Ten years ago, when Dr. Robert “Rab” Thornton became Dean of Outreach Services at Housatonic Community College (HCC), the college had slow enrollment growth, very little interaction with the local business community, and low visibility in the state legislature. His duty was to reverse this trend and effectively “make an invisible college visible.”
Thornton quickly realized that one of the problems behind this was that the college primarily focused on enrollment figures when talking about its community value, and not on what stakeholders were truly interested in—economic revitalization, bottom lines, and return on investment. They were not communicating because they were speaking completely different languages. This discovery spurred Thornton to redirect HCC’s outreach efforts by looking for new ways to communicate the college’s real value to the community and state.
Read the full case study (PDF): Housatonic Community College: An urban renewal success story