March 2011

Money motivates students

How can community colleges improve completion rates? MDRC’s Opening Doors study, launched in 2003, examines the impact of financial incentives, learning communities and enhanced student services at six community colleges. The study used random assignments and control groups. Financial incentives worked the best, notes Transitions2Adulthood. Low-income students were given $1,000 a semester if they enrolled […]


CUNY remediation needs remediation

CUNY’s remedial classes need remediation, writes John Garvey, former dean for collaborative programs, on EdVox. Remedial students are a heavy burden for CUNY, according to a March 4 New York Times story.  Three-quarters of freshmen at CUNY community colleges need remedial instruction in reading, math or writing; one-quarter need help in all three. Some professors […]


Pell Grant graduation rate is low

Graduation rates are lower for Pell Grant recipients than for low- and moderate-income students who’ve taken high school courses of similar rigor and earned similar test scores, writes Matthew Denhart of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. His analysis concludes that 46 percent of Pell recipients at public four-year institutions earn a bachelor’s degree […]


Rural college is ‘the only game in town’

Community colleges are helping revive rural economies by working with employers to provide job training, writes Community College Times. Rural areas try to recruit new businesses looking for lower costs, but employers also look at the availability of qualified workers, access to workforce development programs and the quality of life, said Randy Smith, executive director […]


Scoring online quality

Evaluating the quality of online learning programs isn’t easy, says Kaye Shelton, dean of online education at Dallas Baptist University.  Working with the nonprofit Sloan Consortium and online education administrators, Shelton has developed a “quality scorecard” with 70 metrics, reports Inside Higher Ed. The categories, in descending order of aggregate weight, are support for students […]


Keeping Long Beach’s promise

Despite budget cuts, Long Beach Unified, Long Beach City College and Cal State University Long Beach will deepen their commitment to the Long Beach College Promise, a joint effort to help students transition from high school to community college to a four-year university. The College Promise offers a semester of tuition-free community college, guaranteed enrollment […]


You may already be a graduate

San José-Evergreen Community College District is trying to track more than 1,000 students who earned a certificate or associate degree, but never claimed their credentials, reports Inside Higher Ed. Going beyond the Institute for Higher Education Policy’s Project Win-Win, which urges colleges to retroactively award associate degrees, the San Jose district also is targeting certificates. […]


Bakersfield College gets $13.7 million

Bakersfield College has received a gift of $13.7 million, the single largest donation from an individual to any community college, from Dr. Norman Levan, 95, a local dermatologist who still sees patients once a week. Most of his gift will endow scholarships, including living expenses, for about 250  students at the southern California college each […]


Community college for all?

President Obama wants the U.S. to lead the world in college graduates by 2020. That goal includes graduating an additional five million community college students and pushing all Americans to get at least one year of postsecondary education. Obama is overselling the value of college, writes Frank Donoghue in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Obama’s […]


College still pays

The U.S. doesn’t need more college graduates, writes New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who sees high-wage jobs vanishing or going overseas in a “hollowed out” economy. Not so, counters economist Gary Becker on the Becker-Posner Blog. The high-tech economy favors the educated, which is why people around the world are seeking higher education. College […]


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