Higher Education

If 100 students start college, who graduates?

Of 100 students from four different income groups who began a two-year or four-year college in 2002, who earned a degree by 2008? asks the Washington Post. (Click the link to check out the nice graphics.) Surprisingly few. In six years, only 30 students completed a bachelor’s degree. That includes 12 students of 25 from the […]

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Online competency ed is on the rise

Online “competency-based education” (CBE) is a faster, cheaper, more flexible way for adults to earn college credentials valued by employers. It’s coming on strong. “CBE lets students progress at their own pace,” I write on Open Standard. “They may watch mini-lectures, read, work through exercises, chat with virtual classmates, consult with a faculty mentor – […]

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Beyond the skills gap

Job training has moved from employers to colleges — especially community colleges — writes New America Foundation’s Mary Alice McCarthy. The “skills gap” is a policy gap, she concludes. The Higher Education Act (HEA) needs to be reframed to “support all forms of postsecondary learning, including students on non-degree paths and those seeking specific skills […]

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Connected to the future

Most students like Gerardo Lopez — Latinos and blacks from low-income and working-class families — enroll in community college, take a few remedial courses and drop out. They’ve been told they should go to college, but nobody’s told them what level of academic skills are necessary to pass college-level courses. Many think any major will […]

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What to do about dropouts

Lauren Bizzaro owes $40,000 for three years of college. (Caleb Kenna for The Wall Street Journal) College dropouts are the “untouchables” of higher education, writes Richard Vedder, director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, in Forbes. Looking at those 25 to 34 years of age, the median earnings in 2013 were $27,339, about 10 […]

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‘Reverse transfer’ could add 2 million degrees

As many as two million students could earn associate degrees through “reverse transfer,” with help from the National Student Clearinghouse. Using a Lumina grant, the Clearinghouse will design an automated system to identify students who’ve earned enough credits for a two-year degree.  Seventy-eight percent of students who transfer from community college to a four-year institution leave […]

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California: Student aid lags costs

Grants and scholarships haven’t kept pace with rising living costs  for low-income students at California community colleges and the second-tier California State University system, according to the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). Students who receive grants and scholarships are more likely to complete a degree, the report finds. At the community colleges and CSU […]

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Tennessee: Certificate holders out-earn 4-year grads

Tennessee workers with associate degrees and long- term certificates often start at higher wages than four-year graduates, according to a new College Measures study. It takes five years for graduates with bachelor’s degrees to catch up. “You don’t need to go to a flagship university to get a good job. There are many successful paths […]

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Second time isn’t the charm

Nearly all college completion data looks at first-time students. Completion rates are low for non-first-time students, reports Inside Track. Only 33.7 percent of returning students completed their degree, compared with 54.1 percent of first-time students. Only 27 percent of non-first-time community college students completed a certificate or degree in eight years, compared to 36 percent […]

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Why graduation rates are misleading

Federal college graduation rates don’t distinguish between certificates and associate degrees, presenting a misleading picture of community colleges and for-profit institutions, writes Ben Miller on EdCentral. According to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), three-year graduation rates are much higher at for-profit colleges than at community colleges: 63 percent compared to 21 percent. However, […]

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