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Project by:
Joyce Arntson
Leandro Castillo
Evie Einstein

Best Practices in Community Colleges & Industry Partnerships


    This interactive white paper serves as a resource for new and replacement community college instructors in the business and computer science disciplines. 

    The Web links presented throughout this paper will expose you to the most pertinent and timely research and resources now emerging with respect to alliances between higher education and business/industry. 

    The hope is that these links will be immediately helpful to you in your quest to design, develop, and deliver engaging and innovative instruction to your classroom, division, and college. 

    A case study has been included.  This example illustrates the activities required while you are in pursuit of establishing partnerships with your community colleges. 

    Alliances between higher education and business/industry

    Alliances between higher education and business/industry have occurred for decades, mostly in research and development.

    The types of partnerships established between business/industry and higher education institutions vary greatly depending on the needs of the parties involved.  Also, motivations to develop partnerships vary according to the needs of both parties involved.

    The following is an excerpt from ``Best Practices: Developing Higher Education and Business/Industry Partnerships," by Roxanne M. Gonzales,

    Essential Components of Successful Partnerships.  The goal of partnerships between higher education and business/industry should not be a merging of mission, culture, and philosophy; rather, it should be to establish an effective working relationship that benefits both parties. Characteristics of successful partnerships include:

    Acknowledgment of differences.  As with any relationship, identifying differences and understanding how the differences add to or detract from the partnership enable both parties to work with the differences rather than against them. Side benefits include respect for the differences and a higher level of trust.

    Communication.  Open communication between partners is imperative for a successful alliance. Components such as defining terms and policies may prevent problems later. Additionally, clearly defined roles and expectations of the partnership will encourage a successful relationship.

    Clear and concise goals.  The partnership should have clearly defined goals and expectations with both parties in agreement.

    Flexibility.  Successful partnerships tend to be flexible and willing to evaluate progress on a regular basis in order to gauge how the partnership is working and make necessary adjustments.

    CEO buy-in.  An important component to any successful initiative is support from high-level management. In the case of partnerships, support from both constituents' CEOs will foster a better working relationship.

    Third party broker.  Research has shown that the most successful partnerships are brokered by a third party. The third party is impartial and able to bridge the differences by taking an objective stance when developing the alliance and establishing a final agreement.


    Community Colleges & Industry Partnerships

    Sun Microsystems.

    Academic initiative with Sun Education Services, 2001 Program

    The Sun Academic Initiative is a program designed to create a collaborative relationship between Sun and academic institutions. Courses delivered through this program will introduce students to Sun Microsystems technologies, prepare them for industry-leading certification and equip them with marketable IT job skills.

    As part of this program, selected colleges and universities become Authorized Sun Education Centers, enabling those institutions to deliver training on Sun technologies to their students. In addition, students can obtain free access to selected online courses through the Sun Web Learning Center.

    Dell Computers. 

    A new report shows that, in the past year, Dell doubled its shipments of computer systems to schools nationwide, and continues to be the No. 1 supplier of computer systems to the U.S. education market (Gartner Dataquest: U.S. PC Quarterly Statistics Program 2Q01)

    The report, released last week by Gartner/Dataquest, indicates that education customers in the U.S. market are increasingly buying Dell notebooks, desktops and servers. According to the report, Dell's shipments in the most recent quarter were greater than its nearest two competitors combined.


    Case Study

    The following has been included to illustrate how partnerships can grow or dwindle. But, you won't know unless you try. 

    Companies Visited. 
    Ariba, Inc.        
    Commerce One    
    Siebel Systems    
    Oracle Corporation 
    Intel Corporation    

    Ariba, Inc.            My initial meeting with Ariba Education occurred on April 8th at their offices in Mountain View, California. We continued to have conversations via the telephone or through email to determine the information available for instructional use. In August, I met with the newest education coordinator to get an update on their current offerings and to secure a commitment from Ariba to receive customer case studies access. In October, I was notified that Ariba was shrinking its Educational Department and that they would not be able to fulfill their original commitments.

    Commerce One.  My face-to-face meeting with Commerce One occurred August 10th. I met with their Knowledge Services Department in Pleasanton, California. We discussed Commerce One's series of educational and training programs for customers and partners. They offered their Knowledge Web interactive sight as a possible solution for providing instructor resources. This site is a primary tool for customers and partners to understand Commerce One's B2B solutions; it also required an online registration. Although the site offered good content interaction, the registration requirement seemed cumbersome for our purposes.

    Siebel Systems.  I visited Siebel Systems at their Emeryville, California education site on August 10th. I received information on their eBusiness solutions for partners and customers. Although they had several educational and training programs available within the Siebel University, they offered limited access to these sites for non-customers.

    Oracle Corporation and Intel Corporation.  I had an initial conversation with Oracle on April 8th at their Redwood City, California site. I was directed by their Product and Services Marketing Department to contact Intel for information on B2B solutions. They have a joint venture agreement with Intel for developing and marketing eCommerce products. Over the next few months, I had ongoing discussions with several departments within Intel, which led to a discovery in August, and subsequent meeting with their education department. We had meetings in August, September, October, and November primarily via conference call or online to get copyright permission to access online cases studies for instructional use. Final permission received November 1, 2001 and the cases studies have been included in the TNT Website:

    Intel Corporation.  We received permission from the Intel Corporation to reproduce the case studies found at the following web sites:

    Learning Activity:  Seek partnerships!


    Places To Go

    Business Education & CIS Grants Portal.
    TNT Website.
    BESAC Website.



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