The process took a year, and more than 2,000 people participated in surveys, interviews and business focus groups for the Imagine Clackamas community engagement initiative. From the hundreds of responses gathered in the process, a clear theme emerged: The community values Clackamas Community College for providing local, affordable education and training that leads to careers and four-year degrees.
CCC will host a reception to recognize participants in the Imagine Clackamas planning process on Thursday, Nov. 14, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the college’s Niemeyer Center. The evening will include a report out on the Imagine Clackamas surveys and results.
The Imagine Clackamas initiative began in 2012 when CCC’s Board of Education undertook a community engagement process in preparation of its 50th year of service in 2016. The board began the process with clear goals in mind:
- Strengthen relationships with the community;
- Discover what the community most values as it relates to education and training;
- Identify areas for removing student barriers to improve access and retention;
- Create a new brand for the college that’s reflective of the community it serves; and
- Enhance college communication channels to be more accessible.
The Imagine Clackamas inquiry process used a variety of research tools to gather input from the community. These tools included: an online survey, intercept surveys, and business focus groups. As a part of the discovery process, more than 1,500 CCC students, businesses, faculty, staff, and community members completed the online survey; approximately 750 high school students and community members participated in the face-to-face intercept surveys; and more than 100 business professionals took part in a series of focus groups. Shaped by more than 100 district members over the summer of 2012, the entire community engagement process took one full year to complete.
Participants were asked what they value most about CCC, and the following five answers emerged as the leaders:
- Degrees and certificate programs that lead to careers
- Education that leads to a four-year degree
- Classes and workshops that improve job skills and support career advancement
- Classes that lead to GED, high school diplomas, and related adult basic skill offerings, such as English as a Second Language (ESL)
- Training opportunities for businesses, career coaching, retraining, and credit for work-based experience
Respondents also described the greatest barriers for people to attend CCC, which include finances, transportation, and access to information. The community also expressed the need for modernized facilities and equipment, as well as improved safety features on CCC campuses.
CCC will mark its 50th year of service in 2016. Lessons learned in the Imagine Clackamas community engagement initiative will help the CCC Board of Education chart a course for the future that addresses the barriers facing our students today.
For more information on Imagine Clackamas, please contact Shelly Parini, dean of College Advancement, at 503-594-3015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.