Student Success

October 2017
The heart of the community college mission is educational access. We have opened our doors to millions of students, offering them entry into higher education and supporting them in achieving their goals. However, for too many of our students the community college experience takes too long, costs too much, and does not result in a completed degree. Three years ago, Front Range Community College (FRCC) began a comprehensive process to improve student success rates. In order to significantly improve completion, we needed to be committed to an overhaul of the entire student experience....
September 2017
National discourse centered on student success has become increasingly important, as funding metrics—established by local and federal governments—have reinforced accountability from colleges and universities. Student retention and completion have become daily topics among internal and external stakeholders. Tinto (2006) asserts that higher education institutions once employed a pathology of blame in that colleges or universities viewed student retention through a “lens of psychology” (p. 2). This theory was framed by the notion that student attrition was correlated to a “reflection of...
August 2017
Since the launch of the American Graduation Initiative in 2009, the call to increase college graduation rates and to create a better educated workforce for the jobs of the future has become nearly universal. According to Former President Obama, speaking at the University of Texas on August 9, 2010, “in a single generation, [the U.S. has] fallen from first place to 12th place in college graduation rates for young adults" (as cited in de Nies, 2010, para. 3). He advocated for America to “once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world” by 2020 (as cited in Fry, 2017,...
August 2017
By fall 2016, all 58 of North Carolina’s community colleges were using a multiple measures placement hierarchy. This represents a fundamental change in how students are placed in North Carolina, and results clearly show that the approach is working. But placement testing, which the new policy was designed to replace, was still used to place large numbers of students—about 48 percent in fall 2016 at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) in Charlotte. Over the years of the new policy’s creation and implementation, many stakeholders felt that the move to this new placement system was a...
April 2017
Midland College (MC) has been named as a Cadre 1 community college to participate in an integrated statewide approach to student success. For the past two years, MC has been designing and implementing a pathways model with clear, educationally coherent program maps that are aligned for program completion, quality credentials, workforce skills, and transferability for baccalaureate and graduate degrees. As a result of MC’s efforts, the college has been recognized as a leader in the Texas Success Center’s Texas Pathways initiative, and the MC developmental math program has been named as...
October 2016
The computer hacking of major corporations, government offices, and banks is a growing threat. Dozens of high profile cases in the news recently highlight the issue, but there is a solution: cyber defense. Companies across the world are expanding and refining their security systems. Volunteer State Community College (Vol State) in Gallatin, Tennessee, is responding to the need for cyber defense expertise with a new degree concentration as part of a rapidly growing realm of information technology education being offered at the college. The reason for the expansion is based on employment...