Transformative Change Initiative

This report provides information on the Transformative Change Initiative (TCI), which is dedicated to assisting community colleges scale-up innovation in the form of guided pathways, programs of study, and evidence-based strategies to improve student outcomes and program, organization, and system performance.

D. D. Bragg
C. Kirby
M. A. Witt
D. Richie
S. Mix
M. Feldbaum
M. Mason
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
Office of Community College Research and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Publication Year
Resource Type
Number of Pages

This report provides an overview of the Transformative Change Initiative (TCI), including TCI opportunities and resources and the seven guiding principles that frame the scaling of transformative change. TCI is dedicated to assisting community colleges in scaling-up innovations that improve student outcomes and program, organization, and system performance. Community colleges that engage in TCI are committed to innovations that are as effective for underserved learners as they are for student groups that have traditionally enrolled in college.

Pushing performance to new levels is not just an axiom for TCI, it is TCI’s fundamental mission. TCI defines transformative change as follows: Raising the individual, organizational, and system performance of community colleges to unprecedented levels without sacrificing their historic commitment to access and equity.

TCI's seven guiding principles are:

  • Leadership, organization, and support are essential to implementing, sustaining, and scaling transformative change.
  • Adoption and adaption are key to implementing, sustaining, and scaling innovation.
  • Through networks and professional development, community colleges gain access to expertise and resources that are vital to scaling innovation.
  • Scaling is enhanced when practitioners tell their stories of how change improves the policy context.
  • Technology applications and technical assistance are instrumental to adaptation and scaling of transformative change.
  • Identifying and engaging user groups in dissemination that is sensitive to content is important to scaling transformative change.
  • Integrating implementation and evaluation enhances learning for the purposes of scaling innovations and growing impact.
What the experts say

This resource describes seven guiding principles for transformative change that may be helpful to adult education program and state leaders implementing systemic change. This report may be a good discussion starter for adult education program administrators and state leaders who are thinking about how to develop career pathway systems. These seven principles were used by community colleges assisting Trade Adjustment Act (TAA) workers in gaining workforce skills and credentials. Adult education programs working to make changes to better serve adults seeking to gain employability skills and credentials will find it very relevant. It is an easy read, but practitioners may need to delve into the cited works for more details.

This product guides practitioners to be aware of the principles that guide the changes they are making to their practice, reflect those principles in implementation, and assess whether the changes are producing improved performance.

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