Research and Reports Blog
Date Posted: February 12, 2019
Author(s): Sonya L. Armstrong, Norman A. Stahl, James R. King, M. Joanne Kantner, Mary Perkins, Betsy Sobin, & Ruth Dalrymple
This report presents information on a study that was undertaken at three community college sites. The study was designed to answer the following research question: “What constitutes college-level text-readiness?” The study design involved two simultaneous threads of data collection: one for career technical education (CTE) courses, and one for developmental reading (DR) courses.
Citation: Armstrong, S. L., Stahl, N. A., King, J. R., Kantner, M. J., Perkins, M., Sobin, B., & Dalrymple, R. (2019). Literacy in the ‘in-between spaces’ of community colleges: Interstitial practices in developmental reading and career technical education. (CISLL Technical Report no. 2). Retrieved from the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language and Literacy website:
Date Posted: February 2, 2019
Author(s): Mary Pierce
In an era of decreased funding for schools, and in a move typically reserved for four-year institutions, community college leaders are focusing attention and resources on alumni engagement. Yet, there has been a significant increase in the use of online courses, which may challenge community college leaders in engaging an alumni segment of the student population who may never have stepped foot on a college campus. This practice brief will explore the link between online student experience and perceived connectedness to a school, and the impact that has on future alumni loyalty. With the spotlight now on alumni building, engagement of the online learner may need to be a focus that community college leaders address when investigating ways to build a strong alumni base and increase donations from this sector.
Date Posted: November 5, 2018
Author(s): Carlos O. Turner Cortez, Michelle Fischthal, Jessica Leudtke, and Nancy Cortes
This report is a publication of San Diego Continuing Education, the noncredit division of the San Diego Community College District. The California Community College Noncredit Offerings Survey was conducted in partnership with the California Community College Chancellor’s Office Educational Services. SDCE conducted this study and survey on California Community College Noncredit Offerings to advocate for current and future noncredit programming in the state system. In 2016, SDCE conducted a statewide survey of all colleges associated with the state’s community college system. We obtained a 100% response rates from the chief instructional leaders. In 2017, we administered the second iteration of the survey. Once again, we obtained a 100% response rate. In 2018, we conducted the third year survey to establish a baseline for a longitudinal study, again with a 100% response rate. We now plan to disseminate this survey every three years, which will allow for a longitudinal analysis.
Date Posted: September 30, 2018
Author(s): Emily Schnee
This longitudinal, qualitative study explores developmental English students’ experience of remediation in the context of a first-semester learning community (LC). Conducted at an urban community college in the Northeast, data were collected through semi-structured interviews conducted over a 3-year period with a cohort of 15 students who were placed into a first-semester LC that linked the lowest level of developmental English with Introduction to Psychology and a student development course. Findings shed light on students’ changing perceptions of their placement in remedial English, their insights into LC participation, and reveal implications for community college research and practice. Developmental students’ experiences, voices, and perspectives are the focus of this study and are analyzed in the context of the highly contentious debate over college remediation.
Citation: Schnee, Emily. (2014). “A foundation for something bigger”: Community college students’ experience of remediation in the context of a learning community. Community College Review, 42, 242-261. doi: 10.1177/0091552114527604
Date Posted: May 9, 2018
Author(s): Bragdon
Abstract The following paper will examine the experiences of rural community college transfer students who later attend four year institutions with no established Transfer Receptive Culture (TRC). Using current literature and applicable theoretical frameworks as lenses to address the barriers transfer students encounter, the goal of this paper is to curate a list of recommendations for institutions who are considering establishing TRC. The findings within the collected literature can be used to justify appropriate funding and the need for the cultivation of TRC at institutions with high transfer rates. Furthermore, there will be an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the recommendations and approaches the current literature suggest implementing. Lastly, using the current literature to inform practice, a description of the pilot study I conducted, and the findings detailed. This study looked at the experiences of rural community college transfer students who attend four year institutions with no established TRC.
Date Posted: March 27, 2018
Author(s): Erika Wolfe
First-generation students are becoming a larger population in post-secondary education and what are post-secondary institutions doing to be “college” ready for these students? A review of the literature will show that there is not enough action-based research available and what practitioners should do to better serve this underserved population.
