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ERIC Number: EJ1057098
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
Student Success Centers: Leading the Charge for Change at Community Colleges
Smith, Caroline Altman; Baldwin, Christopher; Schmidt, Gretchen
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v47 n2 p30-39 2015
Ten years ago, community college presidents' most valued datum was the number of students enrolled, which drove the colleges' funding. Providing access to higher education for the millions of students without the time, money, or academic preparation to attend a traditional four-year college was (as it always had been) their top priority. Today, a growing number of community college leaders are laser-focused on a different number: how many entering students complete their coursework and earn a credential or degree. Finding ways to help students overcome the academic and life challenges that have kept graduation rates appallingly low at most of the nation's 1,000 two-year public colleges is now their prime concern. It has been no small feat to change the national conversation about the role of community colleges in our society from providing access to also promoting success. Now, a decade into the college completion movement, this article asks what we have to show for it. The good news: Hundreds of colleges have adopted innovative approaches to helping more people finish more quickly degrees that matter in the marketplace. The bad news? Few colleges have significantly improved overall outcomes. Attainment gaps between low-income and higher-income students remain unacceptably wide. Practitioners and policymakers have come to realize that raising student completion to dramatically higher levels requires many integrated, holistic changes at both the state and college level. This article describes a small but nimble student success organization that provides a vision, a shared venue, and practical support for research collaboration, policy development and program design.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan