ERIC Number: ED485342
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Apr
Building Pathways to Success for Low-Skill Adult Students: Lessons for Community College Policy and Practice from a Statewide Longitudinal Tracking Study
Prince, David; Jenkins, Davis
Community College Research Center
This paper seeks to fill gaps in the literature by presenting findings from a study of the experiences and outcomes of low-skill adults in community colleges. It uses student record information from the Washington State Community and Technical College System to track the progress of two cohorts of adult students 25 or older with, at most, a high school education who entered one of the state's community or technical colleges for the first time in 1996-97 or 1997-98. The cohorts include adults who enrolled in adult basic skills programs, which in Washington State are provided by the community and technical colleges, as well as those who enrolled directly in college-credit courses. The study examines the educational attainment of the students in both cohorts as well as their earnings five years after they first enrolled. Research staff at the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) conducted the study, with assistance from the Community College Research Center, as part of the "Bridges to Opportunity" initiative funded by the Ford Foundation. The study was designed to give educators throughout Washington's community and technical college system a more detailed profile of their low-skill adult students, who make up about one-third of the approximately 300,000 students served by the system each year. The study also seeks to identify the critical filter points or roadblocks at which adult students drop out or fail to advance to the next level. The SBCTC staff is using the findings of the study to stimulate reflection and discussion among educators throughout the system on how they can better serve low-skill adult students. This report describes the data and analytical methods used in the study; presents the main findings; and explores the implications of the findings for community college policy and practice.
Descriptors: Adult Students, Educational Attainment, Employment Patterns, Longitudinal Studies, Community Colleges, Academic Failure, Dropouts, Basic Skills, Outcomes of Education, Educational Policy, Statewide Planning
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University, 439 Thorndike Building, 525 W. 120th Street, Box 174, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 212-678-3091; Fax: 212-678-3699; Web site: http://www.tc.edu/ccrc.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, Olympia.; Columbia Univ., New York, NY. Community Coll. Research Center.