Updates from The SOURCE on Community College  
Issues, Trends & Strategies     


Published by
The Roueche Graduate Center, National American University   
in partnership with Lorenzo Associates, Inc.
"Research is what I'm doing when
I don't know what I'm doing."  - Wernher von Braun
VOLUME 5, ISSUE 17 - October 4, 2015 
In This Issue



09/24/2015: How Higher Ed Can Up Its Game: 3 Big Ideas, by Elissa Nadworny, NPR Ed - Take a big room in Manhattan with more than 100 people, all of them fired up about education. Add some dramatic lighting and booming PA announcements, and you've got last week's New York Times Schools for Tomorrow conference. And everybody there, from university presidents to ed tech startups, was talking about how higher education is changing.

09/24/2015: Mapping the Market for Higher Education, by Beth Akers and Adela Soliz, Brookings - Students shopping for a college can now log on to the College Scorecard and see earnings information alongside other important factors, such as cost and graduation rate. The availability of this data makes it possible for consumers of higher education to use a cost-benefit framework to make savvier decisions about college. Simply put, they can compare the upfront cost of tuition to the benefits that they are likely to receive in the form of heightened future wages.

09/22/2015: Education Gap Between Rich and Poor Is Growing Wider, by Eduardo Porter, The New York Times - For all the progress in improving educational outcomes among African-American children, the achievement gaps between more affluent and less privileged children is wider than ever, notes Sean Reardon of the Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford. Racial disparities are still a stain on American society, but they are no longer the main divider. Today the biggest threat to the American dream is class.

09/20/2015: What We Still Don't Know About Higher Education, by WP BrandStudio, The Washington Post, BrandConnect - We know that over 20 million students are expected to attend American colleges and universities this fall. But we don't know enough about who these students are, how likely they are to succeed at earning their degrees, and whether they will be able to get good enough jobs to pay back their debt. Here, we investigate what is known, and what still we need to know, about today's students so we can help more of them realize their college dreams.

09/20/2015: Receiving Your Doctorate to Work... at a Community College?, by DeWitt Smith, Inside Higher Ed - While this career path is admirable, many graduate students have come to realize that it is not the only path for Ph.D. graduates.  There are a myriad of other ways in which Ph.D. recipients can use their degrees and genius to benefit society.  Alt-ac careers have become viable options, as well as K-12 administration, and the non-profit sector.

09/15/2015: 17% Of Community Colleges Are Not Included In College Scorecard, by Phil Hill, e-Literate - In addition to the highly-misleading usage of 'first-time full-time' qualification for official graduate rates reported in the College Scorecard, there appears to be another major issue with the data. In particular, the Education Department (ED) is using a questionable method of determining whether an institution is degree-granting rather than relying on the IPEDS data source. In a nutshell, if an institution awarded more certificates than degrees, then it is not labeled as "predominantly awarded 2-year or 4-year degrees" and therefore excluded.

09/2015: Changing Community Colleges, by Jean Baldwin Grossman, Janet Quint, Jessica Gingrich, Oscar Cerna, John Diamond, Andrew Levine and Jacklyn Willard, MDRC - This brief aims to provide college and higher education system leaders, as well as concerned funders and policymakers, with a framework for thinking about systemic change.

09/2015: Federal Agencies Investing in Hispanic Education, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics - Approximately one in four K-12 public school students in the U.S. is Latino. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Hispanic population will more than double, from approximately 54 million in 2012 to approximately 129 million in 2060. Thus, the future of the nation is inextricably linked to the future of the Hispanic community. In order to support and advance their educational attainment, Latinos must have access to and participation in quality education. Many agencies across the Federal government have helped strengthen the nation by expanding educational opportunities and improving educational outcomes for all, including Latinos.

09/2015: Promise Unmet, by Judah Bellin, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research - As worries over Americans' workforce skills persist, community colleges have reemerged as a potential solution. The country's 1,132 community colleges - two year, not-for-profit public colleges - are designed to provide lower-income students with an entryway into traditional four-year colleges, as well as offer career training.

