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 Selected Research & Readings

Crafting a Student-Centered Transfer Process in California: Lessons From Other States - This report tackles the difficult challenge of making transfer more comprehensible and less frustrating for California’s community college students. The study examines transfer policies of eight states, identifies some key dimensions of emerging policies, and offers recommendations for more student-centered transfer policies that would increase transfer success and lead to more college educated Californians to help meet workforce needs. (Colleen Moore, Nancy Shulock and Cristy Jensen, Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy, August 2009)...

On Track to Complete? A Taxonomy of Beginning Community College Students and Their Outcomes 3 Years After Enrolling: 2003-04 Through 2006 - Community colleges comprise the largest single sector of American postsecondary education, enrolling more than 40% of all undergraduates. Roughly half of community college students complete a credential or transfer to a 4-year college after 6 years. This statistical analysis proposes a classification scheme to characterize community college students intentions to complete a formal program of study. The study examines the 3-year outcomes of the most recent national cohort of first-time community college students, looking at the relationship between these outcomes and the proposed classification scheme. (Laura Horn and Thomas Weko, National Center for Education Statistics, July 2009)...

Community Colleges: A Route to Upward Economic Mobility - This report takes a look at community colleges compared to traditional, four-year colleges--the advantages, the types of students, the economic returns and the students' educational objectives. It also looks at whether a community college education affects a person's changes of obtaining a more advanced degree and whether students who receive an associate degree prior to obtaining a bachelor's degree have different educational and labor market outcomes than their counterparts who do not have an associate degree. (Natalia Kolesnikova, Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, March 2009)...

Community College Transfer and Articulation Policies: Looking Beneath the Surface - The development of curriculum articulation and school transfer policies is one policy movement that demonstrates the extent to which state policymakers view community colleges as creating greater and broader access for students. Recent research suggests the presence of a state policy. However all such policies are not the same and state policymakers must account for more than just the presence of a policy when assessing their impact and account for the mechanisms through which they encourage or facilitate student transfers. (Betheny Gross and Dan Goldhaber, Center on Reinventing Public Education, January 2009)...

Stepping Stones to a Degree: The Impact of Enrollment Pathways and Milestones on Older Community College Student Outcomes - This report presents findings from a study of the experiences and outcomes of older and younger community college students, comparing the impact of enrollment pathways (such as remediation) and enrollment milestones (such as attaining a certain number of credits) on educational outcomes of older students – those who entered college for the first time at age 25 or later – with those of traditional-age students. Results suggest that reaching milestones such as obtaining 20 credits or completing 50% of a program is a more important positive factor affecting graduation probabilities for younger students than it is for older students. Although enrollment in remedial courses decreases the odds of graduating for all students, older students who enroll in remediation are less negatively affected than are younger ones who do the same. Also available is a report summary. (Juan Carlos Calcagno, Peter Crosta, Thomas Bailey and Davis Jenkins, Teachers College, October 2006)...

State Policy and Community College-Baccalaureate Transfer - This paper examines the role of state policy in influencing community college–baccalaureate transfer. It discusses the importance of two- to four-year (2/4) transfer performance as a state policy issue, reviews national research about transfer patterns, and presents findings about state policy and transfer performance in six states. It concludes by offering recommendations to state policymakers for improving 2/4 transfer performance. (Jane V. Wellman, National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education and the Institute for Higher Education Policy, August 2002)...

The Road to Equality: Report on Transfer for the Ford Foundation MS Word - This report examines the current status of transfer and articulation policies and practices across the nation, including an in-depth analysis of policies in selected states (California, Florida, Michigan, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington), and provides recommendations to create and improve statewide policies. It looks at the role of community colleges in baccalaureate education; analyzes the opportunities students have to pursue postsecondary education; and examines the issues of financial aid, remediation, and access for minority and underprivileged students. The report is not available online but can be ordered from the Ford Foundation, 320 E. 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017, 212-573-5000 (Julie Yearsley Hungar and Janet Lieberman, The Ford Foundation, 2001)...

Community College Transfer Rates to Four-Year Institutions Using Alternative Definitions of Transfer - Preparing students to transfer to a four-year institution remains a central characteristic of community colleges. This article examines several ways of defining the population of potential transfer students, the relationship of these definitions to student background characteristics and the relationship of each definition to the resulting transfer rate. The authors discuss the results in the context of other studies of community college students and transfer. (Ellen M. Bradburn and David G. Hurst, Education Statistics Quarterly, NCES, 2001)...

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