Dear Friends and Supporters of Harper College,
It is with great pleasure that I present the Harper College “Report to the Community.” The report entitled “Building the 21st Century Community College” highlights progress we’ve made in forming new partnerships, inspiring more students to go to college, increasing our accountability and, most importantly, getting more students to FINISH what they start at Harper College.
Harper, like many community colleges, is at a crossroads. Demand for affordable, accessible and relevant higher education has never been more urgent, yet our traditional funding sources continue to shrink. Our local businesses have good paying jobs available, but there is a shortage of well-qualified individuals to fill them. Traditional age college students and adults alike need clearer and more affordable pathways to credentials that have labor value associated with them, including certificates, associate and bachelor degrees.
These challenges are set against a backdrop of rapidly changing demographics in the northwest suburbs. We are educating more first generation college students whose families may not appreciate the absolute imperative of a post-secondary education in today’s competitive job market. And, at the other end of the spectrum, we continue to offer new programs to help high performing students transfer to some of the most prestigious four-year universities in the country. For the northwest suburbs to grow and thrive, we need ALL of these students to be successful.
In the report you will find leading-edge programs and initiatives that are breaking through barriers, helping our widely diverse student population succeed and giving taxpayers a substantial return on their investment. Launching these ideas and programs hasn’t always been easy. They require new thinking and doing business differently. Fortunately, we’re not traveling this path alone. You have helped us form these new directions and we deeply appreciate your ideas, participation and friendship as we continue the work of building the 21st century community college.
Thank you for your support.