08/27/2015: New Research Finds Gap Between Postsecondary Certificate and Degree Holders and Projected Workforce Requirements, College Success - We hope the report will raise awareness around the urgent need to close the attainment gap between Arizona and states we compete with, and to provide to state education leaders, lawmakers, and policy makers the essential information to understand the importance of increasing the number of degree and certificate earners in the state.  

To view our entire Miscellaneous Resources section, click here.
09/2015: Impact Revealed: Learner Outcomes in Open Online Courses, by Coursera, University of Pennsylvania and University of Washington, Coursera - Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Washington, and Coursera conducted an inaugural study of career and educational outcomes for learners in open online courses. Learners from across the globe, all at least three months past completing an open online course on Coursera, shared their experiences in a detailed research survey.

To view our entire Statistics-Oriented Resources section, click here.
Online Education
09/22/2015: Competency-Based Education (CBE) Experiment Reference Guide, U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid - The Department encourages innovation in this experiment. It intends to take an expansive view in considering whether a program constitutes CBE and to minimize existing limitations on how programs must be provided to the extent possible.

09/19/2015: The Online College That Credits Life Experience, by Nancy Cook, The Atlantic - The university opened its electronic doors in 1999 and now teaches 60,000 students nationwide in all 50 states; another 50,000 have graduated. The rates of completion are one area in which university officials would like to improve. According to WGU, roughly 40 percent of its students complete their degree within six years. That's only two-thirds as many as for students at four-year institutions, according to federal Education Department data.
To view our entire Online Education section, click here.
College Readiness
09/24/2015: Giving High School Students a Head Start on College, by Jennifer Fenn Lefferts, Boston Globe, College Bound - The Department of Higher Education recently awarded grants to 24 community college and university campuses through the Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Partnership to expand the program and target specific student populations. The idea of the program is to ease the transition from high school to college, allow students to get a head start on their college careers, and challenge students who otherwise may not have access to an early college experience. The ultimate goal is to increase the population of high school graduates who are college ready.

09/08/2015: High School is Too Old School, by Amy Scott, Marketplace - Powell Jobs is best known in most circles as the wife of the late Steve Jobs, but she's also made a mark as an education philanthropist. A group she co-founded called College Track has helped send thousands of disadvantaged high school students to college. The new campaign is dubbed XQ: The Super School Project.

To view our entire College Readiness section, click here.
Remedial Education
09/25/2015: Opportunity Doesn't Knock for All, by Ellen Magnis, HuffPost, Education - Basic guidance is woefully scarce for low-income students. They are dramatically underserved by high school guidance counselors, through no fault of their own. High schools serving predominately low-income and minority students have student to counselor ratios twice the national average -1,000 students per counselor versus 470 students per counselor.

08/28/2015: Postsecondary Trending Now: It Takes a Village (Make That a City), by Nancy Millichap, Educause - Cities are joining forces with the colleges and universities that call them home in "Community Partnerships for Attainment," with Lumina Foundation support. Lumina's aim in funding this program is to develop place-based partnerships among political leaders, the business community, and education institutions at both the secondary and post-secondary levels, along with other entities like organizations that support youth, local foundations, college access networks, and community organizations.

To view our entire Remedial Education section, click here.
College Completion
college completion
09/24/2015: Can Ivy Tech Attain 800% Improvement?, by Seth Slabaugh, The Star Press - Bowing to pressure from the state, the East Central Indiana region of Ivy Tech Community College is planning to increase its on-time graduation rate by 800 percent.
09/24/2015: How Financial Need Sways Graduation Rates - and Which Schools Beat the Odds, by Nick Anderson, The Washington Post - The study from the nonprofit Education Trust, released Thursday, provides what is perhaps the clearest picture to date of how individual colleges and universities nationwide perform in helping Pell-eligible students reach their goal: earning a diploma.
09/2015: Paving the Path to College Completion, by Matt Zalaznick, University Business - Community colleges have to reduce reliance on remedial education and better advise students against randomly choosing courses that won't lead to an associate's degree or successful transfer to a four-year institution, says Davis Jenkins, a senior research associate at Columbia University's Community College Research Center.

To view our entire College Completion section, click here.
Back to 'In This Issue'
Workforce Development
09/28/2015: Higher Education: Lifetime Training or a Path to the Next Job?, by Tara García Mathewson, EducationDive - The number of video game design programs has increased dramatically in recent years, responding to demand from students more than demand from employers. Many of these programs are at the community college level, giving students associate degrees to take into the job market. The problem is, there were only 6,000 jobs posted in video game design last year.

