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Subject:

Remediation Worries and Successes/Turn On, Tune In, But Don't Drop Out/Half-Learned Lessons/Concerns About Community College Students and Loans/The Social Media Maze

From:

Dan Kern <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 9 Oct 2009 06:13:10 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (315 lines)

Remediation Worries and Successes 

October 9, 2009 

SAN FRANCISCO -- At one session on remedial education here, a speaker asked
the audience of community college trustees how many of them knew their
institution's graduation rate. A minority of hands -- maybe 20 percent --
went up. But if trustees are not as well versed on student success at their
institutions as the question suggested they should be, that doesn't mean
that they aren't interested. The session was standing room only, and other
sessions on remedial education here at the annual meeting of the Association
of Community College Trustees were also not only well attended, but full of
trustees with lots of questions -- about why so much remediation is needed
and what can be done to make it work.

There was a strong undercurrent of frustration to many of the questions,
with many saying that community colleges were unfairly seen by many in the
public as being only remedial institutions, even though they have little
control of the factors that lead to remediation. One trustee noted that in
her state, scholarships are awarded to students who achieve certain grade
levels in high school, effectively making the community college free. About
20 percent of those who enroll through the program need at least some
remediation, she said. 

If that share of what the state considers top students aren't ready for
college-level work, is it any surprise, she asked, that the percentages are
even higher for other students?

Trustees offered a range of reasons for focusing more on this issue. Some
cited more idealistic motivations, related to wanting every student to have
a shot at success. Others were more practical, noting the huge costs of
remediation and the political pressure to show success with these programs.

Clinking here continues article's print version:
http://www.insidehighered.com/layout/set/print/news/2009/10/09/ncat

Source:  http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/10/09/acct

 

Forbes - NY,USA
The project, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Lumina
Foundation for Education, will create a new accountability system for
community ...

 

Commentary
Turn On, Tune In, But Don't Drop Out
Hilary Pennington, 10.09.09, 12:01 AM ET 

For the last 40 years, policy makers, social advocates and college
presidents have worked to open higher education to more young adults from
all backgrounds. That necessary and noble effort has produced remarkable
results, as college enrollment in America is at an all-time high,
particularly among low-income, African-American and Hispanic students. 

But our singular focus on getting more students into college blinded us to a
bigger problem: Most of those new college enrollees weren't graduating. In
fact, during this era of unprecedented college access, completion rates
stagnated, and the U.S. lost its perch among the globe's best-educated
nations.

The problem is most pressing at community colleges, those intrepid local
institutions that have, for decades, been the gateway to higher education
for low-income students, displaced workers and others looking to get ahead.
This diversity of students presents challenges, which are reflected in the
low graduation rates among the colleges. Only 28% of students at a typical
community college will earn a two-year associate degree within three years
of enrolling. That's a troubling statistic.

It's especially alarming when considered alongside a U.S. Department of
Labor report that determined that, by 2020, the U.S. will face a shortage of
14 million workers with college-level skills. Given this statistic, it's
easy to see why, in these economic times, President Obama has made boosting
our college completion rates a national priority.

The cost of our nation's low college completion rates is jaw-dropping. Those
without a degree face a grueling job market: The unemployment rate for those
with only a high school diploma nearly hit 11% in September. A report by the
Democratic Leadership Council predicts that, over the next decade, jobs for
community college graduates will grow at a rate twice as fast as the
national average, and will even surpass the growth expected for careers
requiring bachelor's degrees. An associate degree not only increases the
opportunity for employment, it also improves a worker's chances of holding
on to his or her job when companies downsize.

At a time when state revenues are shrinking and college budgets are
withering, it is critical to ensure that resources yield maximum results.
Yet by concentrating strictly on access, community colleges are serving
hundreds of thousands of students who never actually graduate. If we
calculate the return on investment in our community colleges, we find that
more than half the money that goes toward educating low-income young adults
is expended on students who do not graduate or earn a credential. 

We need to change how we think about success. It can no longer be defined as
just getting a young person into a community college or university. Success
must now be measured by getting those students through college with a degree
or credential.

President Obama's American Graduation Initiative would grant $9 billion in
new spending to community colleges, but it also puts a premium on greater
accountability and documented success. Getting there, however, won't be
easy. For starters, the nation's community colleges can't even agree on how
to best calculate a graduation rate.

That's why a new project by the American Association of Community Colleges
(AACC) is an exciting step toward bridging those gaps. The project,
supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Lumina Foundation
for Education, will create a new accountability system for community
colleges. This system will track every student and create comprehensive,
meaningful ways to evaluate a college's effectiveness and compare their
results to others nationwide.

The system will also provide policy makers and the public with broadly
accepted performance measures that can be used to compare colleges across
states and the country. We believe that colleges that smartly collect and
analyze student-level data can discover inefficiencies in their programs and
better redirect resources to where there is evidence of success. 

