Print

Print


Academic Counseling Matters 

August 28, 2009 

Top of Form

At many community colleges, the ratio of students to academic counselors is
1,000 to 1. Likewise, at many community colleges, retention and graduation
rates lag what policy makers and educators would like to see. A new
<http://www.mdrc.org/publications/524/overview.html>  study suggests not
only a relationship between those two facts, but the need for long-term,
intense counseling that may not come cheap.

The study, by MDRC, is based on an experiment at Lorain County Community
College and Owens Community College, both in Ohio, in which control groups
were used to try to measure the impact of counseling. While the students in
the control group were free try to see counselors as much as they wanted,
they had the typical ratios of students to counselors.

Students in the "Opening Doors" program, however, were assigned to a pool of
counselors that effectively reduced the ratio of students to counselors to
81 to 1 at Lorain and 157 to 1 at Owens. As an additional incentive to see
those counselors, the program provided a small stipend -- $150 a semester -
that was paid in two installments, after counseling sessions. Students could
use the sessions to discuss academic or other issues and counselors tried to
identify deadlines and various issues that were key for students to advance
in their programs. The program lasted only two semesters.

The results:

*	Registration rates were up by second semester, with 65.3 percent of
students in the program registering for second semester courses, compared to
58.3 percent of the control group. 
*	As soon as the program ended, registration rates dropped, but for at
least one semester after the program, there still was an apparent impact of
the counseling, with 43.7 percent of those in the program registering for
courses, compared to 40.0 percent of those who did not receive access to the
counselors. 
*	During the second semester of the program, there was also a positive
impact on credits completed, with those in the program completing an average
of 9.7 credits cumulatively, compared to 9.1 credits for the control group.
The cumulative credit gain didn't evaporate, but also didn't grow, in the
semesters after the program ended. 

The authors of the study note that its relatively short duration of two
semesters makes it difficult to know the long-term potential of such
enhanced counseling. At the same time, the authors say that their results
suggest that there could be real benefits - especially at a time when there
is growing concern about completion rates at community colleges. 

"Many who advocate for enhanced student services view them as an ongoing
need, since students continue to face barriers to success," the authors
write. "They would argue that two semesters of enhanced services is not
sufficient, and that in order for enhanced student services to lead to
sustained impacts, program efforts must be sustained." 

While the study notes that adding to academic counseling could be costly, it
also notes other costs and data
<http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/03/18/sense>  suggesting that many
students at community colleges don't know about or make use of the
counseling available, contributing to the low retention rates everyone is
criticizing.

-  <mailto:[log in to unmask]> Scott Jaschik 

Go
<http://www.insidehighered.com/layout/set/print/news/2009/08/28/counseling#C
omments>  to comments (0) > 

 

Comments on Academic Counseling Matters 

There are no comments

 <http://www.insidehighered.com/layout/set/print/news/2009/08/28/counseling>
Print

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

C Copyright 2009 Inside Higher Ed 

 

Related Stories

*	 <http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/27/louisiana> A System
Also Rises
August 27, 2009 
*	 <http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/24/community> Colleges
Review 'Community'
August 24, 2009 
*	 <http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/19/orientation>
Reorienting Themselves
August 19, 2009 
*	 <http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/17/ccsf> Cash for
Courses
August 17, 2009 
*	 <http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/13/northwestern> Water,
Water Everywhere
August 13, 2009 

Sources:  

http://www.insidehighered.com/layout/set/print/news/2009/08/28/counseling

 

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/28/counseling

 

 

Anticipating Impact of New GI Bill 

August 28, 2009 

Beneficiaries of the new Post 9/11 GI Bill
<http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/04/gibill>  may be more likely
to attend four-year universities and enroll in college full time than were
their recent veteran counterparts, who typically enrolled at community
colleges and attended part time, according to a new report
<http://www.acenet.edu/Content/NavigationMenu/ProgramsServices/CPA/Publicati
ons/MilService.errata.pdf>  from the American Council on Education.

