Highlighted here are some major programs that exemplify AACC's commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity.
Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count
AACC is a founding partner in Achieving the Dream (ATD), whose goal is to close achievement gaps for students of color and low-income students. AACC manages the ATD Web site and national database, develops analytical data tools, and contributes to the online ATD Equity Resource Center, which assists colleges in evaluating, assessing, developing and sustaining equity interventions. AACC staff serves on the ATD Structural Inequity Team, which provides suggestions and feedback to colleges on equity issues. AACC co-manages the annual ATD Strategy Institute, whose theme is "Equity and Excellence."
Advanced Technological Education
The theme of the 2010 ATE Principal Investigators' Conference, to be held October 27–29, is "ATE Student Success: Building a Diverse and Entrepreneurial Workforce." Keynote speakers include Freeman A. Hrabowskil, III, president of the University of Maryland, who will address the critical role of community colleges in preparing students from all backgrounds for STEM careers, and Ann Higdon, president and founder, Improved Solutions for Urban Systems, who will address strategies for educating and training underachieving and dropout youth. The conference agenda also features several sessions focused on diversifying the STEM pipeline.
Future Leaders Institute
AACC provides leadership development through the Future Leaders Institute (FLI) and FLI Advanced. Each 5-day institute features a half-day session on diversity and equity. Experienced college presidents of color and diverse backgrounds serve as speakers and highly regarded one-on-one career coaches for participants. AACC regularly seeks support from members of its board and councils to recruit rising leaders from minority groups to participate in this leadership experience.
International Programs and Services
Committed to the principle that the appreciation of global diversity is paramount to promoting social responsibility in multicultural communities, AACC's International Programs and Services office assists community colleges in developing and enhancing campus internationalization and globalization endeavors; study-abroad programs; international student recruitment efforts; and faculty, staff, and student exchanges.
Job Shadow Day
Job Shadow Day is an annual academically motivating activity designed to give students an opportunity to see firsthand how skills learned in school relate to the workplace. AACC hosts 10 Black and Hispanic students from local schools to follow mentors as they go through a normal day on the job.
Martin Luther King Day of Service
Each year, the Corporation for National and Community Service honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's legacy by asking Americans to make the King Holiday a national day of service. Since 2009, under the direction of Gail Robinson, AACC's Program Director for Service Learning, the association has provided school supplies for local students. In addition, AACC member institutions are encouraged to participate nationally in efforts to pay honor to Dr. King's legacy and commitment to service. For more information on the Martin Luther King Day of Service, please visit http://www.mlkday.gov.
Minority Male Student Success Database
Launched in January 2010, this searchable database enables AACC member colleges to upload profiles of their programs that focus on minority male student recruitment, mentoring, persistence, and completion. It serves as a resource for member colleges interested in developing similar programs; 58 profiles are currently posted.
Plus 50 Initiative
As some 78 million baby boomers near retirement, many are turning to community colleges for enrichment and an increasing number are seeking training or retraining to enable them to continue working. This influx of older adult learners is further diversifying the community college classroom. AACC's Plus 50 Initiative was created to help community colleges develop or expand programs that engage plus 50 learners, with a focus on workforce training and career development, learning and enrichment, and volunteering.