Tag Archives: Community College

Not ready for college, perhaps a gap year is in order

4 Mar

One Tennessee Study found that quite often kids are encouraged to choose college over vocational or trade options. The societal push the last few years has been to have more kids go to college. Quite often schools are ranked on the percentage of kids that go directly to college from high school. So, counselors are following cultural cues they have received from administrators, parents, and the media. http://www.tennessee.gov/education/cte_council/doc/career_college_advice.pdf

Pros and Cons of Going to A Four Year College

A. Five Reasons to Go to College

Chris Stout lists Top Five Reasons to Go to College

1.The undergraduate degree is the new high school diploma
There was once a time when college was entirely optional. Even today, smart, hard working people can develop excellent careers and stable lives without the aid of a university education. College is by no means mandatory, but when you’re ready to start building a career for yourself, you will increasingly discover that a college degree is a prerequisite for many entry-level employment opportunities….
2.College will satisfy and expand your curiosity
If you possess a general curiosity about how and why the world works the way it does, then you owe it to yourself to attend college. Education is a personal project. If you want to develop your mental faculties and increase your knowledge base, then you have to college. If you feel that you’ve learned all you possibly can in high school, if you think that there’s nothing else that you need to absorb, then don’t go to college. If you have a passion for improved understanding, then college is mandatory.
3.College is a process of continual maturation
College is freedom. When you attend college, you are free to live on your own, according to your own priorities. As you carve out your own custom tailored living and learning experience, you can’t help but grow as a person. College is a time for self-improvement and development, so if you want to grow and mature as an individual, college is the perfect playground for self-progress.
4.College is all about networking
In college, you have the unique ability to create life-long associations in a structured environment. Networking is important, but it can also be difficult. If you want to build relations with students and faculty members, you have to put forth effort. Unlike the real world, in college, it’s easy to combine your individual interests with supportive allies who subscribe to those same interests. Take advantage of this environment and build up relationships that will help you in the future.
5.College exposes you to things you would not normally experience
When you set about choosing your path through life, it’s important to remember that finding yourself is as much a process of elimination as it is a process of discovery. Just as you seek out interests and identities, you need to rule out certain life-options and mental frameworks that you do not agree with. College exposes you to new risks, rewards, people, places, ideas, lifestyles, eating habits and career choices. Exposure is critical. You can’t form a genuine opinion on something if you’ve never been exposed to it. College is a place for you to improve yourself, to satiate your curiosities, to mature, to network, and to be exposed to new things. College is an important, irreplaceable experience in life. Going to college is highly recommended. http://ezinearticles.com/?Top-Five-Reasons-Why-You-Should-Choose-To-Go-To-College&id=384395

Stout places the emphasis on the college experience and the fact that college is not just a place for possible career training.

B. Five Reasons Not to Go to College

Forbes. Com published Five Reasons Not to Go to College

1. You’ll be losing four working years.
There’s an opportunity cost associated with going to college: Not only will you lose the money you’ll have spent on tuition, you’ll also be out the amount of money that you could have made if you’d worked during those four years. And if your family isn’t wealthy enough to pay for your education on their own, you’ll also owe a hefty amount in interest payments for your student loans. Perhaps more importantly, with four years of experience on your resume, you’ll be far better off when looking for work than the average 22-year-old college graduate.
2. You won’t necessarily earn less money.
College grads earn an average 62% more over the course of their careers than high school grads. But economist Robert Reischauer of the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., argues that those numbers are skewed by the fact that smarter kids are more likely to go to college in the first place. In other words, the profitability of higher education is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
3. In fact, you could probably make more money if you invested your tuition.
Put $160,000–the approximate cost of a Harvard education–into municipal bonds that pay a conservative 5%, and you’ll have saved more than $500,000 in 30 years. That’s far more than the average college grad will accumulate in the same amount of time.
4. You don’t need to be in a classroom in order to learn something.
Truly motivated learners can teach themselves almost anything with a couple of books and an Internet connection. Want to learn a hands-on skill or trade? Consider an apprenticeship.
5. Plenty of other people did fine
Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Quentin Tarantino, David Geffen, and Thomas Edison, among others, never graduated from college. Peter Jennings and John D. Rockefeller never finished high school. http://www.forbes.com/2006/04/15/dont-go-college_cx_lh_06slate_0418skipcollege.html

Some people discover their passion earlier in life than others. Forbes.Com addresses its comments at those folks. The calculation is that if one already knows what they want to do, college could be an unnecessary detour.

