ERIC Number: ED484346
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Nov
Improving Student Attainment in Community Colleges: Institutional Characteristics and Policies
Bailey, Thomas; Alfonso, Mariana; Calcagno, Juan Carlos; Jenkins, Davis; Kienzl, Gregory; Leinbach, Tim
Community College Research Center
Community colleges are a crucial point of access to higher education for low-income, minority, and other underserved students. These groups are overrepresented (with respect to their share of undergraduate enrollment) in two year and less than two year post secondary institutions. The community college access mission is built on low tuition, convenient location, flexible scheduling, an open-door admissions policy, programs and services designed to support students who may have various socio economic and academic barriers inhibiting postsecondary success. If community colleges or similar institutions were not available, many of these students would not have an opportunity for higher education. While access to community colleges is an important first step for a wide variety of students, they must also be successful after they have enrolled. Unfortunately, many students never finish a degree. Although many students can benefit from a community college education even if they do not complete a degree or certificate, community college faculty and administrators would all like to see completion rates rise. This report is part of a broad initiative funded by the Lumina Foundation for Education. The initiative, Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count, will initially work with 27 community colleges in five states to help them increase retention, completion, and success for low-income students, students of color, first-generation college students, and other underserved groups. The data and analysis in this report speak to four main goals: (1) providing general descriptive information on community college student characteristics and educational outcomes and making comparisons with other higher education sectors; (2) Discussion of the importance of college completion and transfer, reviewing the controversy about whether completion is a meaningful or justifiable standard for a community college; (3) Reviewing the state of research on the determinants of student outcomes in community colleges in order to provide some programmatic guidance for colleges working towards improving student outcomes and offering recommendations for improvement toward the quality and effectiveness of the research; and (4) Initiation of our own program of empirical research on institutional graduation rates by conducting an analysis of community college graduation rates and developing a benchmarking system for evaluating college performance. Appended is: Results of Group Logistic Regression on Degree Completion. [Report produced by the Community College Research Center.]
Descriptors: Program Effectiveness, Low Income Groups, Higher Education, Outcomes of Education, Institutional Characteristics, Graduation Rate, Benchmarking, College Students, Student Characteristics, Educational Objectives
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University, 439 Thorndike Building, 525 W. 120th Street, Box, 174, New york, NY 10027. Tele: 212-678-3091; Fax: 212-678-3699; Web site: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/ccrc/publichtm.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation for Education, Indianapolis, IN.; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; Department of Education, Washington, DC.; Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. Teachers College.