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Building New Partnerships in Support of America’s Rural Communities.

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Presentation on theme: "Building New Partnerships in Support of America’s Rural Communities."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building New Partnerships in Support of America’s Rural Communities

2 History of the RCCI Began in 1994 with funding from the Ford Foundation Involved nine Community and Tribal Colleges 15 additional colleges were added in 1997 MDC, Inc. provided overall coordination for the program over the 1994-2001 period The American Association of Community Colleges took a lead role in assessing the impact of the RCCI program

3 A New Partnership The new phase of the RCCI program involves a new entity – the Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCs). Two RRDCs will take an active role in coordinating the next phase of the RCCI effort (SRDC and the NCRCRD) Both have nearly three decades of experience working on rural development issues in the U.S.

4 Partners in the New RCCI Rural Community Colleges Regional Rural Development Centers Rural Community College Alliance MDC, Inc. AACC

5 Why Involvement of the RRDCs? Past RCCI efforts have shown that rural community colleges can play a vital role in facilitating civic dialogue, proactive planning and strategic action on important local issues The challenge has been to find a way to further build and sustain the work of rural community colleges The RRDCs provide a mechanism for promoting the long-term viability of the RCCI

6 A Word About the RRDCs Established by Congress in 1972 and administered by the U.S.D.A. The RRDCs link the research and outreach capacity of Land Grant universities with other educational institutions, organizations and decision makers The RRDCs serve a very diverse group of Land Grant universities 1862s -- the original Land Grant institutions 1890s -- the historically black Land Grant universities/ colleges 1994s -- Native American Land Grant colleges

7 The Two RRDCs Involved in the RCCI North Central Regional Center for Rural Development Housed at Iowa State University Works primarily with thirteen 1862, one 1890, and sixteen 1994 Land Grant Institutions Southern Rural Development Center Housed at Mississippi State University Has formal ties with fifteen 1862 and fourteen 1890 Land Grant schools

8 Mission of Land Grant Schools Initiate research on high priority needs of their states Extend the knowledge generated through such research to residents and communities via the Cooperative Extension Service Extension system includes educators located in nearly all counties Community and Economic Development represents one of the areas of work of the Cooperative Extension Service system

9 Connecting Rural Community Colleges and Land Grant Colleges Rural Community Colleges Land Grant Institutions = Catalysts working together in advancing the community and economic development agenda of rural places located within their common service areas +

10 Goals of the New RCCI Expand network of rural community colleges actively involved in the RCCI program Build new and sustained working relationships between rural community colleges and Land Grant universities Increase the capacity of rural community and tribal colleges to become agents of civic innovation and capacity building in the areas that they serve Build a strong working relationship with the RCCA

11 Core Principles of the RCCI Program Rural America matters Vibrant communities focus on their assets Change begins with self-assessment Effective change requires collaboration and inclusiveness Equity and high expectations should undergird education and economic goals

12 The Aims of the New RCCI Program Educational Access Civic Engagement Economic Development

13 Educational Access Extend programs to underserved populations Build working relationships with people & programs targeted to low- income groups Make educational progress of youth the business of the whole community Build links to LGUs & other four-years institutions Economic Development Build on local assets Enhance equity Create an entrepre- neurial environment Help build, retain, & expand small businesses Develop and strengthen current & future workforce Promote adoption of new, appropriate technologies Build regional alliances Civic Engagement Expand leadership opportunities to local people Convene community conversations Bring voice to those who often go unheard thru the V-to-A and other local efforts Enable diverse groups and organizations to work together

14 How Rural Community Colleges Will Benefit Be part of a network of rural community colleges committed to supporting community improvement activities Participate in annual RCCI Institutes that showcase promising strategies Access to in-depth training on a various CD topics Exposure to rural areas that are economically, environmentally, and cultural diverse through field trips and other events RCCI

15 How Rural Community Colleges Will Benefit Availability of technical assistance and coaching Systematic updates from the two RRDCs outlining emerging rural development policies/programs, as well as grant funding opportunities Access to cultural toolbox to guide work with diverse partners Work as partners with Land Grant colleagues, including expanded access of students to two- and four-year colleges RCCI

