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Interested in learning how community colleges throughout the state of California are performing? Now, it is easier than ever before to check on the progress of these schools, through a new scorecard system, that provides measurable date regarding student performance and success. The new web-based scorecards, which were recommended by the Student Task Force, provide statistics on completion and persistence rates, as well as other significant data.
 
About the New System
 
According to Inside Higher Ed, the new scorecard system was created in the midst of a series of reforms to improve the California Community College System overall. The scorecards represent an effort by community colleges to become more transparent to the general public, so that students considering higher education will be able to make more informed choices about schools in the state. There is also a hope that the accountability associated with the scorecard system will motivate schools to raise the bar on student performance and completion rates.
 
Community colleges have traditionally provided a cost-effective means of pursuing higher education for students of all backgrounds and income levels. However, reports of dismal completion rates, coupled with the system’s inability to accommodate all students in recent years, has placed greater scrutiny on the value of these schools. The current administration’s focus on community college as a means of turning out more college graduates has also created a need for more accountability for these schools.
 
The Purpose of the Scorecards
 
Brice W. Harris, chancellor of the California Community College System, told Inside . . . read more

Community college can be a busy time for students, whether they are adults juggling work and family responsibilities, or recent high school graduates adjusting to the next phase of their academic careers. The good news is there are many resources available to help community college students succeed, and many are as close as their laptops. Take a peek at 10 valuable online resources that community college students can use to their benefit.

 Equipping Students for Online Adventures
 
Before you can take full advantage of all the wonderful online services available to community college students today, you need to be sure your computer is up to the task. There is even online services for this purpose, helping students outfit their PCs and laptops with all the hardware and software necessary to connect with their schools. For example, Richland Community College in Illinois offers remote tools to help students with both Windows and Mac systems get connected.
 
Obtaining and Using Administrative Information
 
Navigating the administrative maze of higher education has become significantly easier with online tools to guide the way. At Edmunds Community College in Washington, students can use their computers to do everything from registering for classes to ordering transcripts. In addition, the school’s website offers students the opportunity to check out the school calendar, upcoming school events and the latest from the athletics department. 

Getting a Jump on Textbook Tutoring
 
Shopping for textbooks has always been a somewhat stressful and expensive event for college students, but not any longer. Thanks to . . . read more

Getting kids to college is only a part of the equation when it comes to higher education. Whether a student enrolls in community college or a four-year school, the goal is to get that student to leave the institution with a degree firmly in hand. Unfortunately, that event does not occur nearly as often as educators would like. As the quest to improve college completion rates kicks into high gear, a task force in Ohio has some recommendations for schools looking to get more of their students on the path to graduation.

About the Complete College Ohio Task Force
 
College completion rates in the state of Ohio are some of the lowest in the country, with Ohio ranking 38th on the spectrum of graduating college students, according to the Ohio Higher Ed website. To determine why completion rates are so low – and what can be done to improve them – the Ohio Board of Regents partnered with the university system in the state, which includes community colleges and adult education centers as well as four-year institutions.
 
The newly formed Complete College Ohio Task Force was given the responsibility of studying the reasons behind the dismal graduation rates. The committee then put forth a list of recommendations to improve those rates. While the recommendations were specifically for Ohio colleges, the recommendations are equally relevant for other colleges across the country.
 
When the task force began their work, the Ohio Higher Ed website reports that the group was divided into three subsets: . . . read more

Institutions of higher education are just that – places where students can continue to learn, grow and develop professionally and personally. Community colleges are particularly adept at this task, offering a wide range of learning opportunities for students of all ages and walks of life. From young students still years from their college years to senior citizens who never want to stop discovering new things, these campuses offer a wealth of learning opportunities. Check out these 10 ways you can make the most of the programs found at your local community college.

Get Ahead in High School
 
Running Start is a program available through many of the community colleges in the state of Washington. According to the Tacoma Community College website, this program allows high school juniors and seniors to get a head start on college credits by taking college-level courses while they are still in high school. The program offers a wide range of benefits, including the ability to save on college tuition and choose from a broader course selection. Other states offer similar programs to aspiring college students.
 
It is important to note that these dual-credit programs are not without their share of requirements as well. Students are typically expected to maintain a high GPA in their high school courses to even qualify for the program. In addition, they will be required to achieve a prescribed GPA in their college coursework as well. College classes may also be offered on weekends and during school holidays, . . . read more

President Obama highlighted the important role community colleges play in today’s workforce in his recent State of the Union address, but to achieve the lofty goals set by the President, colleges need tools in place to ensure students entering their doors can succeed. A recent report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement discovered that most schools know what is needed, but not all have successfully implemented those tools on a broad enough scale to help the majority of their students. Check out what community colleges nationwide are striving to offer their students now, and what they can add to give their students even better odds of success.

A Matter of Degrees: Promising Practices for Community College Student Success
 
The CCCSE report, titled, “A Matter of Degrees: Promising Practices for Community College Student Success,” consolidates four different surveys into a single, comprehensive report. According to a report at the University of Texas website, the report includes data from the Survey of Entering Student Engagement (SENSE), the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), and the Community College Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (CCFSSE). The report also included preliminary findings from the Community College Institutional Survey (CCIS).
 
The report compiled information from 75,000 entering students and 440,000 experienced students throughout 2011. Approximately 35,000 faculty members also provided data for the report, and information was collected from a total of 228 community colleges. The data was compiled and analyzed by CCCSE, where it was consolidated into the single “Matter of Degrees” . . . read more
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