ERIC Number: EJ976718
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Reference Count: 38
Students Must Not become Victims of the Completion Agenda
Evenbeck, Scott; Johnson, Kathy E.
Liberal Education, v98 n1 p26-33 Win 2012
The completion agenda seeks significant increases in educational attainment, and its goals are quite laudable. The United States is lagging behind other industrialized nations in terms of the proportion of adults holding postsecondary degrees, and states have been challenged to implement policies that ensure improvements in degree completion rates--particularly for students from underrepresented groups. On the surface, these policy shifts should prove advantageous to students. Students should attain their degree goals and enter the workforce ever more efficiently, with reduced levels of debt incurred. One component of the completion agenda seeks to award more dual credit, with high school students completing college credits prior to enrolling in college. Advanced Placement examinations, early colleges, and other programs have served students and the nation well in providing high-attaining students a head start on their college careers. In this article, the authors emphasize what they believe is missing from the completion agenda, from the standpoint of its implications for student learning. They first consider the broad sweep of evidence that informs the use of high-impact educational practices and designs for student success. They then consider how one particular aspect of the completion agenda--dual credit--threatens to undermine proven conditions for student learning. Finally, they suggest ways that higher education institutions and policy makers might adapt to these new conditions to ensure that students are not ultimately the victims of policy changes intended to enhance their success. It is imperative that the increase in the number of degrees be an increase in "high-quality" degrees.
Descriptors: Advanced Placement, Educational Attainment, College Credits, Educational Practices, Graduation Rate, Developed Nations, Foreign Countries, Academic Degrees, Minority Groups, Dual Enrollment, High School Students, Teacher Expectations of Students, Higher Education, Educational Policy, College School Cooperation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States