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Jan 24, 2020

Now more than ever, community colleges are playing a vital role in the postsecondary space. Helping students earn credentials, degrees, and beyond, community college leaders are finding they need to adapt to changing needs. Former President of Montgomery County Community College Karen Stout, now president and CEO of Achieving the Dream, talks with hosts Jon Fansmith and Jonathan Turk about the challenges this newest generation of community colleges face.


Here are some of the links and references from this week’s show:

Conversation with Karen Stout:

Achieving the Dream

Guided Pathways
Achieving the Dream

Topic - Persistence and Completion
American Council on Education

Gallup study shows that community colleges with sustained, institution-wide focus on student success have strong impact on graduates’ success in workplace engagement, well-being, college satisfaction, and alumni attachment
Achieving the Dream

ACE Engage®

2-Year Colleges discussion group
ACE Engage®

Tennessee Promise

Tuition-Free Degree Program: The Excelsior Scholarship


Each episode of dotEDU presents a deep dive into a major issue impacting college campuses and students across the country. Hosts from ACE are joined by guest experts to lead you through thought-provoking conversations on topics such as campus free speech, diversity in admissions, college costs and affordability, and more. Find all episodes of the podcast at the dotEDU page.

Tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @ACEducation or email


Jon Fansmith is ACE’s director of government relations and represents ACE and its members on matters related to the federal budget and appropriations process, with a particular focus on student aid.

Jonathan Turk is the associate director for research at ACE. In this role, he conducts original research on a number of topics, including student success and completion, organizational change, and higher education policy. Much of his work is focused on the unique contexts and contributions of our nation’s community colleges.