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We interviewed stakeholders and they asked the questions


You can learn a lot from and about stakeholders by listening to their questions. During a recent "forward-looking" stakeholder assessment project for a community college Professional-Technical (Prof-Tech) division, stakeholders had plenty of questions. Below, these questions have been lightly edited and thematically organized.

Here are three simple ways Prof-Tech leaders could use these questions:

  1. Share the questions with program decision makers (e.g., faculty, program directors, advisory committee, college leadership).
  2. Develop full responses and pay attention where the response to one question addresses another.
  3. Apply the responses to your strategic plan. You'll likely see overlap with what you're already doing, but you may also see a gaps.

Proactively answering and applying these questions could help a Prof-Tech program strengthen partnerships, improve connections with K12, and increase the educational quality and success for students.

Here are the questions asked by participating stakeholders:

Program Design

  • What programs could have added value by incorporating specific supports?
  • Who is involved in the curricula development phase? 
  • What is the value proposition that makes the college different from any other college? 
  • What do Prof-Tech programs want to be known for? 
  • What specific supports are available in the admissions process and learning success services for students whose first language is not English?
  • Does the college offer a guidebook defining how faculty and employers should establish and maintain high quality workplace learning opportunities?
  • What is the college’s plan to increase the capacity of its high demand (and selective enrollment) programs?

Current and Former Students

  • Has the college
    • Reached out to current students as to what would help them the most, what is most confusing? 
    • Reached out to students who withdrew or failed to ask what the institution could have done to better support them?
  • What activities would result in student retention and completion?
  • How will the college invest in retention of black and brown students?
  • How will Prof-Tech programs better accommodate adult learners?

High Schools

  • Has the college looked at the alignment of CTE Career Pathways at all “feeder” high schools to the college's "Guided Pathways?"
  • Are the pathways between the high school and the college made clear to prospective students? 
  • Does the college have interest in hosting joint advisory committee meetings with high schools in a specific subject area? 
  • What is the college's investment plan for dual credit opportunities? 
  • Are there seats for local high school students in highly competitive Prof-Tech programs?

Employers and Workforce

  • Has the college asked employers how the college could improve their access to students and graduates?
  • Does the college's Professional-Technical program review process include current labor market needs? 
  • How much effort is put into ensuring students have access to employers during and after program completion? 

Community-Based Organizations

  • How do the college's student supports align with other CBO supports?
  • Is there a way for the college to provide more basic level instruction at local CBOs and community locations that are more accessible to potential students? 
  • What is the clear, simple, and reliable process for a local CBO or employer organization to partner with the college?


  • Beyond this stakeholder assessment, can the college make it possible to have other training organizations participate and share their observations, experiences? 
  • How does the college's executive leadership view its Prof-Tech programs?
  • Regarding this stakeholder assessment, given your gathering feedback and development of ideas, will anything change?
  • What specific goals is the college trying to achieve through this stakeholder assessment?