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June/July 2012
What's Happening

IHELP Speaks at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Convening – IHELP Director Nancy Shulock attended the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Postsecondary Success 4th Annual Grantee Convening, "Accelerating Momentum – Tools and Practices on the Pathway to Student Success," in Seattle, Washington on June 13-15. Nancy facilitated one panel and served as a speaker on another panel focusing on the role of the state in driving postsecondary reform. Nancy discussed the findings in IHELP’s newest report which analyzed the key strategies and factors behind the effectiveness of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges in coordinating the college system.

Advisory Panels on CTE Policy Issues – IHELP has formed advisory panels as part of its multi-part research agenda aimed at strengthening the career technical education mission in the California Community Colleges. IHELP has engaged these panels, made up of CTE professionals and experts, to help guide its research in understanding how state and system  policies can best support the CTE mission. The panels are divided into the following policy categories: Degree/certificate programs offered; structure and delivery of programs; high school-to-community college-workplace pathways; funding; accountability; and faculty policies. The first three have begun their work; the last three panels will begin in the fall.

IHELP Presents at UC/ACCORD Convening – IHELP Director Nancy Shulock and IHELP Consultant Caroline West gave an invited presentation at the UC/ACCORD’s “Pathways to Postsecondary Success” convening at the University of California, Los Angeles on June 29. Their presentation drew from the research findings in IHELP’s recent UC/ACCORD report which examined the opportunities and challenges in measuring institutional conditions that support student success.

Doctoral Student Research Report: Increasing Degree Attainment in California –  Increasing degree attainment of “near completers,” or working adults with some college but no degree, is the subject of a completed doctoral dissertation by Jenni Murphy, a senior director of the College of Continuing Education at Sacramento State University. Jenni is a recent graduate of Sacramento State’s Doctorate of Educational Leadership program. She has prepared a shorter report based on her doctoral dissertation. This report examines the state-level policies affecting near completion in California and other states and the benefits of addressing near completers as part of efforts to increase college completion.

IHELP Welcomes New Research Specialist – IHELP is pleased to welcome Dr. Latonya Harris as the newest member of its research team. Latonya received her Master’s Degree in Education from Harvard and her PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of California, Davis. She recently completed a NIH-funded postdoctoral research fellowship with the Center for Developmental Science at UNC Chapel Hill. Her previous research was focused on studying how adverse environmental forces might affect learning in children and adolescents, as well as factors that might promote resilience in this population.

Features This Month

On Balance: Lessons in Effective Coordination from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges – An Organizational Perspective

The newest IHELP report examines the importance of effective coordination of postsecondary education in boosting educational attainment and economic competitiveness. This report is a case study of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), and analyzes the key strategies and conditions that have led to the effectiveness of the Board as a coordinating agency over locally governed colleges. The study, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, found that three sets of factors -- state political and economic context, institutional design, and organization and leadership strategies -- explain the success of the Board. The report includes a self-assessment instrument intended for use by other states that seek to improve the effectiveness of their own postsecondary education coordination to better serve students and meet state needs.

View the report (includes self-assessment instrument)

View the Self-Assessment instrument

In Case You Missed It - Measuring Institutional Conditions that Support Student Success in the California Community Colleges

This 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


Spotlight On

Broadening the Benefits of Dual Enrollment - A new study by the Community College Research Center (CCRC) found that career-focused dual enrollment programs can provide important benefits for underrepresented students in California. The three-year study tracked outcomes for approximately 3,000 high school students taking community college courses and earning college credit. The study found that academically underachieving students who participated in dual enrollment programs improved their performance and were more likely to graduate high school, transition to a four-year college and persist in postsecondary education, and were less likely to take basic skills courses in college compared to other students in their districts. The report offers policy recommendations to reduce barriers to program development and student participation. Click the links below to view the policy brief and full report.

Report - Broadening the Benefits of Dual Enrollment: Reaching Underachieving and Underrepresented Students with Career-Focused Programs

Policy Brief - Dual Enrollment: Helping Make College a Reality for Students Less Likely to Go


Sacramento State Institute For Higher Education Leadership & Policy

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