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Research and Reports

On November 18, 2011 the Boston Foundation released The Case for Community Colleges: Aligning Higher Education and Workforce Needs in Massachusetts, at a John LaWare Leadership Forum. The report includes a comprehensive set of recommendations for strategically revamping the Massachusetts community college system to better align it with the needs of a 21st-century workforce. The set of recommendations emerged from research by Julian L. Alssid and Melissa Goldberg of the Workforce Strategy Center and John Schneider of MassINC that illustrated the challenges facing the Massachusetts community college system and the features of effective community college systems in other states. Chancellor Glenn DuBois of the Virginia Community College System, which was one of the successful models cited in the report, served as keynote speaker for the forum.

In November 2011 the
 Private Industry Council released Critical Collaboration, a report from the Boston Healthcare Careers Consortium, a compact among community colleges, healthcare employers, and their workforce partners. The report calls for more flexibility in the scheduling of courses and internships for working adults, greater consistency in the academic standards attached to particular courses and more transferability for college credits throughout the community college system.

In 2013, the Boston Foundation released Stepping Up for Community Colleges: Building on the Momentum to Improve Student Success in Massachusetts. It was researched and written by Jobs for the Future, our longtime partner in Achieving the Dream, an initiative that focuses on helping students succeed in our country’s community colleges.  The authors, Richard Kazis and Lara Couturier, are national experts on college success and career readiness. Many of the strategies you will read about here show tremendous promise for increasing outcomes for low-income and underprepared students who are seeking to improve their skills and, ultimately, their prospects for success in today’s economy. The Boston Foundation believes that their future success means our future success, both as a caring community and as a Commonwealth.


Jewish Vocational Service photo

Massachusetts Manufacturing Registers 73,000 Job Openings in 2011, a new report from the 
Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness and the UMass Donahue Institute. 

Stepping Up for Community Colleges

Stepping Up cover

Click to download a PDF of the report.

The Case for Community Colleges

The Case for Community Colleges: Aligning Higher Education and Workforce Needs in Massachusetts

Click to download a PDF of the report.

Additional Research Reports

Vision Project Report: Degrees of Urgency - Why Massachusetts Needs More College Graduates Now

Charter Schools and the Road to College Readiness: The Effects on College Preparation, Attendance and Choice

Getting Closer to the Finish Line: The College Enrollment and Completion Experiences of Graduates of the Boston Public Schools



 View a video of the John LaWare Leadership Forum at which The Case for Community Colleges: Aligning Higher Education and Workforce Needs in Massachusetts was released.



Administrative support for the
Coalition for Community Colleges
is provided by the Boston Foundation.

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Please direct inquiries to:
Maura Fogarty
The Boston Foundation
75 Arlington Street
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 338-3929 or