The Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges national study was first commissioned by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) and Diverse: Issues In Higher Education in 2014. The national survey is administered by the Center for Higher Education Enterprise (CHEE) at The Ohio State University, which is directed by professor Terrell Strayhorn.
The purpose of this commissioned study was to examine the extent to which diversity and inclusion permeates aspects (e.g., administrative structures, commitments, work environments, staffing practices) of the nation’s community and technical colleges generally and participating NISOD-member institutions specifically. On the following pages, you will see institutional profiles for the inaugural class of the Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges.
The full list (in alphabetical order) for 2015 is below:
Albany Technical College
Big Sandy Com. & Tech Coll
Central Piedmont CC
Illinois Central College
Lorain County CC
Luzerne County CC
Mountain View College
New Mexico Junior College
Piedmont Technical College
Seward County CC
South Florida State College
Southwest Virginia CC
Zane State College
The Center for Higher Education Enterprise (CHEE) is an interdisciplinary research and policy center that promotes the important role postsecondary education plays in global society, especially the vital roles and responsibilities of public higher education. CHEE is committed to improving student success by doing distinctive research, policy analysis and outreach that will help make higher education more accessible, affordable, engaged and all-around excellent.
CHEE’s mission is to become the country’s preeminent higher education research and policy center, solving issues of national significance. And in terms of vision, CHEE exists to advance the higher education enterprise through the creation and dissemination of distinctive research that informs policy, strengthens communities and enables student success. For more, go to: http://chee.osu.edu.
Educational Excellence: to ensure student access and success.
Research and Innovation: to make high-quality, distinctive contributions.
Outreach and Engagement: to cultivate mutually beneficial partnerships.
Dr. Terrell Lamont Strayhorn (principal investigator) is a professor of higher education at The Ohio State University, where he also serves as director of the Center for Higher Education Enterprise (CHEE). Author
of eight books, more than 100 journal articles and book chapters, more than 150 papers at international and national conferences, and over 200 keynotes, Strayhorn was named one of the top scholars in his field by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education in 2011.
Dr. Derrick L. Tillman-Kelly (project coordinator) is special assistant to the director in CHEE and a recent graduate of the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) graduate program at The Ohio State University. Author of several journal articles and book chapters, his research interests center on administrative issues, social identities and intersectionality, and presidential derailment.
In addition to the principal investigator and project coordinator, the project benefited from the contributions of other CHEE staff who helped contact administrators, craft institutional profiles and elicit quotations. These include (in alphabetical order): Trevion Henderson, Dr. Royel Johnson, Dr. Joey Kitchen, Tiger Litam, Katy Nash, Amber Samimi, Sondra Shook and Christopher Travers.
Initial planning and development of this national study of community colleges began in summer 2014. The survey was adapted from the Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs survey. Given the project’s focus on workplace
diversity, staffing practices and work environment, six initial categories guided the study, including family friendliness, salary/benefits and professional development opportunities, to name a few. The final web survey was mounted to a secure served managed by the Center for Higher Education Enterprise via Qualtrics, an online survey software. Using a list provided by NISOD, CHEE staff sent electronic invitations to institutional representatives at hundreds of campuses; electronic invitations included a hyperlink to the website on which the survey was placed.
Participants responded to the survey online, typically requiring 60 minutes to complete the instrument once data were assembled. No incentives were offered to encourage participation and respondents understood that their
institutional identity might be released in a special edition of Diverse: Issues In Higher Education. The survey launched in late fall 2014 with release of the initial invitations to all NISOD-member institutions; follow-up reminders were sent at two-week intervals and CHEE staff placed calls to campus presidents/chancellors and NISOD liaisons to call attention to the invitation and encourage their response. Account for bounce-backs and undeliverables, the estimated response rate is 20 percent.
Data from the online, web-based survey were analyzed in several stages. First, descriptive data were computed or reported as is. For instance, institution names, locations and characteristics (e.g., control, enrollment, staff size) were transferred directly from the survey to various parts of this report. Second, quantitative data were averaged, where necessary, across participating institutions within the sample of respondents. For instance, average salaries (by rank) and present diverse representation (% female) were computed and reported in this report. Third, “ratings” were computed using a 3-point scale ranging from “A” to “B” and “C.” For each rating item, we first computed the sample mean (removing any zero “0” scores, which indicate absence of practice/policy) for all participating institutions. Then, we evaluated or benchmarked each item score for the highest overall scoring institutions using the following: A =above average, B = at average, C = below average, for each dimension assessed
by the survey.
