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ERIC Number: ED538998
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov
Pages: 36
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 13
Not Just Math and English: Courses That Pose Obstacles to Community College Completion. CCRC Working Paper No. 52
Zeidenberg, Matthew; Jenkins, Davis; Scott, Marc A.
Community College Research Center, Columbia University
Discussions of the barriers to completion in community colleges have largely focused on student success in introductory college-level math and English courses, and rightfully so, since these courses are typically required for degrees. However, there is a much broader range of courses that also serve as "gatekeepers" in the sense that they are obstacles to completion. This paper offers methods for identifying these courses and for assessing the relative extent of the obstacle to completion each of them poses. The authors compare the performance in these courses of students who successfully completed a credential with those who did not. The authors find that the difficulty students experience in succeeding in many other introductory courses is just as great as that posed by college math and English, and that they pose just as large obstacles to completion. The authors also find that overall GPA in college courses is a stronger predictor of completion than performance in any single course. The paper concludes with recommendations for practitioners. (Contains 10 tables, 1 figure and 5 footnotes.)
Community College Research Center. Available from: CCRC Publications. Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 West 120th Street Box 174, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 212-678-3091; Fax: 212-678-3699; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Columbia University, Community College Research Center