A college degree is no guarantee of either employment or continued employment.

Alternatives to a Four Year College Degree

Great Schools has a concise overview of various options should a child decide they do not want to go from high school to a four year college. What if Your Teen Wants to Skip College http://www.greatschools.org/college-prep/alternatives/660-what-if-your-teen-wants-to-skip-college.gs There are several options. Options include a gap year, trade school, vocational school, community college, and for some the military. The only option that should be off the table is to do nothing.

Victor Lukerson wrote the excellent Time article, Gap Year: The Growing Appeal of Not Going Right to College:

About 1.2% of first-time college freshmen choose to defer enrollment for a year, according to the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. What these students choose to do with their time varies widely, from expensive study abroad programs, to volunteer programs like City Year, to staying at home and saving up for college.
“In 1980, no one was talking gap year,” says Holly Bull, the president of The Center for Interim Programs, a company that offers parents and students consulting in choosing the appropriate gap year program. “I’ve watched this whole concept go basically from its inception to present day. I wouldn’t call it mainstream, but there’s way more awareness and support and colleges are now beginning to endorse it as a really positive thing.”http://moneyland.time.com/2012/10/05/gap-year-the-growing-appeal-of-not-going-right-to-college/#ixzz28eFKj1Ce

According to Kirk Carapezza of NPR more students are taking a gap year. Carapezza reported in the story, Mind The Gap (Year): A Break Before College Might Do Some Good http://www.npr.org/2014/02/27/283533644/mind-the-gap-year-a-break-before-college-might-do-some-good?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=share&utm_campaign=storyshare

Whether a person chooses to attend a four year college after high school is a very personal decision and there is no one right answer. One thing the current economic climate has taught many is there are no guarantees in life, even with a college degree. The trades may offer some a means to earn a living and a fulfilling life.
A one-size-fits-all approach does not work.

Resources:
1. A publication by the government Why Attend College? Is a good overview http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/Prepare/pt1.html

2. Article in USA Today about gap year http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/education/2008-06-18-gap-year_N.htm

3. Advantages of Going to a Vocational School http://www.gocollege.com/options/vocational-trade-schools/

4. Accreditation Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology http://www.accsc.org/Resources/Links.aspx

5. The Federal Trade Commission has Choosing A Career Or Vocational School http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0241-choosing-vocational-school

6. How to Choose The Best Trade School http://www.ehow.com/how_2107557_choose-best-trade-school.html

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American Association of Community Colleges report: Community colleges are an education bargain

22 Feb

Going to a community college is one way to reduce the cost of college. The Lumina Foundation provides the following statistics:

◦ Forty-six percent are 25 or older, and 32 percent are at least 30 years old. The average age is 29.
◦ Fifty-eight percent are women.
◦ Twenty-nine percent have annual household incomes less than $20,000.
◦ Eighty-five percent balance studies with full-time or part-time work. More than half (54 percent) have full-time jobs.
◦ Thirty percent of those who work full time also attend classes full time (12 or more credit hours). Among students 30-39 years old, the rate climbs to 41 percent.
◦ Minority students constitute 30 percent of community college enrollments nationally, with Latino students representing the fastest-growing racial/ethnic population.
Source: The American Association of Community Colleges, based on material in the National Profile of Community Colleges:Trends & Statistics, Phillippe & Patton, 2000.

Many of those attending community college will need a variety of assistance to be successful in their academic career

Tyler Kingkade reported in the Huffington Post article, Community College Pays Off Too, Report Shows:

For every dollar a student spends on community college, they can expect a cumulative $4.80 back in higher future wages, according to a recent report.
The report, by the American Association of Community Colleges, concluded every tax dollar that goes into a community college education, yields a cumulative return of $6.80 over the course of students’ careers. Federal, state, and local governments will collect an additional $285.7 billion in higher tax receipts, and tax payers will save $19.2 billion over the course of students’ careers because their better lifestyles will lead to lower health care costs, reduced crime and lower need for safety net programs.
Community colleges served 11.6 million students in 2012, the year of data this report reviewed, representing 42 percent of the American collegiate population.
Although the report was released by a group representing community colleges, it falls in line with other recent studies showing associate’s degrees do pay off in the long run. According to an analysis by Hamilton Place Strategies, it will be “more attractive to get an associate’s degree, rather than a bachelor’s degree, in 2065,” if current cost trends continue….
The report was prepared by Economic Modeling Specialists International, and based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, outputs of EMSI’s Social Accounting Matrix model. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/20/community-college-pays-off-report_n_4818845.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

