Successful Strategies for Developing Innovative Programs that Respond to Community Needs

Successful Strategies for Developing Innovative
Programs that Respond to Community Needs
By Dr. Lisa Edwards,
Dean of Enterprise & Economic Development
September 14, 2008
Tacoma, Washington
Urban and rural service area
Population of 701,000
4 community colleges within 5-10 miles
5 for-profit higher education providers
1 public university
2 private universities
Corporate & Continuing Education
Purpose of Department:
To offer classes, products and services to the
community that generate revenue and contribute
the operating budget of the college.
Creating a Culture of Innovation
1. Get the right people in the right seats on the bus
(Jim Collins, Good to Great):
- Targeted Outreach to Identified Sectors
- Sales Team
- Project Management
2. Identify and share examples of innovation with staff
-Books: “Blue Ocean Strategy”
-The Web:
-Aspen Institute:
Creating a Culture of Innovation
3. Create flat hierarchy to support staff innovation
4. Identify and recruit innovative business leaders and
form a executive advisory on Innovation
5. Recognize and celebrate innovation among staff
Innovation Strategy #1: Corporate University
Created a 14 college credit Tribal
Enterprise & Gaming Management
Certificate uniquely tailored to the
culture and values of native tribes and
their enterprise operations. Each
course is offered on site for supervisors
and managers within the casino.
Innovation Strategy #2: Fill Unique Gaps
Focus on sectors that are growing in spite of the economy:
Healthcare: Spanish for Healthcare, Customer Service, Lean, Career
Ladder Classes for Entry Level Workers
Law Enforcement: Performance Coaching, Polygraph, Succession
Government Agencies: Customer Service, IT help desk, Lean
Mortgage and Loan: Compliance Classes for New Regulations
Offer college credit, tailored delivery models, bundled classes, prior
learning assessments for adult workers to transition back to higher
Innovation Strategy #3: Go Green
• Solar Panel Technician, Wind Turbine Technician
•Assessments for reducing corporate waste and increasing
•Green building classes
•Consulting for federal regulatory compliance
•Host “Green” industry associations on campus
How does your college support innovation?
What emerging trend(s) are you tracking?
Corporate & Continuing Education
Thank you!
Lisa Edwards
Tacoma Community College / 253.566.5019