Institution Name. Information was provided by respondents via online survey and distinguishes individual campuses from larger statewide or multicampus systems.
Location. Information was provided by respondent via online survey and subsequently verified using data from the Carnegie Classification website. For more information, go to: http://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/
Control. Information was provided using data from the Carnegie website. Publicly controlled institutions include state and tribally controlled institutions. Private universities are universities not operated by state or tribal governments. For more information, go to
Level. Information was provided using data from the Carnegie website. Indicates
whether institution is classified as two-year versus four-year institution, which
generally refers to the average time required to complete basic degree option.
Carnegie Classification. Information was drawn from the Carnegie website based on the ‘institution name’ provided by respondents; “Associate” includes institutions where all degrees are at the associate level or where bachelor’s degrees account for less than 10% of all undergraduate degrees. Additional information was included regarding the location of the campus (e.g., rural, suburban, urban). For more information, go to http://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/descriptions/
Student Enrollment. Information was provided by respondent via online survey and subsequently verified using data from IPEDS. For more information go to: https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/Default.aspx
Institution Type. Information was provided by respondent via online survey.
Number of full-time and part-time staff. Information was provided by respondents via online survey.
Number of full-time and part-time faculty. Information was provided by respondents via online survey.
Average salary(-ies). Information was provided by respondents via online survey, based on rank of professional positions. For comparative data, visit College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) at http://www.cupahr.org
% female faculty, staff and students. Information was provided by respondents via online survey.
% ethnic minority faculty, staff and students. Information was provided by respondents via online survey and compiled to include Black, Latina/o, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American, and multiracial.
% LGBT faculty, staff and students. Information was provided by respondents via online survey.
% faculty, staff, and students with disability. Information was provided by respondents via online survey.
Caregiving leave for all. Indicates whether the institution allows all faculty and staff to request leave for caregiving reasons.
Child care services. Indicates whether the institution provides child care services or referrals.
Continuing education. Indicates whether the institution offers continuing education to faculty and staff; includes for-credit and non-credit options.
Education leave. Indicates whether the institution allows all staff to request leave for educational reasons.
Elder care services. Indicates whether the institution provides elder care services or referrals.
Flexible work schedules. Indicates whether the institution allows flexible work schedules.
Mentoring. Indicates whether staff in the division/department of student affairs at the institution receive formal mentoring support.
Stress reduction programs. Indicates whether the institution provides stress reduction programs.
Bias monitoring. Rates the extent to which the institution has a formal reporting system for instances of discrimination or harassment and responds appropriately to reported incidents.
Climate toward diversity. Rates the extent to which faculty, staff and students perceive the institution’s climate toward diversity as friendly versus hostile.
Overall commitment to diversity. Rates the extent to which the institution’s commitment to diversity has changed over the last five years.
Comprehensive new staff orientation. Rates the extent to which the institution’s new staff orientation includes the following: educational and operational philosophies and procedures, history and culture, and importance of diversity of the campus, to name a few.
Comprehensive new faculty orientation. Rates the extent to which the institution’s new faculty orientation includes the following: educational and operational philosophies and procedures, history and culture, and importance of diversity of the campus, to name a few.
Hiring process strategy. Rates the extent to which the institution has a strategy to guide the hiring process, including assessment of need for position to decision to hire.
Long-term planning participation. Rates the extent to which faculty and staff at the institution participate in long-term planning.
Perceptions of leadership towards diversity. Rates the extent to which the administrative leadership of the institution embraces, celebrates and stresses the importance of diversity to the division/department’s work.
Performance evaluation process. Indicates whether the institution has a systematic process for evaluating employee performance.
Professional development. Rates the extent to which the institution provides professional development opportunities for staff members, including conferences, workshops and reading groups.
Autonomy. Rates the extent to which faculty and staff at the institution exercise autonomy in decision-making.
Support for departure. Rates the extent to which the institution is supportive of
faculty and staff as they leave position or institution.
Support for professional development. Rates the extent to which the institution supports professional development of staff, including financial support for conference travel, lodging, registration, research or technical assistance, and sponsored receptions at meetings.