ERIC Number: ED310813
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
An Assessment of State Aidable Noncredit Courses at SUNY Community Colleges.
Winter, Gene M.; Fadale, LaVerna M.
During the winter of 1988-89, a study was undertaken of state-aidable noncredit course offerings at the State University of New York (SUNY) community colleges. This type of offering, produced by allowing certain noncredit enrollments to generate aidable full-time equivalent students, has provided a wide variety of educational opportunities and has been credited by some as keeping "community" in the college. In New York, these courses include remedial instruction, vocational preparation and community service classes. The purpose of the study was to gather information on these courses and to assess their outcomes and effectiveness as perceived by enrolled students. Data were collected from two questionnaires: one distributed to noncredit course enrollees at the 30 SUNY community colleges, and the other to local directors and coordinators of these courses. Returns were received from administrators at 27 SUNY community colleges (a college response rate of 90%); and a total of 3,411 usable responses were received from students enrolled in spring 1989, from which a representative sample of 1,663 responses was drawn. Major findings included the following: (1) the total cost to the state for the state-aidable courses in 1988-89 was $9,512,880; (2) of the over 2,000 courses reported for the spring 1989 semester, 71.5% were vocational, 19.5% were community service, and 9% remedial; (3) nearly three-fourths of the course enrollees were employed full-time or part-time; (4) the major reasons for enrollment included self-enrichment or self-improvement, a desire to update job skills, fulfill licensure or certification requirements, or increase academic skills; (5) 93.5% of the responding students rated their noncredit courses as "good" or "very good," with 5% rating them as "fair" and 1.5% as "poor"; (6) three out of four respondents indicated that an increase in fees by 50% would prevent them from enrolling; and (7) suggestions provided by respondents included offering more courses at more convenient times and providing something tangible, such as a certificate, to be awarded at the conclusion of a course. Appendixes include detailed student responses and the survey instruments. (JMC)
Publication Type: Tests/Questionnaires; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: State Univ. of New York, Albany. Two Year Coll. Development Center.