Assumptions at the Foundation of SCAILE

We believe: 

  • Education is a lever to increase public health, economic health and individual prosperity.
  • Historically, access to postsecondary options have been inequitable based on race, class and regionality. 
  • It is essential to bring multiple stakeholders together to solve complex problems. 
  • There is an urgency to develop placed-based strategies that center on unique solutions for postsecondary options, including a better understanding of rural environments.
  • Community colleges are aligned with community needs and are well suited to predict, respond, and champion innovative practices in higher education that meet evolving needs of individuals and communities.  

SCAILE: Strategies 

  1. Practice: Create “Strategy Lab” to research and incubate big ideas/theories of change regarding postsecondary  access and completion with comparisons/contrasts between urban and rural environments, For instance:
    • Work with stakeholders, including community, faculty, staff and students to develop equity framework with specific strategies for confronting race disparities and injustices in rural environments   
    • Incubate innovative programs and evaluate for improvement and scale
    • Collect and share evidence-based practices, including research focused on north state efforts
    • Involve faculty, students and stakeholders in action based research that can be shared and scaled
  2. Partners: Build and sustain strategic partnerships to share best practices for post-secondary attainment translated into local contexts with implications for individual, community and economic health
    • Host/Convene researchers and practitioners to tackle relevant issues related to rural attainment and turn research/plans into action
    • Support (and evaluate) strategies for regional impact; such as collective impact, cross-sector partnerships, and guided pathways  
  3. Pathways: Amplify potential of community colleges to facilitate cross sector/ intersegmental partnerships for attainment and expand links between education & other sectors [including, e.g., Public Health and Business (EWD)]
    • Provide [e.g., ACE] technical assistance (including college-level services) and support to scale effective practices within and across rural communities 
    • Foster coalitions among two and four year partners to expand options for attainment in rural regions with localized student supports
    • Work with colleges to implement equity based strategies such as Credit for Prior Learning and Competency Based Education, into learning systems. 
  4. Policy: Help innovators sustain progress through policy, legislation and practice 
    • Identify and inform policy opportunities and/or blockages that help or hinder PSE efforts in rural locales
    • Create a policy platform to inform stakeholders of relevant policy issues
    • Construct white papers, presentations highlighting policy efforts and findings
  5. Programmatic / Infrastructure / Enabling Conditions
    • Build sustainability structure for Lab; including fund raising plan through grants and fee for service opportunities
    • Create accountability structure to ensure progress towards stated goals.