Certificate completion rates are significantly higher at technical colleges, which focuses on career training, than at community college, which also prepares students for academic degrees, according to a new report by the Community College Research Center. The study by Judith Scott-Clayton and Madeline Joy Weiss compared the completion rates of career-technical students in Washington state.
Technical and comprehensive colleges serve different populations, the study found. “A true apples-to-apples comparison requires limiting the analysis to a relatively small fraction (less than 10%) of students enrolled at either institution.”
. . . for this limited subset of career-technical students, technical schools have significantly higher certificate completion rates after three years, with no apparent deficit in associate degree completion.
However, institution type alone explains a small fraction of the overall variation in student outcomes across institutions.