Date Posted: December 18, 2017
Author(s): Yves Bemba
In this paper, we look into the issue of college readiness and different strategies to better prepare high school students as their get ready to transition to college. We will start by introducing the issue of college readiness and its relevance. Then we will look into the characteristics of academically under prepared students, explore different strategies elaborated in our readings, and then implications for high school and community colleges leaders.
Date Posted: December 16, 2017
Author(s): Ben Phillips
As developmental education continues to grow in community colleges across the nation, a related concern which is also growing is the manner in which students are placed into developmental education. The methods used for placement are not consistent across the field. Typically, institutions use standardized tests to measure students’ proficiency in subject matter and then place students based on the test results. Students are then left to sink or swim in the developmental courses. However, a review of the literature reveals multiple methods of increasing student success in developmental education. This paper will review some of those methods in context of providing recommendations for administrators. Additionally, a counter analysis to the results and recommendations will be provided. Keywords: developmental education, placement, student success.
Date Posted: December 15, 2017
Author(s): Joshua York
The perils of students’ loans have caused a $1.2 trillion debt for those individuals who aspire for more than a high school diploma. The result has been students are making decisions regarding their financial aid without the appropriate knowledge and education when it comes to taking on student loan debt. Families, high schools, and college personnel are providing information for the students on their financial aid, yet the students are not properly educated prior to making their decisions. Furthermore, socioeconomic levels, types of loans, and repayments plans are often not fully discussed when the students are making their choices. All of these aspects of financial aid impact students and their choices for how much the student will take out regarding their financial aid package.
Date Posted: December 15, 2017
Author(s): Kirsten M. Omoto
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has opened access to hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants to temporary legal documentation and work authorization. Despite these legitimizing items, “DACAmented” individuals are denied access to tax-funded benefits which limits opportunities to achieve higher paying positions that are now accessible through benefits granted by DACA. With its unique missions and values, close community ties, open access, lower tuition rates, and variety of academic opportunities, community colleges serve a unique capacity that can further facilitate the progress of DACA students when provided with the appropriate support. As such, this brief will examine the impacts of DACA in the community and in higher education, challenges faced by DACA students, and recommendations regarding how community colleges can better serve this minority population. Keywords: DACA, community college, mission, deferred action, higher education
Date Posted: December 14, 2017
Author(s): Issiaih C. Yott
Mission statements for community colleges inspire enrollment, set expectations and shape organizational legitimacy. They represent an integral element of all post-secondary educational institutions. Their mission is to inform, inspire, and potentially shape positive student trajectories, post degree completion. The purpose of this practice brief is to review the literature on the importance of mission statements and their impact on community colleges, most notably: are they misleading the students they hope to attract? This brief is also meant to guide college executives who help craft mission statements when they undertake this goal. Recommendations are offered that utilize a transformational leadership approach, showing that mission statements can be created or re-evaluated to not only represent the goals of the institution, but the needs of the students who are enrolled in them as well.
Date Posted: December 12, 2017
Author(s): Todd M. Roth
Colleges across the country are experiencing a shift in demographic related to student population representation. The “traditional” student that institutions of higher education have known and understood for decades is no longer signifying the majority of students represented in most student populations. The adult learner is fast becoming the “new-traditional” student at many institutions of higher education. In order for the adult learner to be truly successful and for institutions to appeal to a demographic that they have not primarily targeted in the past a solid understanding of the needs of this demographic must be actively sought. Within this practice brief the needs and desires of the adult learner will be discussed, however this understanding on its own will not ensure student success. Institutions must re-evaluate the way that they currently offer classes, they must analyze the relevancy of their curriculum inclusion, and they need to reconsider procedures related to scheduling and educational learning opportunity. Understanding the needs of the adult learner and actively trying to implement methods to accommodate this demographic has the potential to increase enrollment at many institutions of higher education while also helping to contribute to the success of the adult learner students who enroll.
Date Posted: November 10, 2017
Author(s): Carol Cutler White, MPA, Ph.D.
