One of the American Association of Community
Colleges (AACC) community initiatives has been the
Beacon College Project. This project was part of the
AACC's Building Communities initiative, which
charted a course for the 21st-century community
college to develop curriculum and support around the
ideals of partnership, responsiveness and college-as-community/
community-as-college. The authors of
Building Communities saw a nation on the verge of
fragmentation, in danger of losing all cohesiveness and
sense of common purpose. In particular, part of the
vision was of a re-integrated America, accepting of its
diversity but dedicated to its common, core values.
In the '90s, the Beacon College Project involved
225 community colleges in setting a clear standard for
the community-building community college. As it
recommended, "Community colleges should model
community building by creating institutional climates,
processes and opportunities that encourage civility,
responsibility, commitment, collaboration and personal
respect within the life of the college."
Using Building Communities as a blueprint for
action, the American Association of Community
Colleges and others committed to the revitalization
of American communities have since worked with
foundations to undertake specific steps to fulfill
this bold vision.
While the Beacon College Project has concluded,
the Building Communities effort is still active. The My
Journey Home outreach program fits this initiative. It is also a
springboard for discussion and for the examination of
various curriculum efforts.
- Language Arts Curriculum: Working with
instructors of English, partnering on the written
essays will enhance the use of shared language
arts and media literacy curriculum.
- Video Production Curriculum: According to
the American Association of Community
Colleges, some colleges do have specific video
production departments. All have various
video production programs under their
- Diversity Curriculum: These issues will cross
over a number of areas, including student
services, counseling, etc.