09/23/2015: Many College Graduates Not Equipped for Workplace Success, by Brandon Busteed and Sean Seymour, Gallup - Employers make a lot of assumptions about the value of a degree. But do they really know how to assess the quality of graduates' college experiences -- or how those experiences influence how prepared these graduates are to be engaged, productive employees?

09/22/2015: Which Skills are Most Important on the Job and Which Skills are in Short Supply?, by Monica Herk, Committee for Economic Development - CED recently surveyed our membership  to explore which skills and knowledge were most important to being hired by their organizations and which skill sets were hardest to hire for.
To view our entire Workforce Development section, click here.
Technology Adoption
09/28/2015: U of Arizona Experiments With Multiple Classroom Configurations, by Michael Hart, Campus Technology - The University of Arizona has revamped a classroom in its Honors College to experiment with state-of-the-art classroom configurations. Steelcase is working with a group of K-12 and post-secondary schools to study how it can leverage physical classroom space to implement active learning initiatives.

09/28/2015: Hey, Kids, Text Your Way to Cheaper College Bills, by Joy Resmovits, LA Times - That exchange marked the early phases of an experiment to help get more high school students into college by giving them resources where they're most comfortable: their phones.

09/14/2015: Can Higher Education Innovators Help Transform Teaching and Learning?, by Colin Wood, Center for Digital Education - Universities in Idaho, Maryland and Florida, along with a nonprofit, have created innovative education programs and solved problems many colleges struggle with.

To view our entire Technology Adoption section, click here.
Data Analysis & Assessment
09/22/2015: Improving Data on Higher Education, by Kevin J. James and  Andrew P. Kelly, American Enterprise Institute - the Administration's new Scorecard offers a look at new data not previously available to the public, most notably the median earnings of alumni from individual colleges ten years after they began their studies. The new data are both available to consumers via a redesigned website and to researchers in a more detailed dataset. Now that the data are posted, outside entities are free to develop their own tools to help students find the right school for them - in fact, some already have.

09/18/2015: Why the U.S. Needs Better Student Data, by Amy Laitinen, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Commentary - The data aren't perfect and will in the coming days, weeks, and months be questioned, tested, and improved. Some of the limitations are a result of the department's decisions on what to include, like reporting the combined earnings of those who graduated and those who didn't. That, presumably, can be changed if institutions make the case to the department to disaggregate them.   
To view our entire Data Analysis & Assessment section, click here.
Back to 'In This Issue'
Funding & Economics
09/24/2015: The Pell Partnership: Ensuring a Shared Responsibility for Low-Income Student Success, by Andrew Nichols, The Education Trust - Written for policymakers, researchers, students and their families, The Pell Partnership gives a full view of Pell Grant graduation rates at nearly 1,150 institutions, including an analysis of the national completion gap and best practices at institutions that are serving low-income students quite well.

09/24/2015: Applying for Financial Aid Is About to Get Easier, by Susan Dynarski, The New York Times, The Upshot - The federal government streamlined and simplified the Fafsa (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid), which is the gatekeeper for all federal aid for college, including Pell grants and Stafford loans. The new approach also opens the door to eventually eliminating the Fafsa altogether.

To view our entire Funding & Economics section, click here.
Transfer & Articulation
09/22/2015: College Board Targets Latinos as Part of "All In" AP Campaign, The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine - "All In," a campaign from the College Board to encourage Latino students to enroll in AP courses, is in high gear. The campaign was developed after an analysis of most recent data showed thousands of Latino students who have demonstrated the potential to do well in AP courses are not enrolling in them - even when their schools offer those courses.

09/22/2015: Reverse Transfer Agreement: An Innovative Approach to College Completion, by Joianne Smith, The EvoLLLution - According to recent data from the National Student Clearinghouse, the community college students who transfer without having first completed an associate's degree are less likely to get a bachelor's degree than students who graduate from the community college first-56 percent versus 72 percent degree completion, respectively.

To view our entire Transfer & Articulation section, click here.
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