Home | 2011 Workshop

Applying the Community College Model
August 18, 2009 – 1:30 p.m.

Presenters: Mary Spangler, Houston Community College
John Halder, Community Colleges for International Development Inc.
Jose Millan, California Community Colleges

Moderator: Gary Bittner, USAID, Office of Education

This session discussed the applicability and relevance of the US Community College Model to developing country contexts. Main topics discussed role of community colleges in the U.S., the potential value for a similar type of institutions in developing countries and ways in which community colleges can be adapted to help communities meet the workforce readiness needs in emerging economies.

Presenters provided an introduction to each of the colleges they represent and focused on sharing their respective colleges’ experience working internationally. Experiences varied from short-term exchange programs training international students in US colleges, to partnerships where the US model is adapted to developing country contexts, or providing technical assistance to help developing countries create similar programs.

A number of common themes emerged from the presentations and discussion. In the U.S., community colleges were identified as “the main engine of economic growth.” These institutions help drive the American economy by creating programs that address the needs of communities and the labor market. That is, community college programs integrate core academic knowledge to provide students with the skills they need to enter the workforce. These institutions at times are the first option for a number of young people, and can provide not only a second but also a third and forth chance for those who return to receive more vocational/technical training.

There is a great need for these types of institutions in developing countries. Although in some developing countries there is a stigma attached to anything less than a four-year degree, two-year institutions are gaining credibility. Examples of current assistance and partnerships with developing countries shared by the different presenters during this session illustrated how some components of the model are transportable and can be successfully applied in developing countries.

Key take away points of this session included: community college programs can be adapted to aid in meeting the needs of communities and the growing youth population (the challenges of the youth bulge), and in driving economic growth in developing countries. The community college model can be a useful tool in workforce development programs. Collaborations between US community colleges in developing similar programs in emerging countries strengthens the capacity of both institutions U.S. and host countries.

To view the presentations, please click on link below:
California Community Colleges, Millan : Open
Community Colleges for Intl Dev, Halder : Open
Houston Community College, Spangler : Open

For questions related to the 2009 Education Workshop,
please contact Rebekah Levi at rlevi@jbsinternational.com