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June/July 2013
What's Happening

Jobs for the Future State Policy Meeting – IHELP Director Nancy Shulock gave an invited presentation at JFF’s Postsecondary State Policy Network meeting on July 16-17 in Miami. Nancy’s presentation focused on the importance of aligning policy with college missions to improve student success. Nancy cited examples from recent research, including IHELP’s reports on career technical education in the California Community Colleges. Click here to view the presentation.

California EDGE Coalition Legislative Briefing - Nancy Shulock presented preliminary findings from IHELP research to legislative staff at EDGE’s Legislative Workforce Policy Group session on June 7. Nancy discussed IHELP’s current research on career technical education funding strategies in other states. Also presenting at the briefing was Linda Collins, Executive Director of Learning Works and the Career Ladders Project, and Steve Shea from the office of Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg.

Education and Urban Society Journal Paper – IHELP Faculty Associate Su Jin Jez co-authored a paper with Sacramento State Department of Public Policy and Administration Chair Robert Wassmer titled “The Impact of Learning Time on Academic Achievement.” The paper, published in the Education and Urban Society Journal, finds that there is a significant and positive relationship between the number of instructional minutes in an academic year and school-site standardized test scores.

Next Generation Learning Challenges Conference – Associate Director Andrea Venezia attended a Next Generation Learning Challenge (NGLC) conference in San Francisco to learn about ways in which grantees are using technology to support blended learning (blending technology and traditional instruction). This is part of IHELP’s new work to support NGLC grantees through the development a research-based report on applying technology to support deeper learning and by identifying and disseminating tools developed by grantees.

Features This Month

Game Changers

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.

Spotlight On

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

Sacramento State Institute For Higher Education Leadership & Policy

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