Modeling the Role of Community Colleges in Increasing Educational Attainment and Workforce Preparedness

This report describes the results from a system dynamics modeling approach that was used to examine the community colleges “ecosystem,” including the K-12 education system, employers, fouryear institutions, government, and local communities. Through this approach, a range of problems, factors of interest, and policy levers were identified and clustered to generate two broad model frameworks. The first, a regional model, focuses on a community or region and a community college (or colleges). It allows users to explore interactions among government, education, and workforce as they contribute to increasing the number of students earning credentials or degrees with workforce value over time. A second model – a sectoral model – focuses on the labor market dynamics of a single workforce or profession (e.g., the allied health fields) and articulates the relationships between employers and the community college that fuels the future workforce for a particular industry.

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