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:This study examined the effects of offering proactive student-success coaching, informed by predictive analytics, on student academic performance and persistence. Specifically, this study investigated semester grade point average (GPA) and semester-to-semester persistence of community college students as outcomes.Methods:This study involved two stages of analysis. First, we used inverse probability of treatment weighting to create appropriately balanced samples of the students offered proactive assistance and students not offered proactive assistance to approximate a randomized control trial with observational data. Then, we applied regression analyses with weights and covariates to the balanced samples to estimate outcomes.Results:Using regression analyses with weights and covariates, we estimated few statistically significant results in sample subgroup models and no statistically significant results for whole-group samples. Generally, our analyses found that the offer of the intervention had no effect on students’ persistence and semester GPAs.Conclusions/Contributions:This study contributes empirical results to the emerging literature regarding student-success coaching, predictive analytics, and student-monitoring systems. The results demonstrate the necessity of performing rigorous analyses on these predictive-analytic systems and reveals ethical concerns that should be considered in designing interventions.
Author: Mark M. Hall
Posted: January 16, 2021, 5:01 am
Community College Review, Ahead of Print. <br/>Objective: This study sought to determine how aligned community college students’ declared majors were with long-term occupational projections. In addition, the study explored whether this link was sensitive to entry-level education. Method: The current study merged two disparate sources of national education and economic data to form a novel analytic file. The sample of students who attended public, 2-year community colleges were obtained from the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS:12/14), which tracked a cohort of students from 2011–2012 through 2013–2014. The second data set featured current and projected jobs numbers organized by the U.S. Department of Labor for the years 2016 and 2026. A series of logistic regression models controlling for both observed and unobserved state-level factors were employed to determine alignment. Results: There did not seem to be a clear correlation between community college students’ choice of career and technical education (CTE) major and labor market projections. Preferred model specifications indicated the decisions to major in the two most remunerative CTE cluster areas (information technology [IT] and Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math [STEM]) were negatively associated with projected market growth in a student’s home state. Contributions: Community colleges are particularly suited to provide the CTE coursework needed to respond to local labor shortages, yet it is not clear from existing research to what degree community college students choose major areas of study in CTE fields based on labor market projections in those fields. These results are of interest to researchers in light of federal policy requiring CTE programs match the current and future needs of local economies.
Author: Cameron Sublett
Posted: January 15, 2021, 8:49 am
Community College Review, Ahead of Print. <br/>Objective: The purpose of this research is twofold: first, to investigate financially eligible Pell Grant community college students’ perceptions of barriers and enablers to student success, and second, to critique the financial aid satisfactory academic progress (SAP) criteria through a cross-case comparison of students who are meeting and are not meeting the academic requirements. Method: To complete this investigation, I conducted semistructured interviews with financially eligible Pell Grant community college students (N = 62) who were meeting SAP (n = 31) and who were not meeting SAP (n = 31). To analyze the data, I drew on Brint and Karabel’s theory of democratization and diversion as well as Gutiérrez and Lewis’s conceptualization of empowerment theory, and I followed Braun and Clarke’s six-step iterative thematic approach. Results: Financially eligible Pell Grant community college students believe students need motivation, enough resources to meet their responsibilities, and cultural capital to succeed. Observable differences were identified between the two student groups in three areas: environmental responsibilities to resources ratios, cultural capital, and powerlessness. Contributions: Through this article, I created a platform for the voices of financially eligible Pell Grant community college students and their perceptions of barriers and enablers to student success. By conducting the cross-case analysis, the potentially arbitrary nature of the SAP criteria is apparent, despite the real consequences they create for students. This research contributes a long overdue qualitative critique of the SAP criteria, but additional research is warranted.
Author: Mia Ocean
Posted: January 7, 2021, 6:00 am
Community College Review, Ahead of Print. <br/>Objective/Research Question:Surprisingly, little research explores the literacy practices specific to career technical education (CTE) courses at the postsecondary level, yet the number of students coming to college needing literacy support continues to increase. There is a need for focused research on what constitutes college-readiness. The study described in this article addresses this overarching issue by exploring the text expectations, including text types, tasks, and goals in both CTE courses and developmental reading (DR) courses to determine whether, how, and to what extent text expectations align across the DR and CTE courses.Methods:This multisite research project involved three community colleges in one Midwestern state. Data sources included surveys, focus groups, and textbooks for all courses. Data collection procedures were comparable for each type of data, across all study sites, focal tracks, and constituency groups.Results:This study’s findings suggest a lack of alignment between the DR courses and the introductory-level CTE courses, on a number of levels.Conclusions/Contributions:This study’s findings suggest a need to continue investigating what constitutes college-ready for reading, across multiple disciplinary and career technical areas.
Author: Sonya L. Armstrong
Posted: January 6, 2021, 6:37 am
Community College Review, Ahead of Print. <br/>Objective: The purpose of this study is twofold. First, this study explores individual student characteristics, specifically those related to demographics, financial need, academic characteristics, and social and cultural capitals, related to study abroad participation among community college students. Second, this study identifies when over the course of their studies community college students are most likely to participate in study abroad. Method: Data consist of student records provided by a large community college located in the U.S. Southeast. An event history model was used to estimate the relationship between both time-variant and time-invariant student-level indicators and study abroad participation. Smoothed hazard estimates were extracted from this model to explore the likelihood of study abroad participation over time. Results: Findings indicate that race/ethnicity, gender, state-residency status, age, need-based aid eligibility, field of study, and enrollment status (full- or part-time) significantly predicted study abroad participation. These results at times stand in contrast with findings from the literature on study abroad participation among students in the 4-year sector. Smoothed hazard estimates indicated that community college students were more likely to study abroad the longer they were enrolled at the community college. Contributions: These results speak to ways in which community college students access capital resources to promote participation in study abroad and highlight unique aspects of community college study abroad programming. Results also provide a foundation for recommendations for practice that would serve to open access to education abroad at community colleges.
Author: Melissa Whatley
Posted: December 29, 2020, 6:46 am
Community College Review, Volume 49, Issue 1, Page 52-75, January 2021. <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, Volume 49, Issue 1, Page 30-51, January 2021. <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, Volume 49, Issue 1, Page 76-95, January 2021. <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, Volume 49, Issue 1, Page 3-29, January 2021. <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, Volume 49, Issue 1, Page 96-98, January 2021. <br/>
Author: Jessica A. Hale
Posted: October 13, 2020, 10:01 am
Community College Review, Volume 49, Issue 1, Page 98-101, January 2021. <br/>
Author: Walter G. Ecton
Posted: October 13, 2020, 9:58 am

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