Here is the press release from the American Association of Community Colleges:

Report: The Economic Impact of Community Colleges
Community Colleges Contributed $809 Billion to Economy in 2012
The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) released a report, “Where Value Meets Values: The Economic Impact of Community Colleges,” showing that community colleges are a boon to the American economy at large and to the individual student.
In 2012 alone, 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 even 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.
Students also see a significant economic benefit. For every one dollar a student spends on his or her community college education, he or she sees an ROI of $3.80.
Please access the links below to read more:
Where Value Meets Values: The Economic Impact of Community Colleges (Full Report) http://www.aacc.nche.edu/About/Documents/USA_AGG_MainReport_Final_021114.pdf
Where Value Meets Values: The Economic Impact of Community Colleges (Executive Summary) http://www.aacc.nche.edu/About/Documents/USA_AGG_ExecSum_Final_021114.pdf
Economic Impact Study Fact Sheet http://www.aacc.nche.edu/About/Documents/USA_AGG_FactSheet_Final_021114.pdf
Return on Investment: Social http://www.aacc.nche.edu/About/Documents/USA_AGG_Social_Final_021114.pdf
Return on Investment: Student http://www.aacc.nche.edu/About/Documents/USA_AGG_Student_Final_021114.pdf
Return on Investment: Taxpayer http://www.aacc.nche.edu/About/Documents/USA_AGG_Taxpayer_Final_021114.pdf
The study was compiled by Economic Modeling Specialists Intl., (EMSI). EMSI turns labor market data into useful information that helps organizations understand the connection between economies, people, and work. Read more about EMSI.

Here is a portion of the executive summary which deals with the economic impact of community colleges:

The economic impact analysis examines the impact of America’s commu¬nity colleges and their students on the national economy in 2012. Results are measured in terms of added income and are organized according to the following effects:
1. Impact of the increased productivity of former community college students employed in the U.S. workforce, and;
2. Impact of international student spending.

IMPACT OF STUDENT PRODUCTIVITY
The greatest impact of America’s community colleges results from the education and training they provide to U.S. residents. Since the colleges were established, students have studied at the colleges and entered the workforce with new skills. Today millions of former students are employed in the U.S workforce.
During the analysis year, former students of America’s community col¬leges generated $806.4 billion in added income in the U.S. economy. This figure represents the higher wages that students earned during the year,
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
IMPACT OF STUDENT PRODUCTIVITY
The greatest impact of America’s community colleges results from the education and training they provide to U.S. residents. Since the colleges were established, students have studied at the colleges and entered the workforce with new skills. Today millions of former students are employed in the U.S workforce.
During the analysis year, former students of America’s community col¬leges generated $806.4 billion in added income in the U.S. economy. This figure represents the higher wages that students earned during the year, the increased output of the businesses that employed the students, and the multiplier effects that occurred as students and their employers spent money at other businesses.
IMPACT OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENT SPENDING
Approximately 1.3% of students attending America’s community colleges in 2012 were international students. These students paid approximately $1.2 billion to the community colleges to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and supplies. The colleges in turn injected these monies into the U.S. economy through their payroll and purchases. The net impact of these transactions was $1.5 billion in new income added to the U.S. economy.
The living expenses of international students also supported U.S. businesses. In 2012, international students spent $1.2 billion to purchase groceries, rent accommodation, pay for transportation, and so on. The net impact of these expenses was $1.1 billion in added income.
Altogether, international student spending added a total of $2.6 billion in income to the U.S. economy.
TOTAL IMPACT
The overall effect of America’s community colleges on the national economy in 2012 amounted to $809 billion, equal to the sum of the stu¬dent productivity effect and the international student spending effect. This added income is equal to approximately 5.4% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product…. http://www.aacc.nche.edu/About/Documents/USA_AGG_ExecSum_Final_021114.pdf
Ashley Marchand writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education about strategies which can help community college students succeed.
In 6 Strategies Can Help Entering Community-College Students Succeed, Marchand reports:
The six benchmarks listed in the report offer staff members and administrators ideas about how to help more students stay in college and graduate or transfer. They are fostering “college readiness” programs for high-school students, connecting early with students, encouraging faculty and staff members to have high expectations for students, providing a clear academic path, engaging students in the learning process, and maintaining an academic and social-support network. http://chronicle.com/article/6-Strategies-Can-Help-Entering/64871/
In the article, Community Colleges Address Financial Barriers to Success For Low-income Students which was published in the Sacramento Bee, student challenges were addressed :
Of the close to 8 million credit students annually attending community colleges, 46% currently receive some form of financial aid (state, federal, or institutional). The additional benefits the students might access through BACC include a range of federal programs, such as those that provide health insurance, food, and child care. Such support services are especially critical for community college students, many of whom juggle work, studies, and family responsibilities. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/08/4248177/community-colleges-address-financial.html

