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March 2011
What's Happening

Presentation on the Role of For-Profit Institutions – IHELP Faculty Associate Su Jin Jez gave a presentation at the Association for Education Finance and Policy Annual Conference on the role of for-profit institutions in meeting California’s postsecondary attainment goals. Su Jin examined enrollment and completion data to determine the number and demographics of California students who complete at a for-profit institution, as well as the type of award completed and their program of study. Her study found that for‐profits are educating the growing minority population and are producing awards related to California’s fastest growing occupations.Click here to view the presentation.

IHELP Briefing on Career Technical Education – IHELP met with staffers of legislators who are interested in strengthening the community college role in career education and workforce development to discuss the findings and recommendations of IHELP’s new report, The Road Less Traveled: Realizing the Potential of Career Technical Education in the California Community Colleges. IHELP also plans to hold a legislative briefing in the State Capitol on this report in the coming months.

A Call for Input on CTE Policy Issues - IHELP researchers are continuing to focus on CTE in the California community colleges with the ultimate goal of understanding how state policy can best support the operation and effectiveness of the CTE mission. This involves learning how current policies prevent colleges from implementing CTE programs most effectively and what new policies might help. IHELP researchers are eager to learn from CTE educators around the state and are scheduling phone calls and site visits. Interested individuals are invited to contact us at ihelp@csus.edu.


Features This Month

Performance Incentives to Improve Community College Completion: Learning from Washington State’s Student Achievement Initiative

A new policy brief, jointly produced by IHELP and the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Columbia University, is part of an ongoing evaluation of Washington State’s Student Achievement Initiative (SAI), a performance funding policy that draws on intermediate measures of student progress. The evaluation, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, involves data analysis and extensive interviewing of faculty and staff at 17 of Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges as well as policymakers in Washington, and several other states. This initial report outlines policy choices that Washington faced in designing and implementing SAI, the same choices that leaders in other states will confront when considering adopting performance incentive policies as a means of improving community college student outcomes. Future reports will analyze the impact of SAI on college efforts to improve student outcomes.

View the report

In case you missed it - The Road Less Traveled: Realizing the Potential of Career Technical Education in the California Community Colleges

This 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 while CTE has the potential to meet the state’s completion, workforce and equity goals, there is 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

Spotlight On

Community College Research Center Assessment of Evidence Series – CCRC at Columbia University has released an eight-part series of working papers that serve to help community colleges identify strategies that could improve student success and increase graduation rates on a scale needed to meet national goals. CCRC’s Assessment of Evidence Series includes extensive research evidence and analysis in eight major topic areas: developmental education assessment, developmental acceleration, developmental math pedagogy, contextualization of basic skills instruction, online learning, non-academic support, institutional program structure, and organizational improvement. The series assesses the nature and strength of the research literature within each topic area and uses a variety of sources, including qualitative and survey research, theoretical literature, field experts and practitioner input to draw conclusions and provide practical, concrete evidence-based recommendations. Click the links below for an introduction to the series and for links to the individual working papers.

Introduction to the CCRC Assessment of Evidence Series
Introduction Abstract and Working Paper links

Sacramento State Institute For Higher Education Leadership & Policy

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