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Posts Tagged ‘college completion’

CTE Research Review

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Research Image_6.2013Research has shown time and again that finishing what you start in higher education is key to higher lifetime potential earnings, gainful employment and much more. Most researchers use the term, “some college” for students who enrolled in college but left without receiving a degree or certificate, but what does this enigmatic term really mean?

Though this category includes 31 million students over the past 20 years, little is known about the students themselves. The National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) takes a closer look at who makes up this group with its new report, “Some College, No Degree: A National View of Students with Some College Enrollment, but No Completion”.

Through national data on enrollments over time and across institutions, NSC was able to dig deeper than most reports, which traditionally survey a representative sample of adults. By using data, NSC excluded those who earned degrees or certificates and analyzed the enrollment pathways of the “some college” population.

In particular, the report focuses largely on two groups of students: those who had enrolled in multiple institutions, and “potential completers” — those with at least two full academic years’ worth of college.

The NSC researchers believe that potential completers should be at the center of the discussion about improving postsecondary completion rates. They say that policies still need to be tailored to fit their needs as older students returning to education after a period of extended absence from the system.

Most potential completers tend to be between 24 and 29 years old. Although women are slightly more represented overall in this group, men somewhat outnumber women within the 24-29 age bracket who have been out of the higher education system for two to six years. More than one in four potential completers enrolled continuously or intermittently for seven years or longer and their enrollment histories are equally split among two- and four-year institutions. These demographics, the researchers say, have unique needs that educators and policymakers need to address to bring these students back into schools and get them to graduation.

To learn more about the “some college group” including important policy recommendations, be sure to check out the full report.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

By Andrea Zimmermann in Research
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Low College Completion Rates for Students Pursuing Certificate, Associate, and Bachelor’s Degrees

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Despite increases in college enrollment rates, too few students are making it through certificate, associate and bachelor’s degree programs to attain a credential, according to a report released this week.

Complete College America (CCA), a national non-profit organization working to increase the number of Americans with a college degree or credential, presents new comprehensive state and campus college completion data in Time is the Enemy.

The federal government only requires colleges and universities to report data on first-time, full-time students. However, 40 percent of public college students attend part-time and, therefore, are often overlooked in federal data. Others have been overlooked as well, according to the report:

“Start full-time and then transfer to a different institution? You haven’t been counted. Older students, students trapped in remediation, students pursuing valuable career certificates… all have been virtually invisible to policy makers, elected officials, and taxpayers.”

Unlike most federal data, the report’s data shows rates for part-time and full-time students and those pursuing a certificate, 2-year degree or 4-year degree. CCA analyzed this data with the cooperation of governors from 33 states. Unfortunately, these newly-available statistics are sobering:

In Texas, 79 percent of college-going students enter 2-year public colleges full-time or part-time. Of these students, only 2 percent graduate on time. After 4 years, only 7 percent total will graduate with a degree.

Many other states showed similarly discouraging results. To view your state’s results, click here.

The report states that “students who are poor, older or of color struggle the most to graduate.” Some barriers include remedial coursework and inconvenient scheduling.

Programs that yield high student completion rates are also highlighted, such as Tennessee’s Technology Centers and the City of New York’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs. Strategies for increasing graduation rates, such as block scheduling and on-campus jobs for commuter students, are also described.

View the full report and helpful visuals on the Complete College America website.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in News, Research, Resources
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State Strategies Provide Lower-Skilled Individuals with Postsecondary Options

Friday, March 25th, 2011

More than half of jobs created by 2018 are projected to require some form of postsecondary education. For lower-skilled individuals with basic skills deficiencies, maintaining employment may become a challenge. Forty-five percent of adults have a high school diploma or less. Those hoping to earn a family-sustaining wage may need to attain a postsecondary credential or certificate to increase their job prospects.

A recent report from the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) explains that, while federal programs can increase lower-skilled individuals’ access to postsecondary education, state and local policy decisions influence student success and completion in higher education.

CLASP’s report, Beyond Basic Skills: State Strategies to Connect Low-Skilled Students to an Employer-Valued Postsecondary Education, suggests that states implement these strategies to help lower-skilled individuals attain postsecondary credentials:

By using the above strategies, states can connect basic skills education with postsecondary education to meet the needs of lower-skilled individuals and the state’s labor market demands.

For more information on the suggested strategies, related challenges, and program examples, please read CLASP’s full report here.

By Kara in Research
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