Detroit Regional Chamber > Education & Talent > Wayne County Community College District: Working to Achieve Systemic Change

Wayne County Community College District: Working to Achieve Systemic Change

September 29, 2022

Community college partners involved with the Detroit Drives Degrees Community College Collaborative (D3C3) are sharing their thoughts on the initiative, their proposed plans for improving the talent pipeline, and why their work is important. See below for what Wayne County Community College District had to say.


How is WCCCD working to achieve systems change?

Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD) has been in the process of transformational systemic change since Chancellor Ivery and the Board of Trustees launched the Pathways to the Future initiative in 2001. The first three stages of the Pathways initiative that unfolded during the past 20 years (Pathways I, II, and III) focused on the transformation of WCCCD’s finances, facilities, programs, services, technology, and operations. Pathways IV is now underway and is known as the “New Day, New Way” phase in recognition of the need for reimagining WCCCD’s future based on the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. These lessons learned include the need for increased focus on the financial, food, housing, mental health, transportation, computer and Internet access, and other basic needs of students; the need to continue to implement WCCCD’s student success wrap-around and completion services; the need for collaboration with community partners to advance a community-based and equity-driven talent development strategy; the need to reinvent WCCCD’s diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy; the need to advance WCCCD as a virtual/digital enterprise; and the need to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship at all levels of the institution. WCCCD’s strategic imperatives clearly parallel the goals of D3C3, so the challenge remains to identify enterprise-level initiatives at WCCCD that advance the regional talent development and equity goals of D3C3 while also advancing WCCCD’s planned future trajectory.


What is the value added when community colleges in Southeastern Michigan work together?

Chancellor Ivery has been a long-time advocate and leader in promoting regional community college collaboration. On Sept. 30, 2018, he had an article in the Detroit Free Press titled “A New Model for Regional Community College Collaboration.” In the article, Chancellor Ivery advocated for collaboration among the leaders of the seven regional community colleges to increase the number and percentage of citizens of the Detroit metropolitan region who complete a higher education credential, develop a highly skilled workforce in support of regional economic growth, and advance the region’s equity agenda. In December 2018, Chancellor Ivery facilitated the formation of the Southeastern Michigan Community College Collaborative (SEMCCC), an organization of the seven regional community college CEOs and the president of the Michigan Community College Association. SEMCCC is designed to provide leadership for regional collaboration among the community colleges and their community partners. WCCCD is a strong advocate for the engagement of the CEOs of the seven colleges as central decision-makers as the D3C3 overall strategy is developed.