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February 2011
What's Happening

IHELP Testifies at Little Hoover Commission Hearing – IHELP Director Nancy Shulock testified at the Commission’s public hearing on California’s Community College System on February 24, 2011 at the State Capitol. Also invited to testify were CCC Chancellor Jack Scott, Long Beach CCD Superintendent Eloy Oakley, and College of the Sequoias Superintendent William Scroggins. This hearing will be followed by commissioner site visits to colleges and advisory committee meetings. Click here to view Nancy’s submitted written testimony.

Divided We Fail Regional Profiles – The Campaign for College Opportunity is releasing a series of regional profile supplements to IHELP’s recent report, Divided We Fail: Improving Completion and Closing Racial Gaps in California’s Community Colleges. The first two regional profiles for San Diego-Imperial Counties and the San Francisco Bay Area were released earlier this month and the remaining profiles will be unveiled through the end of June. The Campaign is also co-hosting roundtable discussions with key community and business leaders to share the findings and discuss local and state solutions to improve college completion in California. Click here to view a list of profiles already released. 


Features This Month

The Road Less Traveled: Realizing the Potential of Career Technical Education in the California Community Colleges

IHELP's newest report, funded by the James Irvine Foundation, examines four high-wage, high-need career pathways in the California Community Colleges as a basis for exploring the Career Technical Education mission and its role in the college completion agenda. The study found that the potential of CTE to help meet the state’s completion, workforce, and equity goals is not fully realized due to a lack of priority on awarding technical certificates and degrees and an absence of clear pathways for students to follow in pursuing those credentials. The report offers recommendations to strengthen the CTE function including: reexamining the structure and function of occupationally-oriented associate degrees; offering fewer, more consistent CTE programs that clearly meet regional needs; and having students formally declare a program of study, with colleges ensuring that students have access to the classes they need for those programs.

View the report

In case you missed it - Divided We Fail: Improving Completion and Closing Racial Gaps in California's Community Colleges

This report, report, sponsored by the Campaign for College Opportunity, and co-released by 14 organizations, analyzes the progress and outcomes of degree- and certificate-seeking students in the California Community College system. The study tracks the 2003-04 entering cohort (more than a quarter of a million students) over six years, analyzing their progress along a series of intermediate milestones and completion outcomes by race/ethnicity. The report emphasizes that low completion rates and continued racial/ethnic disparities pose serious risks to the state’s future prosperity and offers recommendations for changes to policy and practice with a goal of improving student success, especially among underrepresented minority populations. The recommendations include coordinating a systemwide effort to analyze and publicly report cohort data on enrollment patterns and student progress for each college, by race/ethnicity, and adopting a new funding model that rewards colleges for helping students progress through key milestones – with extra incentives for key attainments achieved by students who entered under-prepared.

View the report

Spotlight On

Career Technical Education - The importance of career technical education in community colleges has recently gained much-needed attention. In addition to IHELP’s newest report on CTE featured above, several other significant reports and papers have recently surfaced on this important topic:

Complete College America – Certificates Count: An Analysis of Sub-baccalaureate Certificates
Harvard Graduate School of Education – Pathways to Prosperity
McGraw-Hill Education – Policy Paper: Career Technical Education


Sacramento State Institute For Higher Education Leadership & Policy

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