Tag: Community College Reform

Boutique Interventions Do Not Improve Community Colleges, But Here Is What Does

Innovative colleges and state higher education systems are testing new approaches to improving persistence and degree attainment—particularly for low-income and underprepared students. The emerging consensus is that boutique programs don’t make a large-scale difference, but focusing on improving student placement; building structured, accelerated pathways to completion; and rewarding colleges for student success can, according to JFF’s Richard Kazis and Lara Couturier. In The Boston Foundation’s Stepping Up for Community Colleges, they examine how applying these lessons and proven student success models can help colleges across Massachusetts—and the nation—produce the graduates employers and communities need. Read more . . .

Will San Francisco Community College Implode?

The closer City College of San Francisco gets to the March 15 deadline for determining its fate, the more an alliance of critics disagrees with how administrators are transforming the school to try to keep it open and accredited. The Save City College Coalition of faculty, staff and students is organizing teach-ins, planning marches and wooing elected officials, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, to oppose downsizing the school and denounce pay cuts. “We’re going crazy trying to get the truth out,” said Leslie Simon, a women’s studies instructor at City College since 1975. “We’re very concerned about what we think is union-busting.” An accrediting commission said in July that college finances and governance were a mess, and gave the school until March 15 to turn itself around or lose accreditation and close. Employees – including two successive interim chancellors and a state-appointed special trustee – have since worked frantically to repair 14 major deficiencies flagged by the commission. Support fell away Wary faculty and staff went along. But support began to crumble by fall as they saw that compliance meant tearing down the pillars they say make City College a better place to work than other colleges – but which the accrediting commission calls too expensive and unwieldy. (more)

Gates To Invest $34.8 Million In Community College Reform

I just got this from Gay Clyburn at the Carnegie Foundation:

On the eve of the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Monday will announce a $34.8 million, five-year commitment to raise stagnant completion rates in the nation’s two-year public institutions.  Lagging completion rates in two-year colleges are seen as a major impediment to meeting the Obama administration’s goal of regaining the world lead in college degrees by 2020. Barely one student in five completes community college with an associate degree or certificate, according to federal data. An additional share of students successfully transfers to four-year institutions. The article is in The Washington Post.