Given the numbers of students attending community college and the population demographic, more must be done to help this students graduate.

Related:

Helping community college students to graduate https://drwilda.com/2012/02/08/helping-community-college-students-to-graduate/

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Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment study: Community college students who transfer to for-profit higher education don’t earn as much

29 Jan

Moi wrote about for-profit higher education in Scary study about what happens to for-profit college graduates:
We are in a periodic of extreme economic dislocation and people are retraining and starting businesses in an attempt to put themselves in a better economic position. Because of the economic uncertainty, may are willing to try almost anything to survive. Beware, some choices can leave people in a worse position.

The Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment (CAPSEE) has produced a truly scary study about what happens to the graduates of for-profit colleges. According to the press release for the study, For-Profit College Students Less Likely to Be Employed After Graduation and Have Lower Earnings, New Study Finds:

Students who attend for-profit colleges are less likely to be employed and have lower earnings six years after enrolling than similar students who attend public and not-for-profit colleges, according to a new study by authors affiliated with the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment (CAPSEE). They also carry heavier debt burdens and are more likely to default on their student loans.
Over the past decades, for-profit colleges have experienced explosive growth in enrollment, with numbers increasing from 18,333 in 1970 to 1.85 million in 2009. Currently, for profit students make up 13 percent of all college attendees, up from 5 percent in 2001.
However, until now, student outcomes for these institutions have been poorly understood, not least because the students they serve are not always analogous to those who attend public and non-profit colleges. The analysis found that for-profit colleges serve a larger fraction of students who tend to struggle in college: minority, older, and independent students who are disproportionately single parents, have lower family incomes and are twice as likely to have a GED.
To ensure comparable results, the study—which used data from the 2004 to 2009 Beginning Postsecondary Students (BPS) longitudinal survey—controlled for observable student characteristics such as income, age and ethnicity. The analysis indicated that students who attend for-profit schools are more likely to persist through their first year and to earn certificates and associate degrees than their counterparts at community colleges. However, despite these higher completion rates, for-profit students are more likely to experience long term unemployment and report less satisfaction with their education in the six years after they enroll.
The poor employment and earning outcomes of for-profit students may explain their high rates of loan defaults. Currently, 26 percent of all federal student aid goes to for-profit tuition, making up three quarters of the sector’s revenue. The researchers found that almost 25 percent of for-profit students default on their loans within three years. This rate is 10.5 percent higher than that of similar students who attend public or non-profit institutions and accounts for almost half of all student loan defaults. http://capseecenter.org/for-profit-college-students-less-likely-to-be-employed-after-graduation-and-have-lower-earnings-new-study-finds/

See, Study: For-Profit Colleges Offer Weak Job Prospects, Pay http://www.educationnews.org/higher-education/study-for-profit-colleges-offer-weak-job-prospects-pay/

Here is the citation:

The For-Profit Postsecondary School Sector: Nimble Critters or Agile Predators? (A CAPSEE Working Paper)
By: David Deming, Claudia Goldin, and Lawrence F. Katz| February 2012 http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.26.1.139

The conclusions of this report have been echoed in prior reports. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/26/scary-study-about-what-happens-to-for-profit-college-graduates/
A study by the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment finds that students who transfer to for-profit colleges from community college have lower earnings.

