Governance by Design
\ACCT Student Success Symposium and Leadership CongressPresidents and boards of trustees of postsecondary institutions are charged with leading their institutions during a period of increased accountability for outcomes and completion in higher education.
A 2011 Public Agenda report, “Still on the Sidelines: What Role Will Trustees Play in Higher Education Reform?” concluded that most trustees were focused on the short-term challenges facing their institutions and had not yet fully engaged with broader issues of higher education reform. Yet the report found signs that trustees could play a more central role on these issues.
To address these needs, the Association of Community College Trustees and USA Funds® are launching Governance by Design, a new initiative to equip community college governing boards and the authorities that appoint them with the tools and guidance needed to focus on improving student success, program completion, equity, and career readiness.
Funded with a $583,700 grant from USA Funds, the Governance by Design initiative will include an educational curriculum on trustee appointment for elected officials and their staffs. The initiative also will support and expand ACCT’s successful work with state systems through the Governance Institute for Student Success​ (GISS) — a program of statewide trustee education and institutional policy analysis.
By providing quality training and resources to college governing board members, and appointing authorities, institutions can have more robust discussions about critical topics, including:
  • Student outcomes to graduation, including progress through developmental education, gateway courses and graduates’ employment, earnings and overall well-being.
  • The use of data and best practices and policies for “moving the needle” on student progress.
  • Creating connections between education results and economic development.
  • Applying innovative practices that reduce barriers to students and institutions and improve student success rates.
The Governance by Design initiative is part of a Leadership portfolio of USA Funds grant-making designed to equip current and future leaders and governing board members of colleges and universities with information and tools to enhance the success of the students they serve, during their postsecondary education programs and in their careers and lives following graduation.​