Community College News

Community College News

Get the latest and greatest news in the world of community college education.  Keep up with all the developments taking place at the local level to help students further their education and continue on with their career and scholastic goals.

Community College Review, Ahead of Print. <br/>Objective/Research Question: The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which programs offering community college baccalaureates (CCBs) address access and equity for underrepresented racial minorities (URMs). The study first aimed to understand how administrators described the purpose of CCBs with regard to advancing equity for URMs. Next, the study explored how CCB programs incorporate policies and practices advancing access and success of URM students. Method: The study employed a multiple-case study design by focusing on three states offering bachelor’s degrees at several community colleges. Interviews with administrators were conducted at two colleges offering CCB programs in each state. Colleges differed in demographic composition and in the number and type of CCB programs offered. Results: Administrators described how CCBs advanced socioeconomic mobility, which promoted equity, particularly for low-income students. Findings suggested that only some attention was placed on providing access to URMs, which was largely contingent on the representation of URMs in the surrounding community and feeder programs. Few outreach efforts and support services specifically targeted URMs. Conclusion/Contributions: Given that URMs are largely concentrated at community colleges and significant gaps exist between URMs and non-URMs in college completion, CCBs might serve as an educational policy to reduce those gaps. As CCBs are primarily framed as essential to meeting workforce needs, increased opportunities for URMs may be limited without intentional efforts to outreach and support URMs.
Author: Marcela G. Cuellar
Posted: October 22, 2020, 1:00 am
Community College Review, Ahead of Print. <br/>Objective: The objective of this study was to create a model of English learners’ (ELs) persistence based on theory and empirical research. Findings from this research informs community college educators in helping ELs persist and guide future research regarding this important student population. Method: We examined ELs’ persistence using structural equation modeling (SEM) based on data from the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) among a U.S. national sample of 6,872 ELs. SEM was informed through the means of measurement models for latent variables. Reliability and validity were assessed through Cronbach’s alpha, principal component analysis, and fit indices. Results: Our results show that (a) sense of belonging had significant and positive direct effects on ELs’ persistence based on reenrollment decisions, (b) socioacademic integrative moments had significant and positive direct effects on ELs’ sense of belonging, and (c) learning communities had significant and positive direct effects on ELs’ socioacademic integrative moments and sense of belonging. Contributions: Community colleges offer broad access to postsecondary education for ELs, or students in the process of learning English as a second or other language. As a whole, our study contributes to a better understanding of how ELs may persist in their academic studies. We further discuss the implications of our findings in light of policy, practice, and future research.
Author: Tiberio Garza
Posted: October 17, 2020, 9:17 am
Community College Review, Ahead of Print. <br/>Objective: Educational expansion as a policy is believed to address the issue of the youth’s blocked social mobility. But, the argument that the transition to university is emotionally straining in a deindustrialized neoliberal context suggests an emotive aspect of neoliberalism in higher education. This article seeks to offer an illustration of such an emotive operation of neoliberalism through examining the emotional struggles of community-college students in Hong Kong. Method: This study draws on two qualitative analyses based on data collected from 83 community-college students in Hong Kong pursuing a bachelor’s degree through a newly available transfer function of an associate degree. Results: Given an emphasis of neoliberalism on individualism and competition, the respondents showed the following negative emotions: perverse feelings of inferiority about the new option, stress about the competitiveness of this pursuit and strategic/calculating in organizing their learning and dealing with their classmates, and anxiety of being seen as inadequate despite their successful transferals. Contributions: The emotional struggles of the respondents suggest that in view of a lack of well-paid prestigious professional or managerial jobs in a deindustrialized capitalist context, educational expansion as a policy—expanding the sector of community college in particular—wrapped up in a neoliberal discourse is not merely giving the youth a false hope but inflicting on them unnecessarily strained emotions. This suggestion urges policy makers to rethink the effectiveness of adopting an educational policy with a neoliberal approach to address an economic issue.
Author: Yi-Lee Wong
Posted: October 16, 2020, 10:18 am
Community College Review, Ahead of Print. <br/>Objective: For many students, community college is a convenient first step toward a bachelor’s degree. Yet, although more than 80% of those who enroll in community colleges intend to transfer to a 4-year institution, fewer than 35% do so within 6 years. Quantitative data reveal the presence of a transfer gap and there is extensive research on college choice for high school students, but little qualitative research has been done to examine the transfer process for community college students to identify what drives their decisions. Method: In this article, we draw on interviews with 58 community college students in Texas to examine how they made transfer decisions. Results: We find that their decision-making and transfer pathways were complex and nonlinear in ways that were particular to the uncertainty of the community college context. For a subset of students, we identify minor hurdles that could derail their decision-making, lengthen their timelines to transfer, or lead to a failure to transfer. Contribution: By illuminating student pathways to transfer using qualitative research, our work identifies potential areas where policy and practice could strengthen transfer to improve student outcomes.
Author: Huriya Jabbar
Posted: October 16, 2020, 10:17 am
Community College Review, Ahead of Print. <br/>
Author: Jessica A. Hale
Posted: October 13, 2020, 10:01 am
Community College Review, Ahead of Print. <br/>
Author: Walter G. Ecton
Posted: October 13, 2020, 9:58 am