Paul Fain reported in the Inside Higher Ed article, For-Profit Wage Gap:

Community college students who transfer to for-profit institutions tend to earn less over the next decade than do their peers who transfer to public or private colleges.
Those are the findings from a study released Monday by the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment, a research center that was created with a federal grant and is housed at the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Columbia University’s Teachers College.
In recent years several researchers have attempted to look at the relative labor market returns of attending for-profits, which is also a hot topic among policy makers.
There are many variables at play – such as the relatively low academic preparation of incoming for-profit students versus their peers at traditional colleges. And the results from those research efforts have ranged from largely unflattering to a mixed view of for-profits.
This new study, however, may be the first to analyze earnings gaps at various points before and after students attend college, as well as while they’re still enrolled.
It also controlled for the effects of student “swirl” in the complex higher education system by looking at transfer among a large sample of 80,000 full-time community college students who first enrolled in the early to mid-2000s.
Over all, the research found that students who transferred to for-profits earned roughly 7 percent less over the next decade than students who transferred to private or public nonprofit institutions, according to income data culled from unemployment insurance data dated from up to 2012.
“We identify a statistically significant wage penalty from enrolling in a for-profit institution,” wrote the study’s coauthors, Vivian Yuen Ting Liu, a senior research assistant at the CCRC, and Clive Belfield, an associate professor of economics at Queens College, which is part of the City University of New York System.
“This penalty appears consistent across subgroups of students, although it is greatest for for-profit students who did not complete an award,” they wrote. “For-profit students gain least over the longer term. Extended over a working life, the differences become much greater.”
Work and study
The research was based on cohorts of students who attended community colleges in two statewide systems.
Among students from the first group, which included data from a longer time range, there were stark differences in the earnings gains one decade after transfer. Students who attended for-profits had a net wage bump of $5,400 over that decade. But public college students saw a $12,300 gain and private college students earned $26,700 more (in 2010 dollars).
The results were more mixed for the second cohort of students, who attended community colleges in a different state.
In that group, students who transferred to a for-profit sometimes earned more than their peers who transferred to other institutions. For example, both men and women who transferred to for-profits earned an average of 18 percent more than students who transferred to public colleges.
One reason for the discrepancy was that the second group was tracked over a shorter period of time. Those students first enrolled in community college a few years earlier than the other, larger group, and therefore had less time in the labor market.
Additionally, students fared better while they were enrolled in for-profits, according to the study.
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/01/28/earnings-lag-community-college-students-who-transfer-profits#ixzz2rpHerPLB

Citation:

The Labor Market Returns to For-Profit Higher Education: Evidence for Transfer Students (A CAPSEE Working Paper)
January 2014

This study examines the labor market gains for students who enrolled at for-profit colleges after beginning their postsecondary education in community college. We use student-level administrative record data from college transcripts, Unemployment Insurance earnings data, and progression data from the National Student Clearinghouse across full entry cohorts of community college students in two statewide systems between 2001 and 2006. We calculate the wage gains to attainment across different student transfer patterns.

We find significant wage penalties to transfer to a for-profit college instead of a public or private nonprofit college. This earnings gap between higher education sectors is consistent but varies in size across subsamples of students. Importantly, it is only identifiable with a sufficient time window across which enrollment and earnings data are available. Students in for-profit colleges have lower opportunity costs in terms of foregone earnings while enrolled in college, but these do not sufficiently compensate for lower earnings growth post-college.
Download the paper: The Labor Market Returns to For-Profit Higher Education: Evidence for Transfer Students
http://capseecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2014/01/labor-market-returns-to-for-profit-higher-education.pdf

CAPSEE project: Project 6: The Role of the For-Profit Sector in Higher Education
http://capseecenter.org/project-6-the-role-of-the-for-profit-sector-in-higher-education/

Here is the press release from Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment:

