Improving Learning

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15 Ways to Increase Your Odds of Success at Community College
Take advantage of this in-depth guide to help you achieve success at community college through making the right financial aid decisions, college readiness assessments, and class taking strategies.
Community college has come a long way in recent years, especially with the focus these schools are getting from the current administration. President Obama has labeled these institutions as the hope for American’s economic future and the way this country will remain competitive in a global marketplace. To that end, President Obama has announced a lofty goal of adding 5 million more community college graduates by 2020. He also hosted the first community college summit at the White House last year, which served as the starting point for finding new ways to support these institutions so they are able to meet this ambitious goal.

In this struggling economy, community college has become the go-to place for displaced workers looking for training in a new field and high school graduates who are unable to afford the skyrocketing tuition rates at four-year institutions. However, the path from enrollment to graduation is not always an easy one. We have tips to help incoming students get the most from their community college experience, so they can use it as an effective starting point for a successful and lucrative career.
 

Are You Ready?

The first step toward community college success is proper preparation before the enrollment process even takes place. Whether you are coming to college right out of high school, or have been out of the world of academia for some time, you can determine your college readiness with a relatively simple process.

First, find a readiness assessment online
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Community College Case Studies: 3 Lessons on Improving Learning
As community colleges continue to grow in popularity, some campuses are experimenting with how they can improve learning. Be inspired by three case studies that follow the successes of community colleges in their quest to take learning to a new level.
The significant role community colleges will play in the country's economy has been underscored by the White House over the past few months with the first annual community college summit taking place in Washington this fall. However, in order for community colleges to become the relevant player that President Obama wants them to be, the current dismal graduation rates at community colleges across the country will need to increase. To that end, the initiative known as "Achieving the Dream" has been implemented to recognize community colleges performing above national standards and use those tools to elevate other colleges to a higher level as well.
 
Achieving the Dream is committed to assisting community colleges better serve their students so more students can realize academic and professional success. Colleges participating in the movement agree to carefully analyze their current procedures and student outcomes and develop and implement new strategies to improve student outcome overall.

In addition, participating colleges agree to monitor their progress and report their findings to Achieving the Dream so that other colleges can benefit from their knowledge and experience. This year, the organization learned three important lessons on improving learning from two of the participating community colleges in their pool.
 
Reducing Achievement Gaps = Increased Student Retention

Valencia Community College in Florida offered a number of programs for under-prepared students coming to the campus for the first time – more than 100 programs, in fact. However, the piecemeal approach to improving student performance
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Why You Should Strive To Be On The Dean's List
Making the dean’s list at your community college may earn you scholarships, recognition, and improved job prospects. Learn about effective strategies that can help get you onto the dean’s list.
Nearly every community college and university across the country includes a Dean's List, a roster of students who have performed particularly well during the previous semester or school year. The Dean's List has traditionally been a prestigious honor for which to strive during your years of higher education because it demonstrates a commitment to academic excellence and the ability to rise to the workload, however heavy it might become. Whether you are just entering the hallowed halls of academia, or are currently working through your degree program, we have a list of reasons to strive for the dean's list and tips to help you get there.
 
What is the Dean's List?
 
According to Wikipedia, the Dean's List is "a category of students in a college or university who achieve high grades during their stay in an academic term or academic year." The term is primarily used in North America, but some European institutions offer a Dean's List as well.
Requirements for making the Dean's List vary from institution to institution, but most mandate a specific number of course hours to be taken and a set GPA to be maintained during the term or school year. It is important to inquire with the advisement center or your academic counselor regarding the specific requirements for the Dean's List at your college.
 
Benefits of the Dean's List
 
The benefits of making the Dean's List also vary from school to school, with some colleges even offering additional financial aid to students who make the Dean's
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How Your Smartphone Can Help You Earn Better Grades at Community College
Your iPod can stream so much more than simply music! Learn about how you can view your community college lectures on your smartphone, using this small piece of technology to improve your grades and academic experience.
Gone are the days when cellphones were strictly limited to playing music. Since iTunes launched iTunes U in 2007, iTunes and iPhones have become powerful tools for community college students, teachers, and lifelong learners of all ages. Students can select from a wide variety of video and audio lectures to download and then play these lectures on their handheld devices.

Best of all, all iTunes U content is available to the public free of charge. You may not have realized it, but your phone can become a learning resource that will improve your grades at community college!

ITunes U, which Apple describes as “possibly the world’s greatest collection of free educational media,” is a section of the iTunes store in which research universities, four-year colleges, and community colleges can post audio and video files. Apple’s website lists the current number of audio and video educational files at over 200,000, and the number continues to grow as more and more colleges begin podcasting their most popular courses.
 
This video explains what iTunes U is and how it works.
 
 
iTunes U and Community Colleges
 
Community colleges are rapidly joining the ranks of iTunes U participating institutions – and with good reason. Community college students often work in addition to going to school, and the ability to make learning more mobile is often highly coveted. A recent article in Community College Week noted that although it is unlikely that a community college will have the
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The Benefits of Community College Minority Mentoring Programs
Learn about how minority mentorship programs at community colleges are improving academic performance and graduation rates, as well as providing a medley of benefits.
While all mentoring programs help improve student performance and graduation rates, some community colleges are finding that minority mentorship programs are even more beneficial.  Colleges across the country are celebrating the outstanding results achieved through the collaborative efforts of on-campus minority mentoring programs.  As the Education Resources Services Center articulates, “Mentoring is a process that can increase the retention of minority students, with larger numbers graduated and hired for faculty positions.” 
To discover the benefits of minority mentoring opportunities, consider what some of the top performing organizations have been able to achieve with their local community college support.   
 
Examining the College Student Spectrum
 
According to the Community College Review Journal, diversity among community college student populations is constantly shifting.  In fact, recent US Census Bureau reports show that 42.3 percent of African Americans enrolled in college programs are specifically taking courses at community colleges.  50 percent of Native American college students, as well as over 55 percent of Hispanic college students, are also enrolled in classes at various community colleges. 
 
However, as the Community College Review Journal asserts, “Despite these changes, these populations of students may be confronted with many issues that are detrimental to their retention and success, such as lower levels of academic preparation in high school, lower socioeconomic status, and greater alienation in these institutions.” 
 
Due to these specific challenges, many community colleges report higher dropout rates and lower academic achievement results from minority students.  To address these issues, some college leaders believe that providing
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