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The Progress of Education Reform: Higher Education Reform PDF - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform looks at recent research in the areas of assessing student learning, the use of technology in instruction, and models for providing the academic and social support students need to stay on track and earn a postsecondary credential. (Bruce Vandal, Education Commission of the States, August 2011)...

Renewing the Promise: State Policies to Improve Higher Education Performance - Researchers studied five states - Georgia, Maryland, Texas, Washington and Illinois - to explain how public policy explains the performance of higher education institutions. They conclude many states aren't helping more people get postsecondary certificates and degrees because they lack a plan for improvement. Among recommendations: make equity a top priority, work on all areas of performance simultaneously, match institutions with regional education needs and build incentives into the state budget to institutional productivity. (Joni E. Finney, Laura W. Perna and Patrick M. Callan, University of Pennsylvania Institute for Research on Higher Education, February 2014)...

The Three-Year Bachelor's Degree: Reform Measure or Red Herring? - This brief examines the push for three-year degrees and suggests that policymakers ask several basic questions to determine the efficacy of incorporating shortened degrees into major reform- including: What goals does the three-year degree seek to meet?; Is the three-year degree a resource-efficient and equitable means of addressing these goals, for both students and the institution?; and Is the market demand for the three-year degree sufficient? (American Association of State Colleges and Universities, September 2012)...

"They Never Told Me What to Expect, So I Didn't Know What to Do": Defining and Clarifying the Role of a Community College Student - This paper builds on previous work arguing that community college success is dependent not only upon academic preparation but also upon a host of important skills, attitudes, and behaviors that are often left unspoken. Drawing on role theory and on a qualitative study conducted at three community colleges, this paper aims to clarify the role of the community college student and the components of that role that must be enacted for students to be successful. (CCRC, July 2012)...

College and Careers Tables Library - This site provides data on a range of issues related to college and career readiness, including but not limited to, student financial aid and employment, degrees and certificates awarded, and graduation and completion rates. (National Center for Education Statistics)...

The Toolbox Revisited: Paths to Degree Completion from High School Through College - "Oldie but goodie."This report, following up on the seminal 1999 Answers in the Toolbox seeks to identify the factors that contribute to an individual's completing a bachelor's degree by his mid-20s, following a national sample of students scheduled to graduate from high school in 1992. The study finds that high school curriculum matters more than any other precollegiate indicator in determining a student's likelihood of finishing a bachelor's degree, and of all precollegiate curriculum indicators, highest level of math completed continues to be key. The report likewise indicates which postsecondary variables including timing and type of institution entered, first postsecondary year history (curriculum and performance), paying for college in the first years and college attendance patterns among others are most frequently associated with baccalaureate completion. The author notes that to close gaps in preparation, "the provision of [high school] curriculum issue has to be addressed" and the "math gap" needs to be fixed. Check out the summary in our Research Studies Database. (Clifford Adelman, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education, February 2006)...

Claiming Common Ground: State Policymaking for Improving College Readiness and Success - "Oldie but goodie." As the value of a college education increases, so does the attention paid to college preparation. This report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education highlights state policies that improve postsecondary access and success. They include the implementation of statewide data systems, the alignment of coursework and assessments, and the creation of financial incentives that promote collaboration between K-12 and higher education. (Patrick M. Callan, Joni E. Finney, Michael W. Kirst, Michael D. Usdan and Andrea Venezia, The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, 2006)...


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