Community College Students Who Transfer to For-Profit Colleges Earn Less, New Study Finds
Community college students who transfer to for-profit colleges earn less than students who transfer to public or private nonprofit colleges, concludes a new study from the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment (CAPSEE).
The study is the first to examine the income effects of transferring to a for-profit college from a community college. Earlier studies, including a recent study from CAPSEE, have compared earnings for students who attend community colleges and for-profit colleges and found that students who attend for-profit colleges are less likely to be employed after college and earn less on average than community college students.
For this study, CAPSEE researchers analyzed the earnings of 80,000 first-time, degree-seeking students who enrolled in community college during the 2000s and transferred to another college or university. Student incomes were tracked via state unemployment insurance data through the beginning of 2012.
The study found that there were significant differences in the community college students who chose to transfer to a for-profit institution: Black and Hispanic students, and students who performed poorly and accrued fewer credits at the community college were far more likely to transfer to a for-profit than a nonprofit or public college.
Even when controlling for these differences in student characteristics, however, the study found that students who transferred to for-profit colleges earned 6–7 percent less than students who transferred to nonprofit or public institutions.
The study also found that students who transferred to for-profit colleges had higher earnings whilst in college. Students who attended for-profit colleges saw a decline in income of $130–$270 per quarter; by comparison, the decline in income for students enrolled in public colleges was four times larger, and the decline for students at nonprofit colleges was ten times larger. This difference—the lower ‘opportunity cost’ of attending for-profit colleges—may explain why these colleges are attractive to low-income students.
However, the earning gains after leaving college were significantly higher for public and nonprofit college students. Over time these gains more than offset the ‘opportunity cost’ differences. Looking over ten years, for-profit students experienced net earnings gains of only $5,400, whereas public and nonprofit college students experienced gains of $12,300 and $26,700 respectively. These figures do not account for the higher tuition costs at for-profit colleges.
The wage penalty for transferring to a for-profit college was consistent across subgroups of students, although the penalty was greatest for for-profit students who did not complete a degree.
Bookmark the permalink.

Victor Hugo said it best when dealing with many for-profit colleges:

Caution is the eldest child of wisdom
Victor Hugo

Resources:

College accreditation – U.S. Department of Education
http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/

College Accreditation: Frequently Asked Questions
http://www.back2college.com/library/accreditfaq.htm

Ask questions before deciding on a for-profit college [Video]
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2011/02/questions-deciding-for-profit-college-video.html

For Profit Colleges: Get the Facts
http://www.education.com/magazine/article/for-profit-colleges/

Related:

Buyer beware of some for-profit colleges
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/buyer-beware-of-some-for-profit-colleges/

For-profit colleges: Money buys government, not quality for students https://drwilda.com/2011/12/12/for-profit-colleges-money-buys-government-not-quality-for-students/

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http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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Century Foundation report: Community colleges risk being ‘separate and unequal’ part of education institutions

28 May

The Century Foundation has completed a long-term study of community colleges and one of the findings is the United States is developing a two-tier education system which is unequal.

Tamar Levin of the New York Times reported on the trend of community colleges offering four year degrees in the 2009 article, Community Colleges Challenge Hierarchy With 4-Year Degrees More people are switching careers several times during their working career and that means that they must be retrained. Many students cannot afford a traditional four year college either in terms of cost or time spent away from home. Community colleges have always offered these students educational opportunity. See, Robert Franco’s The Civic Role of Community Colleges: Preparing Students for the Work of Democracy

Community colleges were created to democratize both American higher education and the students who came through their open doors (Brint and Karabel 1989; Gleazer 1994). However, some observers have argued that community colleges have become overly focused on diverting students into low- and mid-level occupations and that they have not played a major role in transforming perpetuated structures of inequality. With a rapid growth trajectory, America’s 1,166 community colleges now serve increasingly diverse populations. Community college leaders need to recommit to three essential missions: developing strong transfer programs that provide students with equal educational opportunities; preparing students for twenty-first century careers; and preparing students for the work of democracy in the world’s dominant democracy. Service-learning is the leading pedagogy that community colleges can employ to achieve these missions and truly become civically engaged campuses in the communities they serve.

Daniel de Vise has a great article in the Washington Post, 25 Ways to Reduce the Cost of College which reports online information from the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. Going to a community college is one way to reduce the cost of college.

Goldie Blumenstyk writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education article, 2-Year Colleges Are at Risk of ‘Separate and Unequal’ Future, Report Says:

Community colleges “are in great danger of becoming indelibly separate and unequal institutions in the higher-education landscape,” a Century Foundation task force warns in a report being released here on Thursday. To deal with what it calls “the increasing economic and racial isolation of students” at community colleges, the group also calls for major changes in how two-year colleges are financed and operated.

Among its recommendations, the group urges states and the federal government to provide additional funds to two-year colleges that serve the neediest students, much in the way the federal Title I program works for elementary and secondary schools. In states where constitutional guarantees of education might extend to higher education, the report suggests that advocates even consider filing lawsuits to require such “adequate funding” of community colleges.

