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May 2012
What's Happening

CCC Vocational Research and Accountability Committee Presentation – IHELP Director Nancy Shulock and IHELP Research Analyst Eric Chisholm gave an invited presentation at the California Community College Vocational Research and Accountability Committee meeting on May 4. Nancy and Eric discussed IHELP’s recent research and findings on career technical education and how policy affects the operation of CTE programs in the California community colleges. Click here to view the presentation.

Career Technical Education and Labor Markets – IHELP Research Analyst Eric Chisholm joined six other students from Sacramento State’s Public Policy and Administration Department in presenting their Master’s Theses at the State Capitol on May 10. Eric’s thesis, Are Career and Technical Education Programs at California Community Colleges Aligned with Local Labor Markets?, used CCC student award and program offering data and past occupational growth and occupational projections from California’s Economic Development Department to test how well aligned CTE programs are with the needs of local labor markets in individual Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA). Eric found that on average about half of all awards and programs were misaligned with local labor markets. Click here to view a summary of the thesis.

IHELP Research Analyst Receives Graduate Award – Eric Chisholm was recently awarded the Cristy Jensen Distinguished Graduate Award. The award is presented to a Public Policy and Administration graduating student who exhibited extraordinary strengths in their academic, professional, service, and leadership activities. Eric will be leaving IHELP to begin a Ph.D program in Public Policy at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, in a joint program offered by the Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia State University, in Atlanta.

Impact of Learning Time on Academic Achievement – IHELP Faculty Associate Su Jin Jez and Sacramento State Department of Public Policy and Administration Chair Robert Wassmer recently prepared a paper analyzing the impact of the length of the school day on academic performance. This paper was prepared for the Faculty Fellows Research Program at the request of the California Senate’s Office of Research. The paper found a significant and positive relationship between the number of instructional minutes in an academic year and school-site standardized test scores. The importance of instructional minutes was even greater for disadvantaged students. The paper’s findings argue against reducing instructional time as an approach to managing fiscal challenges. Click here to view the paper and here to view the related Sacramento Bee op-ed by IHELP Faculty Associate Ted Lascher.

New Research Analyst Sought – IHELP is beginning its search to hire a researcher with experience in higher education policy and research methods. Please e-mail Nancy Shulock for more information or to advise us of potential applicants.

Features This Month

Measuring Institutional Conditions that Support Student Success in the California Community Colleges

This new report, prepared by IHELP for the University of California All Campus Consortium on Research for Diversity (UC/ACCORD), looks at the opportunities and challenges in measuring institutional conditions that support student success. The report, part of the Pathways to Postsecondary Success project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, draws from the literature and ongoing research to develop a set of indicators and metrics to assess the institutional conditions related to student success in the California community colleges. The report describes the significant challenges in identifying, defining and measuring indicators of supportive institutional conditions in the community colleges, but offers a list of possible indicators and existing sources of data that could be used as a “starting point” in defining a set that could fairly and accurately capture the conditions at a particular institution.

View the report

In Case You Missed It - Career Opportunities: Career Technical Education and the College Completion Agenda Summary of Parts I and II

This IHELP policy brief is a summary of the first two reports in a series titled Career Opportunities: Career Technical Education and the College Completion Agenda. The first report, Structure and Funding of Career Technical Education in the California Community Colleges, analyzes the complex organizational structure and funding arrangements for the CTE mission and the closely related economic and workforce development mission. The second report, Inventory and Analysis of CTE Programs in the California Community Colleges, examines the full set of career-technical certificate and associate degree programs offered by the CCC. Researchers inventory and analyze CTE program offerings across the system as a basis for understanding how well CTE programs are meeting students’ needs to identify, enroll in, and complete programs with real value in today’s labor market. Each report identifies key issues that will need to be addressed as efforts proceed to increase the effectiveness of CTE in the California Community Colleges. The entire project is guided by a set of criteria, based on a literature review, that characterizes an effective CTE mission.

View the brief


Spotlight On

Boosting Postsecondary Education Performance -
A new statement released by the Committee for Economic Development (CED) calls for business leaders to take an active role in addressing the need for more educated workers to fill available jobs and boost the national economy. The statement argues that broad-access colleges, including community and technical colleges, are vital to closing racial and economic achievement gaps and educating the majority of the nation’s workforce. CED urges the business community to become state-level advocates to support these institutions and needed changes in the educational environment. The statement recommends changes to state-level policies, including policies on setting goals and agendas, financial resource allocation, accountability, and data and metrics in order to foster conditions that promote increases in postsecondary productivity and effectiveness.

Click here to view the statement.

Sacramento State Institute For Higher Education Leadership & Policy

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