Community College Review, Volume 48, Issue 4, Page 458-458, October 2020. <br/>
Posted: August 28, 2020, 5:12 am
Community College Review, Volume 48, Issue 4, Page 455-457, October 2020. <br/>
Author: Patricia Ryan Pal
Posted: July 16, 2020, 11:05 am
Community College Review, Volume 48, Issue 4, Page 423-454, October 2020. <br/>Objective: Increasing rural community college degree attainment is very important to foster rural areas’ economic and social well-being. Rural community colleges differ greatly from their suburban and urban counterparts in financial aid patterns and student bodies. However, existing literature is vacant with respect to student financial aid and degree attainment in rural community colleges. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between financial aid and associate degree attainment for rural community college students and compare the financing patterns of the three locales. Method: Using data from Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS:04/09), we performed a series of logistic regression models that include financial aid variables and control variables from psychological, sociological, organizational, and internationalist perspectives. Results: We found rural community college students exceeded other locales in degree attainment. Logistic regression results reveal insignificant roles of Pell Grants and Federal Subsidized Loans, and negative role of Federal Unsubsidized Loans in associate degree attainment for rural community college students. Contributions: The results suggest that public subsidies, such as Pell Grants, were not sufficient to cover rural students’ unmet need for financing degree attainment, and that rural students are more cost-conscious in borrowing and spending than their suburban and urban counterparts.
Author: Lijing Yang
Posted: July 3, 2020, 1:48 am
Community College Review, Volume 48, Issue 4, Page 400-422, October 2020. <br/>Objective: Despite the popularity of the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), this instrument has been criticized regarding its development, theoretical basis, validity, and connection to practice. In light of these concerns, this article reframes the survey by employing Chickering and Gamson’s seven principles, one of the survey’s original theoretical frameworks. A robust discussion of the new measure and its implications for research and practice is presented. Method: Chickering and Gamson’s theory was used to motivate, create, and evaluate a seven-factor model using items from the CCSSE. Drawing on responses from two community colleges (N = 1,076), a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to test this model. Results: Findings provide support for a seven-factor model with high model fit and moderate-to-strong factor reliability. Contributions: This study offers a valid alternative approach to considering CCSSE data that may influence future work in the area of community college student engagement. We also consider how institutional research practitioners and other stakeholders can leverage study insights to promote student success across community college contexts.
Author: Kyle McCarrell
Posted: July 2, 2020, 11:49 am
Community College Review, Volume 48, Issue 4, Page 376-399, October 2020. <br/>Objective: International reverse transfer students are international students who begin their postsecondary journey at a four-year institution but subsequently transfer to a community college. In this qualitative study, we examine the lived experiences of international reverse transfers to understand the reasons for reverse-transfer and to understand the students’ learning experiences. Methods: Using a phenomenological approach, we recruited 10 international reverse transfer students attending one four-year university or one of the two community colleges. We conducted individual interviews with all participants and analyzed transcript data through Bourdieu’s sociological theory of field, habitus, and social and cultural capital. Results: We identified three types of international reverse transfer students: undergraduate reverse transfers, temporary reverse transfers, and postbaccalaureate reverse transfers. Each type reported different reasons for reverse transfer but shared similar influential factors of the reverse transfer process as well as the learning experiences while enrolled at the community colleges. Contributions: This study helps to fill an information and research gap regarding international reverse transfer students. We present the academic, social, and cultural challenges faced by international students and offer practical implications for higher education practitioners for improved understandings and better processes to serve international students from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Author: Yu “April” Chen
Posted: June 15, 2020, 8:43 am
Community College Review, Volume 48, Issue 4, Page 355-375, October 2020. <br/>Objective: The purpose of this study is to understand the relationship between organizational characteristics, state political climate, and student civic engagement at community colleges, operationalized in this article as student voting. Method: Utilizing a unique cross-sectional dataset compiled by the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education for the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections that merges student voting data, enrollment records from the National Student Clearinghouse, and institutional data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, we employed multi-level binary logistic regression to account for individual and organizational influences. Results: The relationship between voting and student characteristics aligns with national voting trends, in that students who are female, older, and White had higher odds of voting. However, there was one notable exception in 2012 where Black students had higher odds of voting than their White peers. We also found that students enrolled full-time and those enrolled at colleges in electoral battleground states were more likely to vote in 2012 and 2016. Weak or mixed relationships emerged between voting and environmental factors such as campaign spending, ballot initiatives, get-out-the-vote programs, restrictive voter laws, and compositional diversity of the student body. Conclusion: This study provides insight for community college leaders on potential ways to engage students in an effort to promote voter turnout in a presidential election year on their campuses. Specifically, we posit that institutions could highlight the salience of public policy issues for students, lobby for less restrictive voting laws, and implement evaluation programs of their civic engagement initiatives.
Author: Jon McNaughtan
Posted: June 8, 2020, 9:42 am

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