To “bring greater clarity to all types of public support for higher education,” the report also asks the U.S. Departments of Education and of the Treasury to jointly study how tax exemptions for donations to colleges and for institutions’ endowment earnings indirectly subsidize colleges—an effort that would highlight how such policies disproportionately benefit wealthier four-year institutions. http://chronicle.com/article/2-Year-Colleges-Are-at-Risk-of/139445/?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Here is information from the Century Foundation:

Bridging the Higher Education Divide

May 23, 2013 COMMENTARY BY: The Century Foundation

Task Force: Community Colleges on Path to “Separate and Unequal”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Century Foundation today released the final report of a task force convened in February 2012 to study the country’s community colleges and make recommendation for their sustainability and improvement. The report was released at an event featuring task force co-chairs Eduardo Padrón (president of Miami-Dade College in Florida) and Anthony Marx (former president of Amherst College in Massachusetts and president of the New York Public Library), as well as the U.S. undersecretary of education, Martha Kanter.

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Contact: Derek Newton

May 23, 2013

212 452 7725

Newton@TCF.org

TASK FORCE: COMMUNITY COLLEGES ON PATH TO “SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL”

The Century Foundation Releases Final Report of Community College Task Force

WASHINGTON, D.C.

The Century Foundation (www.TCF.org) today released the final report of a task force convened in February 2012 to study the country’s community colleges and make recommendation for their sustainability and improvement. The report was released at an event featuring task force co chairs Eduardo Padrón (president of Miami Dade College in Florida) and Anthony Marx (former president of Amherst College in Massachusetts and president of the New York Public Library), as well as the U.S. undersecretary of education, Martha Kanter.

We were fortunate to have some of the brightest and most experienced thinkers and practitioners in higher education on the task force,” said Century Foundation senior fellow Richard D. Kahlenberg, executive director of the group , which was funded by the Ford Foundation. ” While a lot of great work is already being done on community colleges, what distinguishes this group is its commitment to addressing growing economic and racial stratification in higher education that makes the work of two year institutions so difficult.”

Among the report’s findings is a high noncompletion rate among community college students:

Eighty one percent of students entering community college for the first time saying they eventually want to transfer and earn at least a bachelor’s degree but just 12 percent do so within six years.

Among low income students with “high” qualifications for college (those who have completed “at least Trigonometry”), 69 percent of students who began in a four year institution earned a bachelor’s degree, compared with just 19 percent of those who started in a community college.

The report also highlights the comparative lack of investment in community colleges, even though they enroll, educate, and train a larger and more diverse population than any other segment of higher education:

More than 60 percent of community college students receive some developmental/remedial education, at an estimated cost of $2 billion per year. While wealthy students outnumber poor students at the most selective four year colleges by 14:1, community colleges educate twice as many low income students as high income students.

Between 1999 and 2009, community college funding increased just one dollar per student, while per student funding at private research universities jumped almost $14,000.

We are proud of our mission and success as an open door to educational achievement and workforce success,” said task force co chair Padrón. “But community colleges lack adequate resources. They will continue to play an enormous role in our country, and policy makers need to step up to help.” In addition to confronting the challenges faced by community colleges, the task force commissioned three original academic research papers and made specific policy recommendations. Those eight recommendations – to improve funding of community colleges and reduce racial and economic stratification between two and four year institutions –are:

Adopting a federal “adequacy based” funding formula in higher education similar to federal and state programs for K–12 schools that will make extra resources available to schools and populations with the highest poverty and remediation needs, and that otherwise need the most assistance.

Establishing greater transparency in public financial subsidies to higher education.

Encouraging growth in redesigned institutions that facilitate connections between community and four year colleges.

Taking concrete steps to improve community college transfers to four year institutions

Encouraging innovations such as Honors Programs to build more inclusive and diverse student populations in community colleges.

Promoting innovations in early college programs that enhance community college diversity.

Prioritizing funding for new programs at economically and racially isolated community colleges.

Incentivizing four year institutions to engage in affirmative action for low wealth students.

It’s not just about funding. Four year colleges have a great role to play here —especially the highly selective ones,” said Marx. “When we created transfer positions at Amherst for community college graduates, we learned that those who came from two year schools had higher GPA and completion rates than our overall student body.”

