ERIC Number: ED484239
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan
Paths to Persistence: An Analysis of Research on Program Effectiveness at Community Colleges. New Agenda Series. Volume 6, Number 1.
Bailey, Thomas R.; Alfonso, Mariana
Lumina Foundation for Education
Community colleges are designed to be open-door institutions, and they enroll a much wider variety of students than baccalaureate granting colleges. Community colleges have always played a crucial role in providing access to college. During the last decade, however, educators and policy makers have shifted their attention to the success of students once they enter community college. As a result, accreditation agencies and state regulators are increasingly scrutinizing measures of student outcomes, such as persistence and completion rates. At the same time, national initiatives by foundations and the U.S. Department of Education are focused on developing policy and institutional practices that will improve success rates for community college students. This report was written as part of one of those initiatives. In 2003, Lumina Foundation for Education joined eight other organizations to launch Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count. Achieving the Dream is based on the premise that research about and at community colleges must play a central role in any strategy to increase student success. This report presents a critical analysis of the state of the research on the effectiveness of four types of practices in increasing persistence and completion at community colleges: (1) advising, counseling, mentoring and orientation programs; (2) learning communities; (3) developmental education and other services for academically under prepared students; and (4) college-wide reform. This analysis is used to draw substantive lessons about effective institutional practices, to identify promising areas for future research, to evaluate the state of program-effectiveness research at community colleges, and to make recommendations for improving related research.
Descriptors: Program Effectiveness, Academic Persistence, Academic Achievement, Outcomes of Education, Community Colleges, Educational Research, Mentors, Academic Advising, Educational Change, Developmental Programs
Lumina Foundation for Education, P.O. Box 1806, Indianapolis, IN 46206-1806. Tel: 800-834-5756 (Toll Free).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Audience: Administrators; Researchers
Authoring Institution: Lumina Foundation for Education, Indianapolis, IN.