May 31, 2013
Looking for inspiration? Look no further than some of the stages of community college graduations this year. Amid the young adults parading across the stages to accept their hard-earned degrees, you might see a few faces you would not expect at a graduation event. Some of the oldest community college graduates of 2013 are also some of the most inspiring – if you are lucky enough to grab a few nuggets of their wisdom and their zest for life as you pass them on campus. Check out this amazing selection of the Class of 2013.
To earn her associate degree from Mott Community College
this year, Beverly Ross had to overcome two hurdles. The first was a cancer diagnosis she received three years prior. The second was her age, which, at 54, was well beyond the average age of most Mott students. Ross managed to climb over both those obstacles, accepting her diploma in social work just this month.
According to mLive
, Ross was diagnosed with cancer in her thigh muscle in in May, 2009. Two muscles had to be removed and replaced with bolts, brackets and screws. Ross also underwent intense chemotherapy treatment, which she was told could impact her ability to think. Ross decided to put that warning to the test, and enrolled at Mott Community College soon after.
“I’m so excited with proving [the doctor] wrong,” Ross told mLive. “I’m smarter. I’m proving to be smarter to me. After all that, I’m happy I accomplished this....read more
May 14, 2013
Community college completion rates have been a concern since President Obama made these two-year schools a focus in efforts to increase the number of college graduates in the U.S. The truth is that most community colleges currently see relatively low completion rates, due to a myriad of factors working against students attending these schools. The good news is there are many ideas on the table for improving community college completion rates nationwide. Check out these 10 ideas for increasing community college retention that are slowly being put into practice by community colleges across the country.
Adding Dual-Enrollment Programs
allow high school students to earn college credits before they earn their high school diploma. In some cases, the college courses are offered free of charge, depending on whether the state is willing to pick up the tab through special student funding. Other schools charge a nominal tuition fee, which is much lower than what high school graduates can expect to pay. Students that earn college credits during high school are much more likely to see their degree program through to completion.
The American Council on Education
encourages community colleges to join the initiative, “Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count.” The initiative uses measurable data to promote higher student success, particularly among low-income and minority students. Around 130 community colleges nationwide have signed onto the initiative thus far. Some of the schools involved are already showing impressive improvement in student outcomes.
December 23, 2012
College students learn plenty in the years they spend on campus. But do the lessons learned at school prepare them for a professional life after their studies? Maybe not, according to at least one community college, which has plans to give their students a healthy dose of work readiness skills at the same time they are earning their degree.
Workplace Readiness Certificates
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
has provided students with many of the skills necessary to land jobs in the local workforce. Next year, the school will add a new type of certification to their repertoire – a workplace readiness certificates. Students will earn this certificate by demonstrating “soft skills” that employers tend to look for as well, such as punctuality, teamwork and time management. According to Inside Higher Ed
, those skills will also begin to play a role in the grades students earn in some of their classes at the college.
The North Carolina school is leaving nothing to chance as it prepares faculty to evaluate students for the skills employers are looking for. The school has designed a template to assist professors in assessing primary workplace skills, including:
- Communication – use of oral and written skills to clearly communicate thoughts and ideas
- Effort – demonstration of strong work ethic and preparedness for assignments
- Quality of Work – applicable to classroom work and academic performance
- Attendance – ability to manage oneself
- Time Management – punctuality, preparedness, handing in assignments on time
- Professionalism – image put forth by student in terms of actions, appearance and attitude
October 14, 2012
The Student Success Act of 2012
One of the key pieces of legislation Governor Brown recently signed into law was the Student Success Act of 2012 or SB1456
. The Press-Telegram
reports that this bill focused directly on the state’s community college system, in an effort to improve completion rates and student success at these institutions. The Student Success Act of 2012 includes a number of specific measures community colleges will now have to utilize to help their students succeed in college. Some of the measures include:
- Development of a student education plan to help students plan course schedules accordingly
- Requirement that all incoming students attend an orientation session before taking courses
- Minimum standards for academic success in order to receive fee waivers
- Creation of a student success report card that will be used to determine future funding
- Addition of an all new assessment test that will help place students in the proper classes
The bill also contains a provision that ensures new students entering a community college will be able...read more
June 20, 2012
The term “dropout factories” was originally created to label high schools in the U.S. with dismally low graduation rates
. However, the phrase has now moved into the community college sphere, as statistics indicate some community colleges are not living up to the task of helping students see their degree programs through to completion. The good news is that in the midst of the dropout factories, there are plenty of schools improving students’ odds for success through effective programs and services. It is up to students to weed through the data to choose the college that offers the best odds of success.
The Definition of a “Dropout Factory”
There is no single definition of a dropout factory
when referring to community colleges – it depends in part on individual perceptions of what constitutes a low completion rate. A report at CNN Money
defines dropout factories as schools with a completion rate of 25 percent or less, a number established by College Measures president Mark Schneider. The completion rate refers to the number of freshmen who enter the school full-time and earn a degree within three years.
Another source, the Center for the Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University, defines dropout factories at both the high school and community college level as those with graduation rates of 60 percent or less. According to Arizona’s State Brief blog
, every single community college in Arizona would be classified as a dropout factory by this standard. However, two of the state’s...
June 06, 2013
After two dismal summers with few courses to choose from, California community colleges are back in action this summer with plenty of offerings for their students.
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Graduation rates, policies, and caps - oh my! This section covers all topics related to community college graduations.
Note: Data has been gathered from the Dept. of Education, schools, and commercial data sources.