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STEM Regional Collaboratives: The Opportunity - Recognizing the large number of jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields that don't require a college degree, an initiative has turned to three community colleges to build STEM Regional Collaboratives. These are charged with bringing together colleges, state partners, employers and K-12 partners that will use highly structured STEM pathways to build efficient pipelines. (Lara K. Couturier, Jobs for the Future and Achieving the Dream, October 2014) ...

Practices to Pathways: High-Impact Practices for Community College Student Success - ...

Aspirations to Achievement: Men of Color and Community Colleges - If the achievement gap is to be closed between men of color and other student groups, it has to happen at community colleges which educate more Black and Latino males than other institutions of higher education. This brief presents a conundrum: though black males are most engaged, then Latinos, then Whites, Whites are six times more likely to graduate. Among the reasons posited are a lower level of college readiness and a fear that they're confirming racial stereotypes. A list of possible solutions follows. (Center for Community College Student Engagement, February 2014)...

Where Value Meets Values: The Economic Impact of Community Colleges Executive Summary - In 2012, the net total impact of community colleges on the U.S. economy was $809 billion in added income, equal to 5.4 percent of GDP. Over time, the U.S. economy will see greater economic benefits, including $285.7 billion dollars in increased tax revenue as students earn higher wages and $19.2 billion in taxpayer savings as students require fewer safety net services, experience better health, and lower rates of crime. For every one dollar a student spends on his or her community college education, he or she sees an return on investment of $3.80. (American Association of Community Colleges, February 2014)...

Community College Economics for Policymakers: The One Big Fact and the One Big Myth - Policymaking has been impaired by neglect of the fact that economic returns to college are high and by acceptance of the myth that the college affordability crisis is actually an efficiency crisis caused by wasteful spending by colleges, the authors argue. Enhancing quality at colleges will increase spending but can increase efficiency as well. (Clive Belfield and Davis Jenkins, Community College Resource Center, January 2014)...

What We Know About Nonacademic Student Supports - Nonacademic student supports encourage academic success but do not deal directly with academic content. They deal with such barriers as financial struggles, transportation difficulties or insufficient childcare. Four mechanisms appear to promote appear to promote student success: creating social relationships, clarifying aspirations, developing college know-how, and making college feasible. (Melinda Mechur Karp and Georgia West Stacey, Community College Research Center, September 2013) ...

Thinking Big: A Framework for States on Scaling Up Community College Innovation - In American social policy, it's easier to create small programs than to scale them up to help larger numbers of people, according to the authors of this report. They identify four phases of the process: planning, initiating, expanding, and sustaining. Most important is the need to think and work toward scale from the beginning. As innovation is scaled up, leaders must contend with the difference between the model and the realities of local adaptation. (Rose Asera et al, Jobs for the Future, July 2013)...

Characteristics of Early Community College Dropouts - Characteristics are identified of students who drop out of community college after or during the first term, most of whom never attended any college again. Early dropouts tended to be older, were less likely to have financial aid or a Pell, were 5% more likely to be referred to developmental courses and did poorly in those and regular classes. Crosta suggests enhanced student support. (Peter Crosta, Community College Research Center, February 2013)...

"They Never Told Me What to Expect, So I Didn't Know What to Do": Defining and Clarifying the Role of a Community College Student - This paper builds on previous work arguing that community college success is dependent not only upon academic preparation but also upon a host of important skills, attitudes, and behaviors that are often left unspoken. Drawing on role theory and on a qualitative study conducted at three community colleges, this paper aims to clarify the role of the community college student and the components of that role that must be enacted for students to be successful. (CCRC, July 2012)...

The Role of Two-Year Institutions in Four-Year Success - For many students, the path to successfully completing a degree at a four-year institution includes enrollment at one or more two-year institutions. This report shows the percentage of students completing degrees at four-year institutions who previously enrolled at two-year institutions. (National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, May 2012)...

Tying Funding to Community College Options: Models, Tools, and Recommendations for States - This brief presents a set of tools that can help states design performance-based funding systems that can influence student and institutional behavior, avoid unintended consequences, and withstand shifts in political and economic climates. (Jobs for the Future, April 2012)...

Interpreting Community College Effects in the Presence of Heterogeneity and Complex Counterfactuals - Community colleges are controversial educational institutions, often said to simultaneously expand college opportunities and diminish baccalaureate attainment. This report finds that enrolling at a community college appears to penalize more-advantaged students who otherwise would have attended four-year colleges. However, enrolling at a community college has a modest positive effect on bachelorís degree completion for disadvantaged students who otherwise would not have attended college. (California Center for Population Research, March 2012)....

Employer Perceptions of Associate Degrees in Local Labor Markets: A Case Study of the Employment of Information Technology Technicians in Detroit and Seattle - While promoting postsecondary credential completion is a national priority intended to help graduates secure good jobs, the value of credentials in the labor market from the perspective of employers is not well understood. This study provides suggestions on how an understanding of the specific qualities employers expect in credential holders and of the role of the local labor market can help colleges better engage with employers and fine-tune their programs to more effectively meet students' and employer's needs. (CCRC, February 2012)...

The Road Ahead: A Look at Trends in the Educational Attainment of Community College Students - This brief presents data on educational attainment at community colleges, with an eye toward what the data portend. One extremely positive conclusion can be reached: Educational attainment for all key populations is increasing at community colleges. The investment made in a community college education, by individuals and by society as a whole, is paying off. (Christopher Mullin, American Association of Community Colleges, October 2011)...

Trends in Community College Education: Enrollment, Prices, Student Aid and Debt Levels - The authors describe the published prices of community colleges and the other expenses students face while enrolled and how these prices vary across states. They also examine institutional revenue sources, the financial aid community college students receive, student debt, and degree completion patterns at two-year public colleges. (College Board, June 2011)...

The Road Less Traveled: Realizing the Potential of Career Technical Education in the California Community Colleges - This report examines four high-wage, high-need career pathways in the California Community Colleges as a basis for exploring the Career Technical Education (CTE) mission and its role in the college completion agenda. The study found that while CTE has the potential to meet the stateís completion, workforce and equity goals, there is a lack of priority on awarding technical certificates and degrees and an absence of clear pathways for students to follow in pursuing those credentials. (Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy, February 2011)...

Redesigning Community Colleges for Completion: Lessons from Research on High-Performance Organizations - This paper examines available research on the practices of high-performance organizations and goes on to assess the extent to which community colleges follow these practices. The paper evaluates current reform efforts in light of models of organizational effectiveness that emerge from the research literature. Jenkins goes on to look at research on strategies for engaging faculty and staff in organizational innovation. Finally, the last section recommends concrete steps community college leaders can take to redesign how they manage programs and services to increase rates of student completion. (Davis Jenkins, Community College Research Center, January 2011)...


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