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.

"It's not what you look at that matters, 
it's what you see." - Henry David Thoreau  

Volume 6, Issue 6 - March 20, 2016    
In This Issue
03/14/2016: The Mismatch Myth, by Tameka Porter, The Hill - The mismatch hypothesis was recently discussed by the late Justice Antonin Scalia in the Fisher v. Texas oral arguments: "There are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well." He noted that mismatched - or more specifically, overmatched -  black students would have better outcomes if they attended "a slower-track school where they do well."

03/11/2016: College Degrees Are on the Rise, But Not Among Older Americans, by Josh Mitchell, The Wall Street Journal - The number of Americans earning an undergraduate degree - either a bachelor's or an associate's - reached 2.8 million last year, up 0.3% from 2012. The growth was due entirely to degree attainment by students under age 25, or those of traditional college age.

03/11/2016: Are Degrees From Elite Colleges Really A Ticket To Success?, by Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson, WBUR, Here & Now - Is a degree from an Ivy League or other elite university crucial to your future career? According to New York Times' columnist Frank Bruni, not as much as you might think.

03/10/2016: Sound of Ideas Segment: Community College Bachelor's Degree, 3+1 Degree Option, and College Credit Plus, WCPN, IdeaStream - Host Mike McIntyre, Host/Producer of "The Sound of Ideas" on WCPN, Cleveland's NPR, is joined by four community college presidents, Morris Beverage of Lakeland Community College, Roy Church of LCCC, Alex Johnson of Tri-C and Para Jones of Stark State College to discuss Governor Kasich's proposed series of higher education reforms for lawmakers to consider. Two of the proposals would allow students to earn a full bachelor's degree at a community college or spend three years at a community college and one at a public university for a degree.  Both proposals could save students thousands in tuition.

03/10/2016: AACU Report Shows the Trends Shaping Higher Education Today, by Eliana Osborn, GoodCall - A new report from the Association of American Colleges and Universities examines what school leaders see as current higher education trends. The national conversation about higher education focuses on costs, the role of test scores in admissions, and diversity issues. The AACU survey looks at things from the perspective of teaching and learning

03/10/2016: Rethinking Gen Ed, by Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed - A recent survey of provosts by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, for example, found that while many institutions were moving beyond basic distribution requirements in their general education designs, just 9 percent of respondents said they believed all students were aware of their desired learning outcomes.

03/09/2016: Editorial - Who Gets Into College?, Los Angeles Times - A new report from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, which offers some troubling recommendations for how colleges and universities should rethink admissions. The report, titled "Turning the Tide," rightly calls for leveling the playing field so that wealthy applicants don't have so much of an advantage over lower-income students. That's definitely a worthwhile objective. But the report's main goal is stated in its subtitle: "Inspiring Concern for Others and the Common Good through College Admissions." More than 70 deans of admissions and other college leaders have endorsed it.

03/09/2016: What Do Americans Think About Access to Education?, by Ronald Brownstein, The Atlantic - People support expanding pre-school for kids, but when it comes to free, public higher education, opinions split along more familiar political lines.

03/08/2016: Is 'Grit' Doomed To Be The New Self-Esteem?, by Anya Kamenetz, NPR Ed - In just a few short weeks, students in California will be taking high-stakes tests. But the tests won't just cover math, reading and science. Students will also be responding to survey statements like "I usually finish what I start," or "I can do anything if I try." A group of big-city districts there is among the first to try to measure students' self-control, empathy and other social and emotional skills - and to hold schools accountable for the answers.
Online Education
03/2016: The Death of "Online" Learning in Higher Ed, by Craig Weidemann and Karen Pollack, University Business - The question is no longer how online education compares to face-to-face learning, but rather whether the pedagogy enables the student to achieve the intended learning outcomes. The delivery mode is irrelevant.

College Readiness
03/2016: The College and Career Readiness of U.S. High School Graduates, Achieve - This report represents the first time that these data, from publicly available sources, have been compiled to paint a picture of college and career readiness in every state.1 For the most part, it shows that too few high school graduates are prepared to succeed in postsecondary education, the military, and careers.
Remedial Education
03/13/2016: How to Help First-Generation Students Succeed, by Mikhail Zinshteyn, The Atlantic - These students often are unaware of what's known as the "hidden curriculum" - the mix of bureaucratic know-how and sound study skills that can make or break a student's first year in college.

College Completion
college completion
03/10/2016: Despite Push To Get More Students Into College, Graduation Rates Remain Flat, by Kirk Carapezza, WGBH News, On Campus - "A growing percentage of the degrees are being awarded to students who already have a college degree," said Douglas Shapiro, executive research director at the National Student Clearinghouse, which produced the report. Shapiro says more and more students who already have an associate degree are going back to college to earn their BA or another credential or certificate.

01/21/2016: More College Degree Holders Could Double Arizona's Economic Growth, by Lisa Irish, AZEdNews -  Increasing the number of Arizona college graduates to meet future workforce needs could double the state's current economic growth rate, according to a recent report, "Doubling Arizona's Economic Growth: The Potential Fiscal and Social Gains from Increasing Postsecondary Attainment"  by College Success Arizona.

