The major community colleges associations have all recently endorsed the idea that two-year institutions need to focus more on retention and completion issues, and generally are in agreement on some of the steps they should take so greater shares of students achieve various goals. But how much progress is realistic to expect? New data suggest that meaningful gains are possible – and are possible institution-wide, not just for a few pilot projects. The data are from community colleges participating in Achieving the Dream program.
My concern is that the data for these interventions was not collected using experimental and random control studies, so we cannot be sure that the student effects are caused by the interventions.