This Executive Summary presents findings from a dissertation titled A Qualitative Comparative Analysis Exploring How the Arrangement of Higher Education Governance Shapes the Contribution of Two-Year Institutions to State Educational Attainment (Cutler White, 2016). The purpose of the study was to examine whether the arrangement of higher education governance enables or constrains the contribution of two-year institutions to increasing state educational attainment. The study’s findings suggest the arrangement of higher education governance indeed influences the contribution of two-year institutions through the policy process. Further, the findings suggest some states may be better positioned to increase attainment through the arrangement of higher education governance. Specifically, states with some form of coordination of higher education across two- and four-year institutions may have a policy environment better able to realize increases in attainment through policy innovation (Cutler White, 2016).
Date Posted: October 3, 2017
Author(s): Lyudmilova
Through analysis of publicly available websites, in combination with interviews of staff and administrators involved in the management of educational technologies in their designated institutions, this qualitative study was an investigation into how New Jersey community colleges support and implement educational technologies. The management of educational technology is subject to regulation on a variety of levels, including state, institutional, and divisional. Faculty interested in implementing educational technology in their courses have the option of pursuing acquisition of technologies through the institutional system, which at times may be lengthy and restrictive. They can also turn to the educational technology that can be accessed online. This study illuminated the effects of operational restrictions within community colleges, impacting the adoption of collegewide educational technologies.
Date Posted: June 28, 2017
Author(s): Katherine S. Marble
abstract file attached above
Date Posted: June 7, 2017
Author(s): Dr. Jeffrey A. Fletcher
This report is an executive summary of a dissertation mixed-methods research study that investigated correlational relationships between state-funding distribution formulae and state-level CC governance structures across the national landscape. The purpose of this study was to determine if there were any correlational relationships between state-funding distribution formulae and state-level CC governance structures. State funding distribution formulae are tools utilized to substantiate the acquisition of funds and delineate the cost of education. Many states have experienced change since 2000 and it was critical to research whether or not state-funding has been an influence and/or driver of change. Furthermore, Mullin and Honeyman’s (2007) research about CC state-funding distribution formulae across the national landscape was found to be the most recent typology study from a review of the literature. As a result, an up-to-date typology of state-funding distribution formulae was needed.
Categories: Finance, Governance
Date Posted: May 15, 2017
Author(s): Krishna Bista
In this chapter, the author examines the perceptions of community college faculty’s international experience and internationalization at their campuses. The findings indicated a statistical difference between two types of faculty members: foreign-born faculty vs. US-born faculty and faculty with a prior international experience vs. faculty without an international experience. The outcomes of this study may help institutions of higher education enhance campus internationalization resources and diversity activities and provide faculty a rewarding workplace.
Citation: Bista, K. (2016). Faculty international experience and internationalization efforts at two-year colleges in the United States. In R. L. Raby & E. Valeau (Eds.), International education at community colleges: Themes, practices, and case studies. New York, NY: Palgrave Publishers.
Date Posted: December 16, 2016
Author(s): Dalila Avila Sajadian
Attainment and completion of college remains a problem for a large number of students, but particularly for community college and minority students. Co-enrollment is the process of enrolling at one or more institutions at the same time. This purpose of this practice brief is to review the literature on co – enrollment of students in both, 2 and 4 years institutions, as well as its impact in attainment and completion of a degree. This brief also aims to guide Community College leaders in the transfer of credits for con – enrolled students, following an ethical leadership approach, in particular a teleological metatheory. Key words: community college, co-enrollment, attainment and completion, ethical leadership.
Date Posted: December 14, 2016
Author(s): Drs. Jeffrey A. Fletcher
This report provides an analysis and evaluation about state-level community college governance structures of the 50 American States. There is a limited amount of research that has been done on state-level community college governance structures, and therefore additional and more comprehensive research on how the 50 American States structure their state-level governance of community colleges was needed. Additionally, an update on state-level community college governance structures for the 50 American States is beneficial for community college governance leaders across the country to not only stay current and informed on changes and trends, but to also have a better understanding about other states’ power-structures, governance, and administration over community colleges.
Categories: Governance
Date Posted: April 7, 2016
Author(s): Jessica Horohov
This study intends to frame individual employee understandings of a competency-based education (CBE) program in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System in the past and present discourses of American higher education reform. The conference presentation will include an overview of the methodology (critical discourse analysis), the social and historical context of education’s efficiency and accountability, and preliminary results from interviews conducted with faculty and administrators of KCTCS.