Back to 'In This Issue'
Workforce Development
03/12/2016: How Low Oil Prices Are Changing Career Plans At An Ohio College, by Noah Adams, NPR Ed - In the past, nearly every one of the program's graduates has scored a good job in the surging energy field. But not this year. As the price of oil has plummeted, companies are cutting back on production and expansion, and cutting into Marietta's placement rate.

03/11/2016: Should Institutions Have Better "Employer Leadership?", by Meris Stansbury, eCampus News - According to a Gallup survey cited by the brief, only 11 percent of business leaders perceive college graduates to be ready for work, whereas 96 percent of chief academic officers in colleges believe students are adequately prepared to start their careers. Even students noticed the disconnect, with only 35 percent feeling prepared to enter the workforce.    

03/10/2016: Earning a College Degree Means Having Skills Other Workers Don't Have, by Mikhail Zinshteyn, The Hechinger Report - A new federal study released March 9, 2016, suggests that adult workers with bachelor's degrees have job-related skills that other workers don't. But Americans still lag workers in other nations on tests of these skills.

02/2016: Prior Learning Assessment Practice Brief, Employment and Training Administration US DOL, Jobs For The Future - A recent webinar hosted by the TAACCCT Learning Network highlighted the work of three grantees that have made significant efforts to advance PLA: Northeast Mississippi Community College (NMCC), Southwest Wisconsin Technical College (SWTC) and the Gulf Coast IT Consortium; and subject matter experts from the National College Transition Network (NCTN).

Technology Adoption
03/08/2016: 5 "Maker" Apps That Give Students Post-college Skills, by Meris Stansbury, eCampus News - The "maker movement" - the push to have individuals construct functional products that are recreated and assembled using unused, discarded or broken electronic, plastic, silicon or virtually any raw material and/or product from a computer-related device - has considerable traction in the K-12 arena, and is gaining momentum in higher education (e.g. MIT's maker admissions) as demonstrable skills are becoming critical in a world grown tired of SAT scores and all-too-common bachelor degrees. Even the White House held a Maker Faire in 2015.

Data Analysis & Assessment
03/14/2016: First Semester GPA Predicts College Success Better Than Standardized Test Scores, by Eliana Osborn, GoodCall - Despite claims by the makers of the ACT and SAT, there may be a better way to forecast college student behavior. New research from the University of Illinois finds underrepresented populations' graduation rates can be gauged more accurately by grade point average.

03/14/2016: Evolving Higher Education Business Models: Leading with Data to Deliver Results, by Louis Soares, Patricia Steele and Lindsay Wayt, American Council on Education (ACE) - Anyone concerned about how colleges and universities can remain viable, and indeed thrive, in the face of today's many challenges should read this paper carefully. The ideas are profound and the recommendations are potential game-changers that challenge the conventional wisdom. They will help institutions transform themselves - in ways appropriate to twenty-first-century values, market conditions, and technology - to become better and more innovative.

03/11/2016: U.S. Young Adults Lag Behind International Peers, Inside Higher Ed - The National Center for Education Statistics released its assessment of young adults' skills yesterday and found American adults lag behind their international peers in numeracy and problem solving.

03/09/2016: Getting Rid of Placement Exams, by Mikhail Zinshteyn, The Atlantic - Many states are abandoning the tests - which often land students in ineffective remedial college classes - in favor of focusing on students' high-school grades.

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Funding & Economics
03/10/2016: Income Inequality May Cause Boys to Drop Out of High School More Often, by Josh Zumbrun, The Wall Street Journal - The stark reality of the U.S. is that people born poor are likely to remain that way. But the exact reasons income inequality perpetuates across generations is tricky to pin down. A pair of economists may have found one of the links, however. It turns out that poor students who grew up in areas with high income inequality are significantly more likely to drop out of high school than students who grew up in areas with less inequality.

03/09/2016: Acting Ed. Secretary Pushes Perkins Act Renewal, Unveils New Tech Challenge, by Catherine Gewertz, Education Week, High School & Beyond - Acting Education Secretary John B. King Jr. is urging Congress to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, even though prospects for its revision and approval appear dim.

03/07/2016: The Plight of Most First-generation College Students, by Joseph Sanacore and Anthony Palumbo, Diverse - We object when colleges engage in unethical practices to balance their budgets, such as accepting "marginal" students who qualify for loans and government-backed financial aid but not providing these students with the services and programs they need to achieve success. Too many low-income students who are often first-generation students find themselves gamed when they meet with admissions counselors who help them to complete loan applications but neglect to explain the difference between being accepted to college and graduating from college - and the subsequent need to repay student loans.

Transfer & Articulation
03/13/2016: Community College Governance Doesn't Need Restructuring; Let's Move Forward, by Michael Richards, Las Vegas Sun - Let us set aside politics and put our energy where we need it most: our students. What can we do to improve the pipeline with our K-12 and business and industry partners and seamless transfer...

03/2016: Keeping the Promise: Going the Distance on Transfer Reform, The Campaign for College Opportunity -  "Keeping the Promise: Going the Distance on Transfer Reform," has found significant improvements in the creation of a seamless transfer pathway between California Community Colleges and the California State Universities (CSU) since the passage of historic transfer reform legislation, SB1440, six years ago.

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