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Public-Private Partnership: How and Why Six Community Colleges Loved and Left a For-Profit Partner

Public-Private Partnership: How and Why Six Community Colleges Loved and Left a For-Profit Partner

Colleges are increasingly open to partnering with private entities to implement new and innovative programs. Community colleges, in particular, may find such partnerships beneficial, given that these institutions often lack the necessary resources to invest up-front in programs that may yield strong long-term dividends.

In this article in Innovative Higher Education, the authors report on an examination of a partnership between a privately held firm and six community colleges, which had established honors programs with the goal of facilitating students’ transfer to highly selective institutions. The analysis traces the evolution of the partnership and the reasons for its eventual failure and yields insights for public institutions and privately held companies wishing to establish similar partnerships.