September 2011

‘Dream’ adds 23 ‘leader colleges’

Achieving the Dream has added 23 community colleges to its list of 52 “leader colleges,” reports Inside Higher Ed. These colleges improved graduation rates, closed achievement gaps and changed lives, said the nonprofit. For example,  Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas strengthened remedial education coursework and increased the college’s three-year completion rate to […]


Higher ed could lose grip on credentials

Colleges and universities could lose their grip on the credential business and be forced to innovate, writes Jeffrey Selingo in the Chronicle of Higher Education. One possibility could be  “digital badges” certifying skills and knowledge to prospective employers.  The MacArthur Foundation is sponsoring a $2-million competition to create and develop a badge system. Badges could […]


A few good manufacturing jobs

On a Factory Field Trip to new plants in North Carolina, New York Times op-ed columnist Joe Nocera sees the future of manufacturing. The factories are immense and use complex robotics to make gigantic axles for Caterpillar mining trucks and 280-ton gas turbines for Siemens. . . .  these plants offer something that has become […]


Obama: Take risks, go to college

President Obama told students at a college-prep magnet school to work hard, take risks and go to college in his annual back-to-school speech.  The president spoke at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C. “You’ve got to keep going after you graduate,” Obama said. That might mean, for many of you, a four-year university. […]


When is ‘W’ the wise choice?

It’s better to withdraw than fail, writes Eliana Osborn, an adjunct English instructor, on The Two-Year Track. But when and how should an instructor advise a student to take the W? I hate to tell a student that there is no chance of getting a passing grade. Unfortunately, super-low scores by midway through the semester […]


Completion: Time is the Enemy

Time is the Enemy of college completion, concludes a Complete College America report, which includes data on completion rates in 33 states broken out, when possible, by part-time or full-time status, certificates, remediation, transfers and age. Federal statistics count first-time, full-time students, who are the minority at community colleges. Many students are adults returning for […]


Federal grants will fund job retraining

Nearly $500 million in federal job retraining grants will help community colleges work with employers to develop new programs in advanced manufacturing, transportation, health care, STEM occupations and other fields. Here’s the list of recipients announced this week by the Labor Department. Community colleges in 10 states were shut out. No colleges in Connecticut, Louisiana, […]


CCs need middle-class students

Perpetually underfunded community colleges should recruit middle-class and upper-middle-class students to build political capital and financial support, argues Richard Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Community colleges receive less public support per student than four-year institutions, according to the Delta Cost Project. Over the last 10 years, […]


Ways to get students to stay

Many new college students won’t be back sophomore year.  At community colleges, 56 percent of students return for a second year, up from 51 percent in 2004, according to ACT research. The average retention rate is 74 percent at four-year public or private colleges. Colleges are trying to improve retention rates, reports Caralee Adams on […]


Colleges recruit lucrative foreign students

Foreign students are a lucrative target for California community colleges, reports the Glendale News-Press. Recruiting international students, who can receive F-1 visas to study in the U.S., is a “$20 billion-a-year industry that generates revenue, prestige and a wide-reaching alumni base for the campuses.” California residents pay $36 per unit to enroll at the state’s […]


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