16 How Land Grant Institutions Will Benefit Expand depth and breadth of resources available at the local level to support CD efforts by linking RCCI with Extension CD educators Participate in the annual RCCI Institutes and specialized training programs Increase enrollment of more diverse students in the academic programs of Land Grant schools Increase the cultural toolbox employed by Land Grant institutions to respond to learners in all settings Gain access to first-hand knowledge of key needs of rural communities

17 Steps Involved in the New RCCI Program

18 Step 1: Establish an RCCI Advisory Council 4 RCCA Representatives 2 NCRCRD Representatives 2 SRDC Representatives 1 MDC, Inc. Representative 1 New RCCI Representative Guide selection of states to be targeted for the RCCI program Assist in recruiting potential participants Help identify coaches and technical assistants Provide input on the annual Institute Build ties with RCCA Monitor progress of the RCCI program Its Major Roles

19 Step 2 : Expand the Network of Rural Community/Tribal Colleges in the RCCI Over the next 24 months, 4-6 states will be targeted Rural Community and Tribal Colleges in these states will be invited to consider being part of the RCCI program; 8-12 will be chosen If funded for Years 3 & 4, another 10-12 colleges will be added from a new slate of targeted states In the end, 18-24 new Community/Tribal Colleges will have been involved in the RCCI program

20 Factors That Will Influence the Selection Process Readiness on the part of Community/ Tribal Colleges Willingness to re-examine and realign its mission and vision Strong support by the administrative leadership of the community/tribal colleges Genuine desire to strengthen their capacity to work with their local rural communities Committed to expanding access, facilitating equitable community/economic development activities, broadening the involvement of local people in community plans and actions Willingness to take risks in the process of transforming the role of the college

21 Factors That Will Influence the Selection Process Community/Tribal Colleges located in distressed areas (low income, unstable income, and lack of voice) Community/Tribal colleges that are geographically clustered (if feasible) Strong interest by the state’s Land Grant institution to be a part of the RCCI program (including Extension CD educators who want to commit time to this important program)

22 Creating an RCCI Team: Its Membership Community college administrators & faculty Representatives from local government, the business sector, local organizations, and/or various groups As a team, it’s committed to building a vision for the community and working on a long- range strategic plan Broad-based, inclusive leadership is accepted as a critical component of the team’s work

23 Step 3 : Build a New Partnership: Community Colleges and Land Grant Universities Strengthen administrative ties between the two groups Train Extension educators as RCCI coaches Create pool of technical assistants from community colleges and LGUs to support RCCI activities Showcase work of both entities at the annual Institutes Involve both as participants and teachers in the specialized CD training activities Facilitate RCCI teams’ input on priority activities of CD researchers at LGUs

24 Step 4: Strengthen the CD Capacity of New RCCI Participants TRAINING COACHING TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE Three Capacity Building Activities of the RCCI Program

25 Annual RCCI Institute Vision to Action Training (by MDC, Inc.) Specialized CD Training Continuing Education and Graduate Course Credits Networking through web discussions and conference calls Field trips TRAINING

26 Access to an experienced community development practitioner Coach will be assigned to each RCCI team to help guide its strategic activities COACHING

27 Web-based technical assistance pool will be developed Will list specific skills of individuals (RCCI participants, RCCA, RCCI alumni, LGUs, others) RRDCs will coordinate requests Pool of funds will be available to respond to the TA needs of new RCCI participants TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

28 Step 5 : Build Strong Working Relationships with the RCCA Provide logistical support to the RCCA Annual Conference Expand the toolkit available to community/tribal colleges to promote community/economic development Provide updates on grant opportunities Facilitate access to technical assistance Collaborate on grant proposals

29 Timeline for Selection of New RCCI Members August 2002 Inaugural RCCI Advisory Council Meeting August-October Community/Tribal Colleges in the targeted states are invited to consider being part of the new RCCI program October Interested schools asked to attend orientation at the RCCA Conference (not required) October-December Community/Tribal Colleges complete and submit application RRDCs/Advisory Council conduct calls with interested institutions January-February 2003 Advisory Council selects new RCCI colleges February-March 2003 RRDCs conduct initial site visit of the new RCCI colleges

30 Thank You Prepared by: Bo Beaulieu and Cornelia Flora

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