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:

Five Things Every Recent Community College Graduate Should Do

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Five Things Every Recent Community College Graduate Should Do
You've graduated from community college - now what? Keep reading to learn what to do after you've finished college.

After years of school, finally entering the “real world” is certainly cause for celebration. Graduating from college is an incredible achievement and with it comes unlimited opportunities for the future.

But what exactly do you do after you graduate from a community college? What are your first steps?

Many community college students spend so much time and effort focusing on passing their classes and keeping up their GPA that they fail to really think about what comes next. You don’t necessarily need to plan the next ten years of your life down to the finest detail, but you should have some kind of game plan in place for when you finish school. If you aren’t quite sure what to do after you finish community college, here are five suggestions.

1. Update Your Resume and Beef Up Your Interview Skills

The whole point of going to college is to get the education and experience you need to land your dream job. Just because you have the right degree, however, doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get the job you want. You need to make yourself look valuable to potential employers and that largely comes down to two things – your resume and your interview skills.

When you apply for a job, potential employers will look at your resume first. If they don’t like what they see, you’re unlikely to make it past that first round of cuts and you probably won’t get an interview. You could be the most charismatic person

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Things to Include in Your College Application Essay

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Things to Include in Your College Application Essay
Most colleges and universities require an essay as part of the application process, but how important is the essay really and what can you do to make sure yours stands out?

Deciding which colleges to apply to is difficult enough, but you add to that the stress of writing a personal essay for each of your applications. Your personal essay is supposed to give college admissions teams a snapshot of who you are as a person and who you hope to become but you don’t have to spill your guts or transcribe your whole life story. To increase your chances of getting accepted, first learn just how important your essay is, and then take the time to learn the Dos and Don’ts of college application essays.

How Important is Your Application Essay?

Every year, colleges and universities receive hundreds or even thousands of applications. Many of those applications are virtually identical in terms of GPA, class load, and test scores – so how do you make yourself stand out in a crowd? The college application essay is designed to give you a chance to speak directly to the admissions committee, to tell them who you are and why you want to go to their school. But is your application essay more important than the rest of your application or is it just one factor that admissions committees weigh evenly with your GPA and test scores?

According to an article published on Time.com, college application essays aren’t as important as they are cracked up to be. In fact, Stanford sociologist Mitchell Stevens worked alongside admissions officers at numerous top-tier liberal arts schools for 18 months and he discovered that in

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10 Ideas for Improving Community College Completion Rates

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10 Ideas for Improving Community College Completion Rates
Community colleges do not traditionally boast high completion rates, but there are many ideas in the works at schools across the country to bring those rates up. We look at a few that are making headlines today.

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 is slowly being put into practice by community colleges across the country.

This video from The Philanthropic Roundtable opines that "It takes more than money to keep low-income community college students enrolled."

Adding Dual-Enrollment Programs

Dual-enrollment programs allow high school students to earn college credits before they earn their high school diplomas. 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.

Collecting Data

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

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Host of New Legislative Measures Coming to California Community Colleges

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Host of New Legislative Measures Coming to California Community Colleges
We report on the numerous pieces of legislation recently signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown in an attempt to revamp and ramp up the state’s floundering community college system.

California community colleges have been struggling in recent years, facing dwindling budgets and increasing scrutiny from college regulatory agencies. Governor Jerry Brown has now taken the community college problem into his own hands, signing legislation that will lead to significant changes in these institutions of higher education. With concern for the low completion rates the California community college system now faces, Governor Brown focused specifically on laws that would increase the odds of student success at community colleges throughout the state.

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
  • The 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

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Avoiding Dropout Factories: 10 Steps to Community College Success

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Avoiding Dropout Factories: 10 Steps to Community College Success
Make sure you don't become part of a community college "dropout factory" by considering these 10 factors when choosing a community college.

The term "dropout factories" was 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 amid 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.

This video explores the fact that fewer than 40% of community college students graduate or transfer in three years.

The Definition of a "Dropout Factory"

There is no definition of a dropout factory when referring to community colleges – it depends partly 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 first-year students 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 high school and community college levels as those with 60 percent or

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