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.

 "Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. We are all children of chance
and none can say why some fields will blossom while others lay brown
beneath the August sun." - Kent Nerburn
Volume 6, Issue 15 - August 21, 2016    
In This Issue
08/15/2016: What's Behind Failures in College Governance? Lack of Education, by Brian C. Mitchell, Huffington Post - Practical Leadership in Community Colleges A new book by George Boggs and Christine Johnson McPhail, Practical Leadership in Community Colleges: Navigating Today's Challenges, is a must-read for senior leadership at every level - including faculty, senior staff, trustees, and presidents. The authors, both seasoned higher education leaders, use field experiences, reports, news coverage, and interviews with leaders and policy makers to review some of the challenges facing college leadership and offer advice on how best to navigate and succeed against the crosscurrents that leadership faces. They offer case studies to show in practical terms how the job gets done.

08/15/2016: Ranking Diversity, by Gary S. May, Insider Higher Education - Enhancing diversity is not about political correctness. Studies show diversity enriches students' experiences and is an indicator of quality. A 2013 report from Princeton University cited research on the benefits of diverse environments, such as greater civic engagement. A diverse environment is consistent with the core mission of a university.

08/14/2016: Report: Americans More Concerned About Wealth-based Achievement Gaps Than Racial Inequities, by Lydia, Lum, Diverse Issues in Higher Education - Americans are more concerned about-and more supportive of-proposals to close wealth-based achievement gaps among students than they are about Black-White or Hispanic-White gaps. These are among the findings in a new report that explores the U.S. public's beliefs about test score gaps and its support-and sometimes shortage thereof-for gap-closing initiatives. Specifically, 64 percent of adults say it's "essential" and a "high priority" to close the poor-wealthy achievement gap. But only 36 percent and 31 percent say the same about the Black-White and Hispanic-White gaps, respectively.

08/11/2016: Why "Economic Immobility" is the New "Income Inequality", by Frank Britt, Forbes  -  There's no more vexing and persistent issue today than youth unemployment, particularly in America's largest cities, places that propel the dueling forces of prosperity and poverty. Primary factors that tip the relative strength of those forces are access to affordable education and skills training, as well as credible pathways for young adults to earn meaningful income.

08/2016: Community Colleges: Multiple Missions, Diverse Student Bodies, and a Range of Policy Solutions, by David Blaime and Sandy Baum, Urban Institute -  In this report, we focus on key variables that differentiate community colleges, and we elaborate on their significance for students. We first describe the range of missions and programs across institutions in this sector and explore differences in their student bodies. We then focus on student financing and national policies designed to address both affordability and broader concerns about student success. Finally, we discuss how some community colleges, frequently in partnership with states and other stakeholders, are effectively working on a student success agenda.

08/09/2016: OPINION: Open Educational Practice: Unleashing the Potential of OER, by TJ Bliss, EdSurge -It's been a good year for open educational resources (OER). Nearly 40 community colleges throughout the U.S. made commitments this year to establish entire degree programs based solely on OER. Governor Jerry Brown set aside $5 million for OER degree programs in California community colleges. And scores of school districts throughout the United States committed to adopting OER, thanks in large part to the #GoOpen campaign spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Education.
07/21/2016: What We're Learning Together, by Mark Milliron, Civitas Learning - We're excited to announce our first Community Insights Report, which was just featured on NPR Marketplace. The report pulls data from more than 2 million active students at more than 55 institutions together. Getting to this moment, however, has not been easy.
Online Education
08/15/2016: How Employers View Online, For-Profit Bachelor's Degrees, by Jordan Friedman, U.S. News & World Report - Employers deciding between two equally qualified job candidates are more likely to prefer the one with an undergraduate education at a traditional university over the one with an online, for-profit bachelor's.
08/10/2016: Making Virtual Classes More Interactive, by Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology - You know you have a truly collaborative online instructional platform when students take selfies of themselves posing on a display with their remote instructors. That has actually transpired with people who experience Harvard Business School's HBX Live virtual classroom. The environment - really a high-end production studio with some major technical twists - was introduced a year ago to reproduce in an online format the rich give-and-take that's essential to the school's case method style of teaching.

College Readiness
08/18/2016: A solution as obvious as it is rare: Making high school graduates ready for college, by John Marcus, The Hechinger Report - High schools in many parts of the country are judged on the proportion of their students who graduate, whether or not those students are ready for college. Surprisingly, scoring "proficient" onstate-mandated standardized tests required to receive high school diplomas, also does not necessarily mean that students are prepared for college-level work.

