Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) is the largest of these in terms of degree and certificate production, and the data below illustrates SFCC’s recent successes and ongoing challenges.
The number of associates degrees and certificates awarded by SFCC has increased by almost 75 percent over the last five years. By aligning its strategic plan to meet the community’s needs, SFCC has worked to increase the impact of each individual award, as well. For instance, as part of SFCC’s commitment to collective impact through its participation in the Santa Fe Birth to Career Collaboration (SF B2C), SFCC aligned its strategic plan to B2C career success goals by including the number of healthcare certificates and degrees awarded as a key performance indicator, and the approach has been paying off.
Recognizing this demographic trend, SFCC began tracking Hispanic male enrollment as one of the key performance indicators used to inform the success of its efforts to bridge the equity gap. There is also an opportunity to examine the extent to which recently-improved graduation trends address an existing gap between local job openings and qualified applicants in middle-skills fields with potential for high starting wages.
Focusing on equity gaps in higher education attainment recognizes the vital role each segment of our population plays in creating a vibrant and strong community. Bridging this gap directly impacts the individuals we reach by decreasing the chance and length of unemployment and increasing lifetime earnings. Indirectly, the benefits extend much further within the community, both through the positive economic feedback of those increased earnings and an increased likelihood of post-secondary success for the individual’s children or family.
In addition to other initiatives targeting the equity gap, Santa Fe is part of My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative designed by the Obama Administration to address opportunity gaps for young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.