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April 2011
What's Happening

IHELP Speaks at AACC Conference – IHELP Director Nancy Shulock was invited to participate on a panel at the American Association of Community College’s Annual Convention in New Orleans April 9-12. Nancy joined Davis Jenkins from the Community College Research Center and top Washington higher education officials in discussing performance funding and the Washington State model. Nancy discussed emerging lessons from Washington regarding measuring performance, how to build a performance funding system around measurements, and how to help colleges use measurements and funding incentives to produce fundamental institutional change.

IHELP Speaks at CSU, Northridge Conference – Nancy was invited to serve as a panelist at California State University Northridge’s conference, “CSU: The Next Fifty Years.” Nancy spoke about the need for institutional and policy changes to improve student success including stronger leadership from the Governor, better use of data on student progress and patterns of success, and the consideration of new types of institutions or changes to current institutions to better meet student and state needs.

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 may 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

California State University Graduation Initiative

Sacramento State University recently hosted Graduation Initiative Unity Day, an event aligned with the university’s commitment to the California State University Graduation Initiative. The initiative is a system-wide effort to improve graduation rates, decrease time to completion and close the completion gap for underrepresented minority (URM) students. Currently only 46% of CSU students and only 41% of URM students graduate within six years. The initiative, announced in January 2010, is expected to raise the graduation rates for all CSU students by 8% and for URM students by 10% by 2016. As part of the initiative, each campus has formed a leadership team to examine policies and programs and develop plans to identify campus targets and goals, manage progress and make strategic changes when necessary. Campuses are responsible for presenting bi-monthly reports and hosting campus visits to exhibit progress toward their goals. For more information on the individual campus plans and progress, please click here.

In case you missed it - Performance Incentives to Improve Community College Completion: Learning from Washington State’s Student Achievement Initiative

This policy brief, jointly produced by IHELP and the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Columbia University, offers lessons to date about the Student Achievement Initiative (SAI), a policy adopted by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges that draws on intermediate measures of student progress to reward colleges for improvements in student achievement. The policy brief examines policy choices that Washington faced in designing and implementing SAI, the choices that leaders in other states will confront when considering adopting performance incentive policies as a means to improve student outcomes. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the three-year evaluation will include an examination of the impact of SAI on college efforts to improve student outcomes and on student outcomes.  

View the report

Spotlight On

New Briefs on Community Colleges – Jobs for the Future recently released three new briefs that discuss efforts at various community colleges to improve student success in developmental programs and to direct students through career pathways in growing fields.

Innovations in Developmental Math examines significant investments three community colleges have made in programs that improve student success in developmental mathematics.

Creating Opportunities in Health Care highlights 11 community colleges preparing low-income adults for family-sustaining health care careers by partnering with local employers and workforce development agencies.

Greening Community Colleges shows how three community colleges are “greening” their campus operations, curricula and communities while training students for careers in the emerging green economy.

Sacramento State Institute For Higher Education Leadership & Policy

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