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ERIC Number: ED533644
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Student Voices on the Higher Education Pathway: Preliminary Insights & Stakeholders Engagement Considerations
Public Agenda
Efforts to improve student learning and success at community colleges are in the national policy spotlight. Colleges around the country are reviewing their institutional practices and gathering groups of education stakeholders to design and then implement changes in advising, developmental education, programs of study and curricula, student service delivery, transfer and articulation, and more. One of the central tenets of current efforts is to keep changes and improvements "student-centered"--that is, to keep the ultimate goal of improving the student experience in sight throughout the process of change. To this end, keeping students' voices and experiences at the center of reform plans can enhance the legitimacy of proposed reforms, their effectiveness, and their sustainability. The purpose of the research presented here is to support and reinforce student-centered reforms by providing another vehicle for student voices. To support community college leaders' ongoing deliberations about how to integrate a student perspective into the reform process, Public Agenda and WestEd conducted focus groups in March 2012, during which they asked current and former students about the relationship between their goals for, and experiences in, college. Special attention was paid to examining what students think could have helped them be more successful. For example, the researchers asked students how important they believed it was to have a concrete end goal in mind early in their college careers. They also asked at what point during their college experience did they feel they should be encouraged to narrow their focus toward a specific goal, whether academic or professional? What would they describe as the most promising changes that colleges could make to help them complete their degree or transfer to a four-year institution? In general, the themes that emerged from the focus group discussions reflected attitudes shared by both current and former students, across institutions located in four states. The last section of the report offers a set of questions developed to encourage dialogue and collaborative problem solving among college stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students, and administrators. (Contains 1 footnote.)
Public Agenda. 6 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016. Tel: 212-686-6610; Fax: 212-889-3461; Web site: http://www.publicagenda.org
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: WestEd
Authoring Institution: Public Agenda