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October 2011
What's Happening

PACE Seminar on CTE – IHELP Executive Director Nancy Shulock and Research Specialist Colleen Moore presented at a seminar hosted by Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) titled The Case for Increasing the Priority of Community College Career Technical Education Programs. Nancy and Colleen discussed the findings in IHELP’s February, 2011 report The Road Less Traveled and presented preliminary findings from their current CTE research agenda, including a system-wide inventory and analysis of CTE programs, documentation of the organizational structure and funding for CTE and economic and workforce development, and potential policy implications. Click the following links to view the presentation or to listen to the podcast of the seminar.

CCC Student Success Task Force – Nancy was invited to provide testimony to the California Senate Subcommittee on Education Policy Research on October 19 at the State Capitol. The hearing was on the release of the draft report from the California Community Colleges Student Success Task Force. For more information on the report, read this month’s Spotlight. Click here to read Nancy’s submitted testimony.

California Sociological Association Conference – IHELP Faculty Associate Su Jin Jez has been invited to speak at the California Sociological Association Conference on November 5 in Berkeley. Su Jin will serve on the panel titled “Higher Education in California: Public Policy, Financing and Outcomes” and will discuss IHELP’s recent inventory and analysis of community college career technical education programs.

Federal Opportunity Grant – Sacramento State University’s Department of Ethnic Studies and the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies have recently been awarded a five-year grant from the United States Department of Education to increase recruitment, retention and graduation rates among Asian American and Pacific Islander students. IHELP will partner with the Department of Ethnic Studies to evaluate student success by gathering data and tracking students through various milestones and indicators of success.

Features This Month

Good News, But a Long Way to Go

IHELP’s newest brief discusses the findings of a new report from the American Association of Community Colleges titled, The Road Ahead: A Look at Trends in the Educational Attainment of Community College Students. The brief offers an analysis of the AACC report’s claims that the investments made in a community college education are “paying off” due to the higher increase in certificates and degrees awarded by community colleges than in total enrollment. While there is cause for celebration with respect to increases in enrollment and college completions, a closer look at the data shows some reasons for caution related to the prominence of short-term certificates among the increased awards and to minority rates of improvement that lag the improvement rate among white students.

View the brief

In case you missed it - Dollars and Sense: Analysis of Spending and Revenue Patterns to Inform Fiscal Planning for California Higher Education

This IHELP report uses data from the Delta Project on Postsecondary Education Costs, Productivity, and Accountability to analyze revenue and spending patterns across California higher education. The report compares patterns across California’s three public higher education systems (University of California, California State University and the California Community Colleges), documents changes over a seven-year period for which data are available (2002-2009), and compares California to the rest of the nation. The report documents several unique characteristics of California higher education including the largest disparity in the nation in educational expenditures per student between the research university sector and the community college sector and a very low share (one-tenth) of educational costs covered through community college tuition compared to the national average of one-third. Documented trends within California higher education include steep declines in state subsidies for UC and CSU and large tuition increases, such that students at those two segments are paying a much larger share of their educational costs, and incremental gains in degree productivity at all three segments that fall well short of state needs. Researchers conclude that policymakers’ traditional approach to fiscal planning is inadequate for today’s challenges and recommend greater transparency in spending and revenues and a more strategic and state-wide approach to financing higher education.

View the report

Spotlight On

The California Community Colleges Student Success Task Force, of which IHELP director Nancy Shulock is a member, has issued a draft report that is now receiving public comment from a large set of internal and external stakeholders.  The report contains a number of recommendations for “rebooting” the college system for student success. Many of the recommendations involve providing more structure and guidance for students to help them select a major program of study, successfully identify and promptly complete whatever remedial work they may need, and engage in those academic and co-curricular behaviors that increase their chances of completing their programs. Colleges are encouraged as well to better direct their resources to ensure that credential-seeking students are able to get the courses and the support services they need to be successful. Shulock is among Task Force members and Chancellor’s Office staff who were asked to testify at a legislative hearing on the report on Wednesday, October 19. Please click here to read her submitted testimony about the report’s recommendations and some tasks ahead to ensure successful implementation of those recommendations.

Sacramento State Institute For Higher Education Leadership & Policy

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