The complete task force report and background research papers are here:

http://tcf.org/bookstore/detail/bridgingthe higher education divide

Twenty two members served on the task force. A complete list is here:

http://tcf.org/work/education/detail/centuryfoundationconvenesnationaltaskforcetorecommendwaystostreng

Founded in 1919, The Century Foundation has offices in New York City and Washington, D.C., and is one of America’s oldest think tanks

More information about The Century Foundation is here:

www.TCF.org

Jennifer Gonzalez reports in the Education Week article, Multiyear Study of Community-College Practices Asks: What Helps Students Graduate?

The first of three reports, “A Matter of Degrees: Promising Practices for Community College Student Success” was released last week. It draws attention to 13 strategies for increasing retention and graduation rates, including fast-tracking remedial education, providing students with experiential learning, and requiring students to attend orientation.

The strategies specified in the report are not new. In fact, many of them can be found at two-year colleges right now. But how well those strategies are working to help students stay in college and graduate is another matter. The report found peculiarities among responses on similar topics, suggesting a disconnect between institutions and students, while also raising questions about how committed institutions are to their own policies and programs.

For example, 74 percent of students said they were required to take academic-placement tests, but only 28 percent said they used materials or resources provided by the college to prepare for those tests. While 44 percent of participating colleges report offering some sort of test preparation, only 13 percent make test preparation mandatory, the report said.

Also, 42 percent of part-time students and 19 percent of full-time students work more than 30 hours per week. More than half care for dependents. But only 26 percent of entering students reported that a college staff member counseled them about how many courses to take while balancing commitments outside of class.

Colleges need to figure out a way to better align their programs and policies with the needs and realities of their students, Ms. McClenney says. The report found a sizable gap between the percentage of students who plan to graduate and those who actually do, suggesting that what colleges think works may not be helping retain and graduate students. In fact, fewer than half (45 percent) of entering community-college students actually graduate with either a certificate or associate degree within six years after enrolling at an institution, according to the report….

Requiring Success

This is the first time that the research organization has analyzed data from four surveys and combined the results into a multiyear project. The responses came from the Community College Survey of Student Engagement, the Survey of Entering Student Engagement, the Community College Faculty Survey of Student Engagement, and the newly created Community College Institutional Survey….

A major stumbling block for community-college students is remedial education. Many students languish in those reading, writing, or math classes and eventually drop out, curtailing their transfer or graduation plans. The problem is especially acute among minorities and low-income students.

But the report says that among institutions that have accelerated or fast-tracked remedial courses, only 13 percent require students to enroll in those courses. That’s a missed opportunity, because earlier research suggests that students who take those intensive classes perform equally as well as, or better than, students in traditional remedial education.

The report found similar results regarding orientation services, which include providing students with information on navigating the library and finding support services such as academic and mental-health counseling. Previous research shows that participation in orientation leads to greater use of support services and improved retention of at-risk students, the report says. However, among colleges that offer orientation programs, only 38 percent report that they require it for all first-time students. http://chronicle.com/article/Community-College-Study-Asks-/130606/

Ashley Marchand writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education about strategies which can help community college students succeed.

In 6 Strategies Can Help Entering Community-College Students Succeed, Marchand reports:

The six benchmarks listed in the report offer staff members and administrators ideas about how to help more students stay in college and graduate or transfer. They are fostering “college readiness” programs for high-school students, connecting early with students, encouraging faculty and staff members to have high expectations for students, providing a clear academic path, engaging students in the learning process, and maintaining an academic and social-support network. http://chronicle.com/article/6-Strategies-Can-Help-Entering/64871/

In the article, Community Colleges Address Financial Barriers to Success For Low-income Students which was published in the Sacramento Bee:

Of the close to 8 million credit students annually attending community colleges, 46% currently receive some form of financial aid (state, federal, or institutional). The additional benefits the students might access through BACC include a range of federal programs, such as those that provide health insurance, food, and child care. Such support services are especially critical for community college students, many of whom juggle work, studies, and family responsibilities. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/08/4248177/community-colleges-address-financial.html

Given the numbers of students attending community college and the population demographic, more must be done to help this students graduate.

Related:

What the ACT college readiness assessment means                                            https://drwilda.com/2012/08/25/what-the-act-college-readiness-assessment-means/

Study: What skills are needed for ’21st-century learning?’                                      https://drwilda.com/2012/07/11/study-what-skills-are-needed-for-21st-century-learning/

ACT to assess college readiness for 3rd-10th Grades                                        https://drwilda.com/2012/07/04/act-to-assess-college-readiness-for-3rd-10th-grades/

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