Increasing cooperation among community colleges that serve a large minority population or populations is widely viewed among community college faculty and leaders and policymakers as an integral element in ensuring that these institutions improve their capacities to serve their varied student populations. In furtherance of this collaborative effort, OCTAE, on Thursday, May 19, hosted an all-day virtual event to build upon the efforts begun during its Minority-Serving Community College convening at the Department of Education last fall. Approximately 70 individuals or groups joined to hear updates on a variety of topics and concerns for minority-serving community colleges. Future content and events will be announced through the OCTAE newsletter, OCTAE Connection, the OCTAE Community Colleges website, as well as the Minority-Serving Community Colleges and Affiliates LINCS group, which can be joined here.
The first topical session was hosted by Amy Firestone of the U.S. Department of Labor on the Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium. Registered Apprenticeships and the College Consortium will be considered in more detail in a future issue of OCTAE Connection. The second presentation focused on White House initiatives that support each of the designated categories of minority-serving institutions. Each of these initiatives undertakes activities designed to support their particular constituencies. The third presentation by OCTAE Policy Analyst Kiawanta Hunter-Keiser focused on the Department’s initiatives to support equity in career and technical education, both internally and externally. The fourth session, hosted by Luke Wood and Marissa Vasquez Urias of San Diego State University, discussed the role of faculty in supporting men of color at community colleges with a special emphasis on the need for research, training, and assessment. Drs. Wood and Vasquez Urias invited convening attendees to join the National Consortium on College Men of Color and attend the June 9-10, 2016 working group meeting in San Diego, CA. The topic of the final session was a presentation by some of the lead institutions for the Minority-Serving Community Colleges Communities of Practice initiative regarding a research conference for minority-serving institutions, an Asian American and Pacific Islander initiative, and on middle-college pathways.