We already know that kind of introspection and planning can yield amazing
results because we've seen it happen in places like El Paso, Texas, where
the community college district used data-driven decision-making to overhaul
everything from their remedial courses to their graduation fees. The effort,
which included strong partnerships with local school districts and
universities, resulted in a "change of culture" at the college and a 69%
increase in the number of conferred degrees and certificates in just five
years.

Spotlighting successes like that at El Paso Community College is critical.
We do little to study and share what is working at colleges that are
successful in graduating large numbers of low-income students. As a result,
others don't get the benefit of their knowledge, and those colleges that are
striving to solve these problems are doing so in relative isolation.

The AACC's accountability project could go a long way toward breaking down
those walls, but that will only happen if the system is uniformly adopted by
all community colleges. The American Association of Community Colleges
rightly recognizes the need for a transparent accountability system that
will communicate an accurate picture of how well colleges are performing. 

The colleges that support and implement this new accountability system will
gain the insight and direction needed to improve their programs and graduate
more students at a lower cost. And in the process, community colleges will
lead in ensuring our nation bridges the gap between the "access to college"
effort and the "college completion" crisis. 

Hilary Pennington is director of education, postsecondary success and
special initiatives for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Read more Forbes Opinions  <http://www.forbes.com/opinions> here. 

Sources:
http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/08/community-college-graduation-rates-opinions
-columnists-gates-foundation_print.html

 

http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/08/community-college-graduation-rates-opinions
-columnists-gates-foundation.html

Rootage:  Google News Alert for: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation application
New Gates Grants for Remedial Ed at Community Colleges


Turn
<http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/08/community
-college-graduation-rates-opinions-columnists-gates-foundation.html&ct=ga&cd
=QrvZZEArH54&usg=AFQjCNGhZwTAtBErXelX9yu8XbdBkAvKjQ>  On, Tune In, But Don't
Drop Out
Forbes - NY,USA
The project, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Lumina
Foundation for Education, will create a new accountability system for
community ...


 

 


Half-Learned Lessons 


October 9, 2009 

In the afterglow of a course redesign, it's not uncommon for converted
faculty and administrators to make bold predictions. In the 10 years since
the National Center for <http://www.thencat.org/whoweare.html>  Academic
Transformation (NCAT) began working with colleges to improve learning
outcomes while reducing cost, many college administrators have ended the
process quite certain the redesigns would spread like wildfire across their
campuses. 

There's little question that course redesigns have served as models for
expansion at many colleges, and have generated what most describe as
improved student learning. But the experience of some of the earliest
campuses involved with NCAT suggests the cost reduction aspect of NCAT's
program is the hardest element to retain over time. 

With help of an $8.8 million grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts, NCAT
began working with a novel concept. The idea was to use technology to create
a more "active" learning environment, where students -- even in large
enrollment classes -- engaged in problem solving and online quizzing, rather
than "passively" listening to professors lecture from podiums. 

But NCAT's clearly stated goals were twofold: The organization not only
wanted to prove that greater student engagement leads to better grades and
lower failure rates, but also that making this transition to "active"
learning was more cost effective. 

Continue article by clinking here:
http://www.insidehighered.com/layout/set/print/news/2009/10/09/ncat

 

Source:  http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/10/09/ncat

 

Concerns About Community College Students and Loans

Usually groups like the Project on Student Debt are worried about college
students taking on too large a loan burden. But in a report released
<http://www.projectonstudentdebt.org/files/pub/getting_with_the_program.pdf>
Thursday, the group argues that many community college students are actually
hurt because their institutions do not give them access to federal loans. As
a result, the group says, the students either work so much that they hurt
their chances of succeeding academically, or turn to riskier and more
expensive private loans instead. The report examines the reasons why some
community colleges shun the federal loan program and how their decisions
hurt their students.

Source:  http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/10/09/qt#210196

 


 <http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/10/09/socialmedia> The Social
Media Maze 


October 9, 2009 


Colleges are eager to leverage Facebook and Twitter to boost recruiting and
fund raising, but many still don't have a coherent strategy for how to do
it. 

>  <http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/10/09/socialmedia> View full
article 

 

Source:  www.insidehighered.com 

 

 

 

 

Dan Kern

AD21, Reading

East Central College

1964 Prairie Dell Road

Union, MO  63084-4344

Phone:  (636) 583-5195

Extension:  2426

Fax:  (636) 584-0513

Email:  [log in to unmask]

 

http://www.studentveterans.org/

 

Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is
it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks
the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a
position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it
because one's conscience tells one that it is right. (Martin Luther King,
Jr.) 

Instruction begins when you, the teacher, learn from the learner. Put

yourself in his place so that you may understand what he learns and

the way he understands it. (Kierkegaard)

 

To freely bloom - that is my definition of success. -Gerry Spence, lawyer
(b. 1929)    [Benjamin would be proud, I think.]

 


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