08/2016: Reading, Writing, and the Common Core State Standards, by Melissa Lazarin, Center for American Progress - There is substantial evidence that much of what students are currently reading is not particularly challenging. This lack of complexity in students' reading and writing is likely undermining their preparedness for college and the workplace. In addition, despite the predominant role that reading and writing serve in other subjects and disciplines, literacy development has long been relegated to the English or reading classroom.
Remedial Education
08/09/2016: New State Bill Seeking to Cut Remediation in Higher Education, by Matt Masterson, WTTW, Chicago - Last month, Illinois House and Senate leaders unanimously approved HB5729, also known as the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act. The legislation creates higher education career expectations for high school grads after nearly half of those who enrolled as full-time freshmen in state public community colleges in 2013 needed remedial education in at least one subject.
08/03/2016: San Jacinto College students 'AIMing' for algebra, by Cheryl P. Rose, Chron - "For community college students, mathematics is a key barrier to completion of degrees and certificates. . . Delayed completion of college algebra is a big red flag." Even students whose skills are deemed college-ready can struggle, with only 42 percent at San Jacinto College earning grades higher than a C last year. For students whose math background is weaker, building up the skills to even register for algebra could take several semesters of developmental math. Enter AIM (Acceleration in Mathematics), a compressed mathematics course that teaches developmental math skills and college-level algebra in one semester.
College Completion
college completion
08/12/2016: Falling completion rates may jeopardize institutional value, by Jarrett Carter, Education Dive - The best solution for many of these campuses is to forge partnerships with community colleges or for-profit schools, in order to seemingly contract out remediation responsibility to schools with lower outcome expectations. This will hurt graduation rates since transfer students do not count to completion yield, but it does produce tuition revenue and allows for different strategy in recruitment and retention efforts for high achieving students.
08/09/2016: University of Memphis Program Helps Students Cross the Finish Line, by ACE - Granting credit for prior learning (CPL) is a central component of the program's strategy to spur students to complete their degrees, with about 70 percent of the credit hours generated through the program coming from CPL options such as ACE credit recommendations

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Workforce Development
08/18/2016: The Most Serious Skills Gap of All, by Liz Ryan, Forbes - Here's the problem. Skills gaps are imaginary. Just because a hiring manager says that they want a person who can fly and sing Italian opera while they're writing code does not mean that such people exist, and certainly not for the designated salary. Strong leaders operate in the real world.

08/16/2016: Training programs promise good jobs without college degrees. Can they deliver?, by Lonnie Shekhtman, Christian Science Monitor - Called "sector-based" or "skills-based" training, this model - of finding out what jobs community businesses need to fill and training people for them - has the potential to re-invigorate workforce development at a precarious time in the country's economy, supporters say. According to employers and economists, there aren't enough workers with the right skills to fill the plethora of jobs, from machinists to health technicians, that don't require a college degree. That's why twenty-one states now use sector-based training to plug those skills gaps in their local labor markets. 
Technology Adoption
08/17/2016: E-Counseling 2.0: Can a new wave of virtual guidance help?, by Chris Berdick, The Hechinger Report -The American School CounselorAssociation recommends no more than 250 students per guidance counselor, but the nationwide average is nearly twice that. For years, College Possible has tried to bridge the counseling gap for low-income students with two-hours of after-school college prep, held twice a week at partner schools and led by recent college graduates from AmeriCorps. They've had success, but doing everything on-site limited their reach.
08/11/2016: 'Our Technology Is Our Ideology': George Siemens on the Future of Digital Learning, by Marguerite McNeal, EdSurge - Siemens' work is on the cutting edge of what's possible in digital learning, but he doesn't want to discuss the latest fads in education technology. Instead he wants to talk about humanity. He's optimistic that technology can help people achieve a higher quality of life in a future where work is increasingly automated and distributed across the globe. He just doesn't think our current university systems and edtech solutions will get us there.
Data Analysis & Assessment
08/18/2016: Improving Data Collection, Analysis and Access Key to Supporting Student Success, The EvoLLLution - While the focus of higher education observers, stakeholders and leaders has shifted from opening the door to helping students succeed, many institutions are struggling to make this change. This is especially challenging for institutions in resource-constrained environments, where throwing money at the problem simply isn't a plausible solution. In this interview, Melissa Irvin reflects on the work she and her colleagues are doing to support student success and shares her thoughts on the vital role technology plays in supporting retention and completion.

08/10/2016: New report takes aim at data-driven approaches to help college students succeed, by Utah System of Higher Education -  Higher education leaders across the country have long-wrestled with improving student retention and degree completion. A new national report highlights the disparity between the intentions of college students and their often short-term impulses, especially during their first year of college. The report, from non-profit research organization ideas42, focuses on behavioral science-applying insights from psychology and other social sciences-to address real world policy issues in higher education.
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Funding & Economics
08/18/2016: The Problem with Public Colleges Going Tuition Free, by Ronald Brownstein, The Atlantic - Without the proper safeguards, such a program might still, paradoxically, narrow access. That's because tuition-free public college could compound the increasing stratification of post-secondary education into a two-tier system that slots most low-income and minority students into the least selective institutions with the fewest resources and reserves admission to elite campuses mostly for kids from the upper middle-class and beyond.

08/16/2016: The EQUIP Eight: Dept. of Ed Selects Partners for Higher-Education Experiment, by Marguerite McNeal and Tony Wan, EdSurge - By the end of this year, students may be able to use federal aid to learn skills like coding, or advanced manufacturing, from companies like Flatiron School and General Electric. This mashing of federal dollars, public universities and private companies is part of a closely-watched experiment from the Department of Education, called Educational Quality through Innovation Partnerships (EQUIP).
Transfer & Articulation
01/19/2016: Fewer than one in seven community college students transfer and get a bachelor's degree - but there is new hope, by Meredith Kolodner, Hechinger Report - Low-income students who transfer from community colleges to four-year colleges are less likely to get a degree than their wealthier peers, a new report shows. But in a sign of hope, their success varies dramatically by state and by college. "It means that demography is not destiny," said Davis Jenkins, one of the report's authors and a senior research associate at the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University. "If we care about upward social mobility, then we need to pay attention to transfer students." 

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