” . . . in the California Community College system . . . nearly one-third of students took an average of just two courses over about two years and overwhelmingly succeeded in these courses, but rarely attained a degree, certificate, or transferred to a four-year college.”
Community college students increase earnings of up to 15% after taking just a handful of courses in workforce-related fields, such as water and wastewater technology, criminal justice, electronics, information technology, and manufacturing, according to a study by University of Michigan Associate Professor Peter Riley Bahr. The findings point to the importance of employment outcomes in addition to degree attainment in measuring the success of community colleges. Fully 1 in 7 first-time California community college students enroll in six or fewer credits per semester, succeed in those courses at a very high rate, but do not attain a community college credential or transfer to a four-year institution.
LearningWorks has published a brief on the new research entitled The Missing Piece: Quantifying Non-Completion Pathways to Success. The brief, written by Bahr and WestEd Senior Research Associate Kathy Booth, examines students opting to build a few skills rather than complete a degree or certificate.
For more information and to download the brief click here.