Despite declining unemployment, anxiety still exists among many Americans regarding slow rates of job growth. Most states had unemployment rates over 8 percent in July of 2009, 2010, and 2011. Since then, unemployment rates have trended downward. From July 2011 to June 2012, forty-four states saw a decrease, while in two the unemployment rate stayed the same, and in four it increased. Notwithstanding the improved employment picture in the majority of states, concerns over the economy are reflected in a July 24, 2012, Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, which found only 27 percent of registered voters predicting the economy would improve. (Click here for more)
Dual Enrollment Not Just for High Achievers: Early College Improves Outcomes for Disadvantaged Students, Study Finds
NEW YORK, NY (July 18, 2012) – Once considered the exclusive province of college-bound high school students seeking more challenging classes, dual enrollment—in which high school students take college courses for credit—offers tangible benefits for students who are historically underrepresented in higher education, a new study from the Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University has found.
The three-year study of eight career-focused dual enrollment programs found that participating students demonstrated improved performance on a range of high school and college outcomes. Sixty percent of participants were students of color, forty percent came from non-English speaking homes, and at least one third came from families with no prior college experience.
The programs, located across California and created through partnerships between community colleges and local high schools, varied in structure and course offerings but all gave students in high school career-technical programs the opportunity to take college classes, and provided academic and non-academic supports. The programs were funded primarily with a grant from The James Irvine Foundation.
The study analyzed outcomes of approximately 3,000 dual enrollment students through spring, 2011, and found that the dual enrollment students were more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in four-year colleges, and persist in college than similar students who did not participate. Participating students also accumulated more college credits than non-participants, and this effect grew over time.
The findings are consistent with those from earlier CCRC studies indicating that participation in career-technical dual enrollment is associated with improved performance on a range of college outcomes, including persistence, credit accumulation and GPA. This study, however, is one of the first to demonstrate that dual enrollment is a promising intervention for students who might not otherwise enroll in college, and are at high risk of dropping out if they do.
Dual enrollment has become an increasingly popular strategy for improving college readiness for students—800,000 American high school students took a college course in 2002-03 (the last numbers available), and since then the numbers have grown. Until recently, however, dual enrollment had been reserved for higher-achieving students; in some states, students must have a minimum GPA to qualify.
To read the complete study, please visit: http://www.concurrentcourses.org/publications.html
A companion technical report is available for download at: http://bit.ly/Mmd36F
The Education Policy Center, in cooperation with scholars from Iowa State University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, released the report “Pell Grants and the Lifting of Rural America’s Future.”
The report shows how the Pell Grant program made a difference to needy community college students in perhaps the most & the country, Kansas. More students were moved from part-time to full-time status, resulting in more students taking more credit hours. Pell funding in Kansas nearly doubled from about $20.5 to $40.4 million from the Fall 2008 to the Fall 2010.
This report can also provide an early glimpse of how maintenance of effort standards might impact the long term future of student aid. MOE was included in the federal ARRA stimulus package. It said that total state support had to be maintained at FY2006 levels, providing an incentive for states to not defund their public higher education operating budgets and supplant with tuition revenue (as has occurred in recent recessions). It is possible that this policy level might be used in the unfolding discussions s college cost containment proposals are considered.
Visit the AACC website to download the brief.
More and more Americans today acknowledge the value of community colleges to students and community partners. An important reason for this awakening, among many others, rests on the growing realization that reported rates of success for students at community colleges are understated and misleading. In addition, the increasing focus on public returns on investment may be incentivizing colleges and universities to be more discerning about whom they enroll. Needless to say, these changes do not bode well for college access.
With the growing attention the public is paying to community colleges, it is important to remember just whom community colleges serve, noting what is distinctive and what has changed about this population. In this brief, I consider the unique variety of students who are drawn to and served by community colleges.
The magnitude of access is generally understood at the level of fall enrollments. For institutions that enroll students year-round, however, more students access higher education than is commonly realized. At community colleges, for example, referencing unduplicated year-round enrollments increases the number of students accessing higher education by 56%. The magnitude of access is increased even further when noncredit students are included.
