Graduation

Graduation rates, policies, and caps - oh my! This section covers all topics related to community college graduations. How does state spending impact graduation rates? Who are the oldest community college graduates? What initiatives are in place to stem the rate of dropouts? Find the answers to these questions and more.
View the most popular articles in Graduation:
Published October 15, 2011 |
Completion Rates Climbing at Community Colleges across the Country
Read about a recent report from the American Association of Community Colleges that shows completion rates among community college students have been steadily climbing for the past two decades.
With a current administration pushing community college graduations and mostly bleak data regarding completion rates at both two and four-year institutions nationwide, there is a bright spot to celebrate. A recent report released by the American Association of Community Colleges shows that completion rates at community colleges are increasing across the country, particularly with students of color. This particular study shows that many schools across the country may be on the right track after all, although community college officials stress that there is still plenty of work to be done in regards to college completion.

The Road Ahead: Completion and Transfer Rates
 
The report, titled, “The Road Ahead: A Look at Trends in the Educational Attainment of Community College Students,” takes a look at the attainment of different types of college credentials over the past 20 years, according to a press release at PR Newswire. The report also looked at the degrees earned vs. the increasing rates of enrollment to determine if the higher demand for community college in recent years is actually translating to a workforce that is better prepared to meet the demands of a global market.
 
The report found that over the past two decades, the increase in completion rates has been double the percentage rate of enrollment at community colleges across the country. Between 1989 and 2010, the number of students earning credentials increased by 127%, while enrollment during the same time frame increased by 65%. The numbers are even more significant for students
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Published July 14, 2011 |
State Spending Impacting Graduation Rates at Community Colleges across the Country
The dire state of current budgets is impacting graduation rates, which are diminishing with each disappearing dollar. Learn about how the current budget crisis is impacting students and their degrees, as well as potential solutions.
A college education is an important component to a lucrative and successful career today, whether the degree is earned at a community college or four-year university. That fact is driving the efforts of the current administration to raise the completion rates at community colleges across the country within the next decade. President Obama has launched an initiative to graduate five million new students from community colleges by 2020. The president believes this lofty goal will help the United States establish itself in the top spot for college graduates and beef up the country’s economic outlook at the same time.

However, many states have found that the current economic crunch and exceedingly high unemployment rate are forcing them to make difficult decisions when balancing their budgets. Some of those decisions involve cutting funding to institutions of higher education –just when schools need money the most. When less money is available, students tend to suffer from fewer services and crowded classes that make it difficult to graduate on time. Less funding also means fewer options in financial aid and higher tuition rates, which often price many low-income students right out of the community college market.
 
New Report Shows Shrinking Budgets Impacting Completion Rates
 
A new report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education shows a direct correlation between less funding and diminishing completion rates at many community colleges around the country. According to the agency’s website, the report, titled, “Affordability and
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Published June 09, 2011 |
New National Initiative Designed to Ramp Up Graduation Rates
President Obama has ambitious goals of graduating five more million students from community colleges by the close of this decade. Can our country do it? A new initiative called Completion by Design says, yes we can!
President Obama has announced an ambitious plan to graduate an additional 5 million community college students by 2020. To achieve this end, the President has raised the level of awareness about the benefits of community colleges and issued grants and other funding to raise enrollment levels across the country. However, getting more students into college is only the first part of the battle.
 
Low Completion Rates a National Problem
 
Graduation rates for community colleges are currently dismal at best, with less than one-quarter who enroll in a college graduating from a degree or certificate program within three years, according to a report at the Houston Chronicle. That figure varies throughout the country, with some states seeing even lower numbers in their graduation rates. For example, Texas faces s a community college graduation rate of just 12 percent within three years, although that number goes up to 30 percent within six years. Still, if community colleges are to truly raise up a workforce that can compete in the global economy, they must do much better than the status quo.
 
The worst numbers appear to come from low-income students, who enter community college in an effort to bring themselves to a higher earning level. However, the majority of these students never complete their degree or certificate program, which reduces their chances of a decent-paying job or transfer to a four-year institution. In a community college summit last fall, President Obama told the Christian Science Monitor, "In
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Published November 24, 2010 |
How California Community Colleges Hope to Increase Graduation Rates by 2020
California currently faces dismal graduation rates, but a new initiative hopes to increase graduation rates dramatically by 2020.
Last year, President Obama announced his ambitious plan to graduate five million more students from community colleges by the year 2020. The President believes this goal is necessary to ensure the United States can continue to be leaders in a global economy, according to a report at WhiteHouse.gov. However, boosting graduation rates at community colleges across the country may be easier said than done. To facilitate the process, California has developed a list of recommendations to increase graduation rates in that state, which could serve as a model for other states as well.
 
Room for Improvement
 
According to a report on Southern California Public Radio, there is plenty of room for improvement in California community colleges today. A study conducted by California State University, Sacramento, found that seven of every 10 students do not complete a two-year degree or transfer to a four-year institution. Long Beach City College President Eloy Ortiz Oakley told the radio station, "We need to rapidly improve the education of our workforce, and community colleges are the gateway to the majority of that workforce in California."
 
Finding Solutions

To help achieve that end, the Community College League of California has issued recommendations for community colleges to follow. The report, titled, "Commission on the Future's 2020 Vision for Student Success," outlines 17 recommendations designed to increase student graduation rates across the board. League president Scott Lay told KPBS that the purpose of the report is to make community colleges
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Updated March 03, 2015 |
The Catch-22 of Community College Graduation Rates
Community college graduation rates may appear to be in dire straits, but what are the real numbers? Could it be that the “successful” students who transfer to four-year universities are considered community college “drop outs” statistically?
Throughout his administration, President Obama has shined a major spotlight on America’s college graduation rates, and community colleges are feeling the pressure. According to the Hechinger Report, fewer than one out of five students at community colleges obtain their desired degree in three years or less. A recent study published by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) paints a similarly grim picture by indicating that high college dropout rates cost both state and federal governments billions of dollars each year. However, do these numbers really paint an accurate picture of what is happening in community colleges and four-year institutions across the country? This article will explore the many reasons for high dropout rates, including flaws in the manner in which such data is collected.
 
What the Numbers Show

As shown in the graph above, data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that only 13 percent of community college students graduate in two years. Within three years, approximately 22 percent of students graduate, and within four years, the rate stands at 28 percent. Further data from AIR shows that only about 60% of college students graduate from four-year colleges and universities within six years. AIR vice president Mark Schneider claims that more than $9 billion is spent on these students each year by state and federal governments, yet all that funding fails to produce a college graduate that could bring those years of education to the country's workforce. While the AIR numbers are specifically related
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