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