Overcoming Limitations to Create Powerful Community Solutions

Looking holistically at the community impact the Fortune 100 is capable of making, there’s no question that the breadth of their reach is significant. From sending thousands to college – compliments of Starbucks, to creating better work-life balance for Google’s global employees with dry cleaning and dog walking services, any benefit conferred by these corporate behemoths impacts large swaths of the global population. But while it’s true that small companies and independent concerns can’t compete at this level, limitations of scale needn’t stifle the creation of meaningful, education-fueled community solutions.

As our own community of schools has demonstrated – modest means notwithstanding – creating high-impact programs that directly benefit students and local businesses is always possible when you collaboratively direct your energy and resources on the core element of education quality for the greater good. This includes looking beyond the urge to keep pace with competitors in all the investments they might be making across the strata of peripheral improvements – from new dorms to expanded sports programs. Just two examples of this very focused “radical cooperation” within TCS Education System can be found within Pacific Oaks and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Pacific Oaks has a long history of bringing education to early childhood centers and agencies in response to these local businesses’ need for highly trained professionals. By structuring entire programs to be embedded within these businesses, both students and businesses reap substantial benefits. Students gain the richness of a live practicum, while agencies gain expert staff specifically trained to meet the demands of their environment, with zero interruptions to their business. In a similar vein, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology practiced radical cooperation with rural mental health agency Four County Counseling Center in Northern Indiana. Faced with a talent shortage and recruiting difficulties common to remote locales, the Center worked with The Chicago School to bring the Mental Health Master’s program to rural Indiana – creating a league of highly qualified professionals by educating the Center’s team. The Master’s program is among the top-rated in Indiana today.

Though not everyone has the benefit of a Fortune 100 budget, meaningful, high impact programs are still within reach for most. Practicing radical cooperation focused on the core elements of education and local business needs has the capacity to not only serve the needs of local communities, but create agents of change.