Between 1993 and 2009, the student body—as defined by the distribution, not the number, of students—on community college campuses shifted. For instance, students under the age of 18 are increasingly enrolling in community colleges. While the student body is becoming increasingly younger, the characteristics of younger students are not homogenous across all sectors of higher education. Community college students have a greater proportion of students with various risk factors when compared to all of higher education.
These colleges also provide access to nearly half of all minority undergraduate students and more than 40% of undergraduate students living in poverty.
Community colleges are open access and do not, with the rare exception, build a student body. As this brief points out, the open door philosophy not only benefits students attending community colleges, but also benefits other sectors of higher education. Unfortunately, other members of the higher education community may not appreciate this role that community colleges play.
While enrollments continue to increase, there is the concern, among some, that a focus on completion has the potential to influence just who is allowed to take advantage of educational opportunities. In policy conversations, especially those concerned with policies related to access and choice, there is a silent movement to redirect educational opportunity to “deserving” students. This brief highlights some actions that can be taken to ensure that access is not deteriorated.
Policy actors engaged in ensuring the United States has the most educated workforce in the world must remember that all citizens of a nation are included in the denominator of the equation. To ensure the focus on completion does not result in a more restricted student body, the institutions that provide the broadest swath of opportunity must be incentivized to continue providing access. Access to college, for everyone, matters.
Dual Enrollment Has Large Benefits for Students but Rigor and Location are Critical, New Studies Find
NEW YORK, NY (December 8, 2011) - Two new studies from the National Center for Postsecondary Research have found that participation in dual enrollment – in which high school students take college classes for credit - has strong positive effects on college enrollment and completion, but where students take dual enrollment classes and what classes they take are critical in driving these effects.
The first study, which tracked all of Florida’s 2000-01 and 2001-02 high school seniors, found that students who participated in dual enrollment (DE) were 12% more likely to go to college and 7% more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree than similar students who did not participate. However, these strong effects were driven entirely by dual enrollment classes taken on college campuses. Students who took dual enrollment classes exclusively on the high school campus showed no statistically significant gains.
The study also compared the impact of Advanced Placement (AP) and dual enrollment classes on college outcomes. Contrary to popular assertions that AP classes are more beneficial than dual enrollment, the study found that DE and AP participation had similarly positive impacts. DE students were more likely than AP students to first enroll in two-year rather than four-year colleges, but they went on to earn bachelor’s degrees at a comparable rate.
The second study, which tracked a subset of Florida’s 2000-01 and 2001-02 high school seniors who took a college algebra placement test, found that students who passed the test and enrolled in a rigorous dual enrollment college algebra class were 16% more likely to go to college and 23% more likely to earn a college degree than similar students who did not take the class.
Interestingly, participation in dual enrollment in general had no effect on marginal students whose GPA was just above the minimum necessary to participate. These students were no more likely to enroll in or complete college than statistically similar students who did not participate in DE. The combined findings suggest that, at least for some students, the benefits of dual enrollment are driven by the type of class they take.
The two studies offer important insights into how dual enrollment can best be structured to deliver maximum benefits for students. Previous studies of dual enrollment programs in Florida and New York City, conducted by the Community College Research Center, found positive impacts for participating students on a range of college outcomes. However, the studies did not disaggregate the effects of course location and content which – as the new studies demonstrate – vary significantly.
States across the nation have increasingly embraced dual enrollment as a promising intervention to help students of differing abilities and backgrounds gain college knowledge and a head start in obtaining a degree. Almost one million American high school students took a college course in 2002-03 (the last numbers available), and since then the numbers have grown.
The new studies confirm that dual enrollment can be advantageous for students, but also contain a note of warning: dual enrollment programs and experiences vary significantly in the extent to which they benefit students. Districts and colleges should track outcomes for dual enrollment students and use the data to adjust program structure for maximum impact.
The National Center for Postsecondary Research (NCPR) is housed at the Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University, and is operated in collaboration with partners MDRC and the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, and with a professor at Harvard University. Established in 2006, with a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education, NCPR measures the effectiveness of programs designed to help students make the transition to college and master the basic skills needed to advance to a degree. NCPR is currently pursuing research in dual enrollment; postsecondary remediation; and financial aid.
