||Features This Month
Organizations and institutions throughout the country are working diligently to find the most effective ways to help students become ready to succeed in postsecondary education. Foundations and governmental agencies are seeking ways to incentivize and support these efforts — from redesigning high schools to trying to re-structure community colleges. One of the most difficult, yet critical, reforms to bring to scale is what happens in the classroom. Amidst the swirl of policy changes in states across the country, educators are experimenting with some radically new ways to serve students — both academically, and in terms of student supports. To underscore our expanded focus on technical assistance across education systems (K-16), in this newsletter and the next one, we highlight technical assistance that our staff has done. In this newsletter, we focus on practice-based reforms in community colleges.
West Ed’s recent series, The Game Changers, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was designed to support community college practitioners’ work to support student success. As part of the Completion by Design initiative, the series' three reports highlight reforms aimed at increasing the number of students graduating from community college and was written to encourage campus-level discussions about innovative models. These reports, co-authored by IHELP’s Associate Director Andrea Venezia, are linked below.
Acceleration in Developmental Education
Acceleration in developmental education is a strategy that community colleges use to reduce the amount of time students spend in remediation and allow them to enroll more quickly—or immediately—in courses leading to certificates or degrees. A critical issue discussed in this report is the need to re-think the content and sequence of developmental education courses, not just accelerate current content.
Providing Structured Pathways to Guide Students Toward Completion
This report outlines some of the major issues that community colleges face as they design programs and structured student pathways that allow students to explore their education and career options while also progressing toward a credential.
Integrating Student Supports and Academics
This report describes different strategies to integrate student support services (such as academic advising, education and career planning, and academic tutoring).
In Case You Missed it: Metrics, Dollars, and Systems Change – Learning From Washington State's Student Achievement Initiative to Design Effective Postsecondary Performance Funding Policies
This brief, jointly produced by IHELP and the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Columbia University, examines the implementation of the Washington State 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. Based on findings from a three-year evaluation, this brief offers lessons for leaders in states looking for ways to use funding to create incentives for student completion policies for community colleges. It offers recommendations for several design principles for an effective performance funding system including designing a useful and relevant system of performance metrics, linking performance to budgets through baseline funding, and fostering systemic institutional change through strategic communication and widespread engagement with institutional data.
View the report or email us to request a hard copy.
Models for Student Success: Developing a Community College Student Roadmap
A new issue of Peer Review by the Association of American Colleges and Universities highlights institutional models for student success developed as part of AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) project, Developing a Community College Student Roadmap. The models designed by the twelve community colleges are aimed at promoting success early in a student’s college career by engaging them at the beginning and teaching them to follow their own pathways to completion. Click the links below to view the contents of the current issue, including the model designed by California’s own Mt. San Antonio College.
Peer Review — Models for Student Success: Developing a Community College Student Roadmap
Mt. San Antonio College Roadmap to Success