Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Study Compares Results: For-Profits and Non-Profits

Researchers found graduates of for-profit schools have weaker employment outcomes and higher debt loads than students at non-profits, but the study results are considered preliminary and not the "final word" on the relative effectiveness of the two programs. A draft report is here.

Committee on Measures of Student Success

A federal education committee recommends including transfers in community college completion rates, a move expected to improve the overall completion rates of these institutions by nearly double. Community colleges generally endorsed the proposal, but the approach also drew criticism as "performance inflation." The committee's report may be found here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Community college outcomes discussion

A committee has recommended updates to the ways the U.S. Department of Education collects data on outcomes for 2-year colleges. This article presents the discussion and debate. And this article presents the latest recommendations.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Massachusetts CCs: More Workforce Focus Needed

The head of the Boston Federal Reserve Bank asks state community colleges to expand contract training for local high-tech manufacturers to boost local economy. See article here.

End of Earmark-backed Postsecondary Research Programs

Universities have benefited for years from the non-competitive system of congressional earmarks, but now that Congress has banned them, these universities will be entering the "clubby" world of competitive grant funding:href="" >News: Earmarks Mean Colleges Turn to Competitive Grants

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

FERPA Used to Block Tracking Student Data

In SRI's work, we have suddenly begun seeing community college faculty cite FERPA when we request even anonymous student data, such as classroom work with a student's name blotted out. This was all baffling to us, and then we saw this report. Apparently FERPA has wound up in the center of a tug-o'-war between the U.S. Department of Education and higher education institutions. The education department seeks to create databases that track students from one level of education to another and then into the workforce. Such data are considered a primary way to see how well different institutions prepare students "in aggregate." One of the best tracking approaches involves seeing how students educated at one institution perform at the next level of education. Privacy advocates are raising the heat, but it does appear much light, on this matter--hence the responses we're seeing from faculty.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

News: Community College If You Can Pay - Inside Higher Ed

Two Southern California community colleges support a bill to create a two-tiered tuition system, charging more for non-credit courses and courses taken by 4-year students transferring credits to their home institutions. The faculty union opposes the proposal over concerns about charging different costs for different courses and students, but supporters say it will help colleges offer more classes in a timely way to the neediest students. Regular courses currently cost $34 per unit, and the change would charge $100 per unit for the high-tier courses and students. The system is currently not receiving enough funds from the state to meet enrollment needs and the state budget crisis has forced cutbacks. See story here: News: Community College If You Can Pay - Inside Higher Ed

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

News: Online Ed Trends at Community Colleges - Inside Higher Ed

The number of community colleges offering online or hybrid courses goes up, and quality evaluation, faculty training, and assessment continue to be the primary challenges: News: Online Ed Trends at Community Colleges - Inside Higher Ed

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Student Success: ATE Program Report

The National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education program issues a report on goals in various technological education programs. The report spotlights ideas of how to measure student success suggested in forum sessions at last fall's annual principal investigators' meeting. Most of the outcomes focus on completion rates, reports of student success on the job through contacts on social networks or hiring data from employers, a focus on industry standards, and forms of student assessment, such as results on certification and credentialing exams, program portfolios, and pre-post tests of student employability.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Personal attention boosts college success rates

An article from the Community College Times underscores the importance of personal attention around academics and financial aid in improving students' success rates: Personal attention boosts college success rates

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Making Community Colleges Friendly to Laid-off Baby Boomers

Several community colleges are participating in an initiative to make midlife, post-layoff retraining more palatable: Welcoming Baby Boomers on Campus

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Student Learning Not in the Community College Rankings

Efforts to rank the top 10 percent of 1,200 community colleges based on a federal data have drawn criticism since they are not based on direct measures of student learning and they depress the status of "transfer focused" colleges: Whose Top 10%?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

So Far, So Good for Trial Measures - Inside Higher Ed

A discussion on the American Association of Community Colleges' (AACC) Voluntary Framework for Accountability So Far, So Good for Trial Measures - Inside Higher Ed reveals that colleges find it useful, but challenging to collect the data.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

News: Retrieving the Dream - Inside Higher Ed

The Lumina Foundation supports a renewed focus on faculty, including part-timers, to improve developmental education success. See article here: News: Retrieving the Dream - Inside Higher Ed

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Post-secondary Assessment in the News

The Chronicle of Higher Education published a series on the importance of measuring student learning. Find it here.The Lumina Foundation publishes a report on an alternative way of measuring college outcomes, The Degree Qualifications Profile. See Lumina's Tuning USA project results in which faculty committees come together to agree on primary outcomes. Here's an example from Utah.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

AACC's Voluntary Framework for Accountability

The leading lobbying organization for the 1,200 U.S. community colleges released this winter a list of new ways to track their students' progress. The list includes data outcomes that are better aligned with the mission of these colleges. This mission does not solely focus on graduation, but on transfers to 4-year universities and completion of work credentials and certificates. The outcomes may be found here and the pilot campuses using the measures may be found here. Preliminary results are expected at next month's convention of the American Association of Community Colleges.

Friday, March 4, 2011

College presidents report cost-cutting strategies

Inside Higher Ed study shows 4-year college presidents trimming support and full-time staff, some programs, and raising fees, but stopping short of using online technology, forced retirement, and cuts to faculty pensions and benefits to work within tighter budgets. Community colleges and for-profits use more online programs and part-time faculty to control costs. Some worry that college presidents fail to see permanence of downturn in funding.

Friday, February 18, 2011

For profits secure House opposition to "gainful"

House Republicans joined minority Democrats in opposing Secretary Duncan's legislation requiring for profits and public vocational programs to show graduates can earn "gainful employment" that is adequate for repaying school loans. See article. The measure, which is tacked on to legislation to extend funding for the federal government, appears headed for a Senate or White House veto.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dream On - Inside Higher Ed

The final evaluation from MDRC on Achieving the Dream finds minimal long-term improvements in college persistence and completion resulting from engaging colleges in trying several interventions concurrently and improving data reporting processes. Evaluation recommends narrower focus on specific interventions emphasizing closer work with faculty and students in the classroom.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

News: Disruption, Delivery and Degrees - Inside Higher Ed

A Harvard scholar claims that the higher education model will be transformed by expanding access to online learning systems.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

House explores cutting Trade Adjustment Act

A House Republican has introduced a bill to cut funding for community college training programs for workers whose jobs have been outsourced. See story in the Community College Times.

Monday, January 24, 2011

For-Profit Colleges Open Another Front - Inside Higher Ed

This story summarizes a lawsuit filed by the leading for-profit college trade group to block new federal laws aimed at these colleges: For-Profit Colleges Open Another Front - Inside Higher Ed

Thursday, January 6, 2011

States not linking Common Core to Undergrad Programs

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Instructional Technology Council

Instructional Technology Council (ITC) is an association serving distance educators that offers a venue for sharing design ideas and instructional approaches.

Community College Times

A report in Community College Times discusses a successful program for dislocated workers at Lorain County Community College in Ohio.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

For profit College Partners with Private 4-year

Inside Higher Ed describes a new model of having a for-profit college handle the first two years of college and then transfer students to 4-year colleges, particularly a private college in Ohio. This approach involves online courses and personal counselors who check in with students every week. The success rate is high so far.