The Five Components were the brainchild of the the original State Advisory Council for Community Education developed in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin's Community Education Center (Dr. George Kliminski) and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (Dr. Eric Smith).
The Five Components of the Wisconsin Model of Community Education provide a philosophical base for program development. When established in a school district, these components can provide a guide for action. Each of the five components operates most effectively when educators and citizens work together in planning how they are best implemented in the school district.
The Five Components provide a process framework for local school districts implementing or strengthening community education. They are:
Citizen involvement strengthens solutions by bringing a variety of perspectives to each issue. People who know the most about the problem should be the ones coming up with the solutions. Community advisory councils provide this avenue of citizen input.
Needs Assessment and Planning
Conducting a needs and a resource assessment lets citizens determine what are the needs, how the needs should be responded to, and how current programs can be made more responsive.
Extended Use of Public Education Facilities
Many public education facilities are underused. The community education model emphasizes extended use of school buildings and equipment, encouraging everyone to use the facilities. It also promotes a sense of ownership among all citizens and emphasizes the increased importance of lifelong learning.
Interagency Coordination and Cooperation
Services delivered through interagency cooperation are more efficient than those that result from fragmented efforts. By relying on teamwork and reducing duplication of effort, a community education-based program make the most of limited resources.
Leadership and Accountability
For the community education model to flourish and for its desired results to occur, solid leadership and a method of accountability is required. It takes effective public leadership to sustain a community based on learning and cooperation.