Getting Ready for College: An Implementation and Early Impacts Study of Eight Texas Developmental Summer Bridge Programs
Getting Ready for College: An Implementation and Early Impacts Study of Eight Texas Developmental Summer Bridge Programs
Heather D. Wathington, Elisabeth A. Barnett, Evan Weissman, Jedediah Teres, Joshua Pretlow, and Aki Nakanishi, with Matthew Zeidenberg, Madeline Joy Weiss, Alison Black, Claire Mitchell, and John Wachen
October 13, 2011
In 2007, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) funded 22 colleges to establish developmental summer bridge programs. Aimed at providing an alternative to traditional developmental education, these programs involve intensive remedial instruction in math, reading, and/or writing and college preparation content for students entering college with low basic skills. In 2009, NCPR launched an evaluation of eight developmental summer bridge programs in Texas (seven at community colleges and one at an open-admissions four-year university), the early findings of which are described in this report.
Students who participated in the study were randomly assigned to the program group or the control group. Program group students participated in the developmental summer bridge programs, while control group students received colleges’ regular services. All developmental summer bridge programs had four common features: accelerated instruction in math, reading, and/or writing; academic support; a “college knowledge” component; and the opportunity for participants to receive a $400 stipend.
The main findings of this preliminary report are:
- All eight programs in the study were implemented with reasonable fidelity to the model framed by the THECB, but they varied on some key dimensions.
- Program costs averaged about $1,300 per student but varied widely.
- Program group students did not enroll in either the fall or spring semester at significantly different rates than control group students; enrollment rates were high for both groups.
- There is evidence that the program students were more likely to pass college-level courses in math and writing in the fall semester following the summer programs. The findings also suggest that program students were more likely to attempt higher level reading, writing, and math courses compared with control group students.
Implementing Statewide Transfer and Articulation Reform: An Analysis of Transfer Associate Degrees in Four States
By: Carrie B. Kisker, Richard Wagoner, & Arthur M. Cohen
Implementing Statewide Transfer & Articulation Reform:
In recent years, the federal government and several major philanthropic organizations have focused attention on the need to dramatically increase the number of bachelor‘s and other postsecondary degrees in order to retain the United States‘ economic competitiveness in a global marketplace. Improving what is often a complex community college-to-university transfer process, many analysts argue, is key to improving bachelor‘s degree production. Thus, over the past few years, several states have engaged in systemic transfer and articulation reforms, creating transfer associate degrees that allow students to both earn an associate degree and transfer seamlessly into a state university.
The purpose of this project—which was generously funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates and Walter S. Johnson Foundations—was to examine the development of transfer associate degrees in four states: Arizona, New Jersey, Ohio, and Washington. We utilized case study analysis (including site visits, analysis of relevant documents, and roughly 60 in-depth qualitative interviews) in order to describe implementation strategies that may be utilized in states that are currently embarking on or planning for systemic transfer reforms.
Transfer associate degrees can be understood as a grouping of seven curricular and policy-related elements. The first four, listed below, are essential to the creation of significant statewide improvements in transfer and articulation. The final three elements are also important but may be more or less necessary, depending on each state‘s unique history, policy goals, capacity issues, and the academic cultures and traditions of its institutions.
1. A common general education (GE) package
2. Common lower-division pre-major and early-major pathways
3. A focus on credit applicability
4. Junior status upon transfer
5. Guaranteed and/or priority university admission
6. Associate and/or bachelor‘s degree credit limits
7. An acceptance policy for upper-division courses
In the pages that follow we summarize the five primary themes that emerged from our data, as well as early positive outcomes and the likely future of transfer associate degrees. We conclude with implications of this study and recommendations for those advocating or developing similar transfer reforms in other states.
To access the full report, click here.
Please click on the link to view the Center for the Study of Community College's most recent publication on reforming transfer and articulation in California's community colleges.
The National Council of Instructional Adminstrators, which (like CSCC) is an
affiliate council of AACC, has put together an interesting annotated
bibliography entitled, "Useful Information for Community College Leaders."
It highlights recent journal articles, dissertations, and ERIC documents on
11 topics, including adjunct faculty, technology and distance education,
developmental education, and student retention. The bibliography is
available as a link from their home page (www.nciaonline.org) or as a PDF
file at http://www.nciaonline.org/docs/project_7000.pdf .
Read the "Invited Panel Report On The Community College: Challenges And Pathways American Education Research Association 2002 Convention." (pdf format)