"Veterans and service members who are eligible for the new GI Bill will
receive more generous benefits that will broaden the choices they have when
pursuing higher education," Alexandra Walton Radford, the report's author
and a research associate at MPR Associates, an educational consulting firm,
said in a statement. "While these students have previously been concentrated
at public two-year colleges, these new benefits may encourage them to seek
entry into more expensive colleges, particularly if those institutions
demonstrate responsiveness to their needs." 

The report argues that cost might not have been the sole determinant of
where veterans went to college before the new GI Bill. It notes that other
factors such as "whether an institution offers appropriate credit for
military training and experience" might have also influenced their decision.

In 2007-8, veterans and active-service military members made up only 4
percent of undergraduates enrolled in American institutions of higher
education. Of that group, 43 percent attended community colleges, 21 percent
attended public four-year colleges, 13 percent attended private four-year
colleges and 12 percent attended for-profit institutions. The rest attended
more than one type.

Jim Selbe, assistant vice president of lifelong learning at ACE, said he was
unsure why military men and women have preferred attending community
colleges in recent years. Still, he had impressions drawn from his own time
acclimating to the home front after years of service in the Marines.

"From my own experience as a military student, it wasn't just the cost and
convenience that they found appealing," he said. "It's that, at community
colleges, they were much more likely to encounter other adult learners and
get more attention.... This is a moment of opportunity for the four-year
colleges to learn from the community colleges what is so compelling about
them to military undergraduates."

In 2007-8, only about 23 percent of veterans and active-service military
members who were attending college of any sort attended full time for a full
academic year. Those who received "veterans' education benefits," however,
were 15 percentage points more likely to do so than those who did not.

Given the expansion of benefits now available through the new GI Bill,
Jacqueline E. King, assistant vice president of ACE's center for policy
analysis, said she believes it is "reasonable to assume" that veterans will
"make use of these benefits in a way they have not in the past." As a
result, she and others argue that this full-time/part-time data from the
2007-08 cohort of veterans make the case that, as many more veterans will
benefit from the new GI Bill, more of them will seek to attend college full
time.

Still, the fact that benefits are being offered does not always translate
into their being used by veterans. In 2007-8, just 47 percent of those
eligible to receive veterans education benefits at four-year public colleges
did so. At all other institutions, the percentage of those veterans making
use of benefits was significantly lower. Thirty-seven percent of veterans at
four-year private colleges received benefits, as did 34 percent of veterans
at community colleges and 32 percent of veterans at for-profit institutions.

"The benefits of the new GI Bill must be well publicized by both colleges
and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; this is to the advantage of
both military personnel seeking higher education and the institutions in
which they hope to enroll," Radford writes in the report, citing these
participation rates from 2007-8. "Although some of these students may have
been ineligible for benefits, some likely would have qualified and found an
easier and quicker path through higher education by using them."

-  <mailto:[log in to unmask]> David Moltz 

Go
<http://www.insidehighered.com/layout/set/print/news/2009/08/28/gibill#Comme
nts>  to comments (0) > 

Bottom of Form

 <http://www.insidehighered.com/career/employers> Post a Job 

Comments on Anticipating Impact of New GI Bill 

There are no comments

 <http://www.insidehighered.com/layout/set/print/news/2009/08/28/gibill>
Print

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

.          

C Copyright 2009 Inside Higher Ed 

Related Stories

*	 <http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/18/vets> Are Vets'
Checks Backlogged?
August 18, 2009 
*	 <http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/04/gibill> New GI Bill
Becomes Law
August 4, 2009 
*	 <http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2009/07/28/rizzo> Mission Not
to Accomplish
July 28, 2009 
*	 <http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/07/22/veterans> Survey of
Services for Veterans
July 22, 2009 
*	 <http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/07/17/wia> Federal
Cooperation
July 17, 2009 

Sources:  

 

http://www.insidehighered.com/layout/set/print/news/2009/08/28/gibill

 

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/28/gibill

 

 

 

 

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.]

 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To access the LRNASST-L archives or User Guide, or to change your
subscription options (including subscribe/unsubscribe), point your web browser to
http://www.lists.ufl.edu/archives/lrnasst-l.html

To contact the LRNASST-L owner, email [log in to unmask]