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ERIC Number: ED562796
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
Increasing the Academic Momentum of Community College Students
Attewell, Paul; Douglas, Daniel
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
This paper uses the credits-attempted perspective--in the context of how many credits a student attempts in their first year of college--and reports on several related projects all intended to evaluate potential interventions to raise academic momentum among first-year community college students. The presentation contrasts non-experimental findings from analyses of transcript data with three randomized control trials aimed at assessing the impact of increasing student momentum. The research questions addressed are: (1) Is there evidence that increased academic momentum--defined as increased engagement in course-taking in the first year--improves retention and degree completion among community college students in non-experimental settings?; and (2) Will experimental manipulations or interventions that increase students' momentum result in better retention and degree completion? The research considers three potential interventions, programs, or practices: (1) enrolling in summer school immediately prior to starting at a community college; (2) increasing from a part-time course-load to a full-time course-load during the first year of college; and (3) attending summer school at the end of one's first year at community college. Researchers compare and contrast analyses of nation-wide transcripts, case study, and RCT data for community college students at the City University of New York (CUNY). The total number of participants was 1,570 with 719 in the control and 851 the experimental groups, respectively. Propensity score matched analyses of non-experimental data from national and CUNY transcript studies indicate that all three programs or interventions had significant positive effects on retention and/or degree completion among community college freshmen. Ongoing RCT experimental studies, however, have not shown significant results for all of the interventions. Preliminary results suggest that community colleges should offer bridge programs and summer programs, and encourage part-time students to increase to full time in their second semester. A table is appended.
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Identifiers - Location: New York