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June/July 2011
What's Happening

IHELP Presents at UC/ACCORD Convening – IHELP Director Nancy Shulock gave an invited presentation and served as a discussant at the UC/ACCORD’s “Pathways to Postsecondary Success” June convening at the University of California, Los Angeles. The UC “Pathways” project is considering developing an “indicators” report for community colleges similar to what it has produced for K-12, that would highlight conditions at colleges that are related to promoting student success. Nancy’s presentation covered IHELP’s work on milestones and indicators for postsecondary success. Click here to view the presentation.

Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence – Nancy has been selected to serve on the committee to help select the ten finalists for Aspen Institute’s Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The $1 million Aspen Prize is awarded to community colleges that exhibit outstanding performance and progress in academic and workforce outcomes.

California Competes Council Project - IHELP Faculty Associate Su Jin Jez has been hired as a consultant for the California Competes Council. Su Jin is providing comprehensive data and analysis to support the Council’s efforts to set goals and policies to improve California higher education.

IHELP Speaks at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Convening - Nancy was invited to participate in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Postsecondary Success 3rd Annual Grantee Convening, "The Best of Times and Worst of Times for Catalyzing Completion," in Seattle, Washington on June 16-17. Nancy facilitated two panels, one discussing performance-based funding and the other on the declaration of student majors.

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

Consequences of Neglect: Performance Trends in California Higher Education

IHELP’s newest report uses national data to take an in-depth look at California higher education performance in relation to other states and within the state by region and by race/ethnicity. Researchers analyzed California’s postsecondary performance in the categories of preparation, participation, affordability, completion, benefits and finance, and found that the state’s performance is average, at best, and trending downward. This report is the fourth in a series of reports previously titled The Grades are In, which followed the publication of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education’s bi-annual Measuring Up reports that graded the 50 states on their higher education performance.

View the report

New IHELP Brief - Highlights of Findings on Latino Student Success

This new one-page brief highlights the findings regarding Latinos in California in the recent IHELP report, Divided We Fail: Improving Completion and Closing Racial Gaps in California’s Community Colleges. It was prepared at the request of Excelencia in Education to complement their series of reports on Latino college completion. Divided We Fail includes analyses of the progress and outcomes of degree- and certificate-seeking students in the California Community College system.

View the brief

In case you missed it - Concerns about Performance-based Funding and Ways that States are Addressing the Concerns

As the nation’s colleges and universities struggle with limited budgets and demands for increased degree completion, states are once again looking at performance-based funding as a way to increase efficiency and reward institutions for access and success. This IHELP brief examines concerns that have arisen about performance-based funding and summarizes the ways that states are addressing, or could address, the concerns. This four-page brief was written by IHELP Director Nancy Shulock as part of her work with the California Community Colleges’ Student Success Task Force and is intended to inform discussions for states that are considering changes to postsecondary education funding models. (See Spotlight below for an additional piece on new directions in performance-based funding.)

View the brief

Spotlight On

Performance-Based Funding: Can We Do Better This Time?

Earlier models of performance-based funding encountered well-deserved resistance and criticism and were often short-lived. Adopting performance-based funding is still seen by some as opening the proverbial “Pandora’s Box,” unleashing evils such as compromising the open access mission of the colleges, lowering academic standards, punishing colleges for things beyond their control, pitting colleges against one another, and squeezing college budgets at a time when funding is already scarce. The weakness of earlier models and the poor implementation of these models have helped perpetuate these concerns. But newer models are addressing these and other concerns and are gaining increased attention and traction in today’s economic climate.

IHELP Director Nancy Shulock addresses these concerns and discusses newer models of performance funding in an article featured in Silicon Valley Education Foundation’s blog called Thoughts on Public Education (TOP-Ed). Click here to view the article.

Sacramento State Institute For Higher Education Leadership & Policy

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