Inquiry: The Journal of the Virginia Community Colleges

Author Bio(s)

Debbie Bond is Interim Dean of Business and Technologies at New River Community College. Mitzi Jones is an Assistant Professor at Mountain Empire Community College. Josh Meyer is Director of Marketing and Strategic Communications at Virginia Western Community College. Beth Page is Dean of Professional and Technical Studies at Virginia Highlands Community College. Jacob Surratt is Dean of Business and Social Science at Wytheville Community College. Amy Webster is Coordinator of Nursing and Health Sciences at Patrick Henry Community College. Brian Wright is a Professor at Southwest Virginia Community College.


This report investigates communication and data sharing between K-12 and community colleges to identify best practices. This wide-ranging topic encompassed many efforts that impact student recruitment, retention and success in their postsecondary education. To prioritize the most pressing issues, this report focuses on recent system-wide findings and recommendations. In 2016, the Virginia General Assembly directed the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) to review the VCCS, a process that had not been done since 1991. The JLARC report in 2017 stated that a relatively low percentage of community college students obtain a degree or credential (39 percent). In addition to the JLARC report on student success findings among Virginia’s Community Colleges, community colleges do not consistently ensure the quality of dual enrollment courses.

To meet the JLARC report’s call to action, strong communication and data sharing between Virginia’s Community Colleges and their K-12 partners is essential. Through background literature research, surveys and interviews with key stakeholders, this report identifies current practices in data sharing and communication, including successes and shortcomings. Recommendations will provide concrete steps to improve communications and data sharing between Virginia’s Community Colleges and their K-12 partners.