ERIC Number: ED358881
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Clearer Thinking about Student Characteristics as a Guide to Policy Planning.
Prather, George; Kelly, Dexter
Part of an effort to more accurately describe the kinds of students attracted to and served by the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), this report examines the relationship of student characteristics to enrollment patterns and describes a method for clarifying the image of students served. Drawing on national enrollment growth patterns for two- and four-year institutions, and 1970-1992 enrollment data for the LACCD, the report argues that the apparent rise of the nontraditional student has been largely a reflection of the expansion of the community colleges, not a significant change in overall student characteristics. Next, the report presents data showing that traditional college-age students are the majority of full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollees in the LACCD and argues that FTE is a more relevant measure than headcount for gauging the impact of characteristics on instruction and student services. The report then describes a four-cell matrix, designed to help convey student characteristics in a meaningful manner. The method focuses on the relative level of student involvement in the institution and the relative level of congruence between individual student goals and programs and structures. Students with high levels for both dimensions can be viewed as the institution's core population, while those with low measures for both may be welcome to the institution's services, but do not necessarily suggest a need for institutional change. The report concludes with a brief description of the application of the matrix for traditional and nontraditional age students in the LACCD. Data tables and nine references are included. (PAA)
Descriptors: Age, College Planning, Community Colleges, Educational Change, Educational Policy, Educational Research, Enrollment Trends, Full Time Equivalency, Institutional Mission, Matrices, Nontraditional Students, Organizational Objectives, Participation, Policy Formation, Student Behavior, Student Characteristics, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Los Angeles Community Coll. District, CA. Educational Services Div.