Each year, the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) presents the results of its annual survey. These results give community colleges objective and relevant data about students’ experiences at their colleges so they can better understand how effectively they are engaging their students and identify areas for improvement.
This year, the CCSSE report also includes results of the first administration of the Community College Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (CCFSSE), which provides insights into faculty perceptions and practices. Because many items on CCSSE and CCFSSE are aligned, the report includes side-by-Lori Gates side views of faculty members’ and students’ responses.
Engagement can prevent struggling students from dropping out, and re-engagement in learning can help struggling students who have dropped out return to school and graduate. This chapter presents a case study about a struggling student who dropped
out and then came to Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, became engaged in her learning, and graduated. The authors provide policy and practice recommendations as well as a discussion of factors that affect engagement.
All beginning college students face enormous challenges, ranging from the academic to the social, and the first year of college marks the period of greatest vulnerability for student attrition.i For many students, the initial college year is the first time they are on their own, without close parental guidance. It is unsurprising that they are often ill-equipped to navigate the
challenges endemic to the college experience.
For example, the intellectual requirements of college often differ significantly from those that they were expected to meet in high school. At the same time, the social freedom of college, while ultimately the source of exploration and growth, may lead first-year students down unproductive paths. From being responsible for managing their own finances, to organizing and
structuring their time, to moderating their alcohol and drug consumption, life on campus presents college students with situations for which they may have little preparation and over which they must quickly achieve mastery.
I will begin my comments this morning by focussing first on issues of access. Only then will I turn to persistence and policies to promote persistence.
Key Word: Tinto
Student requests for academic accommodations are increasing across university campuses, and Bruce Pardy, Professor of Law at Queen’s University, believes students are taking advantage of available accommodations, such as extra time on exams, to get ahead of their peers.
Pardy argues against providing accommodation with this analogy: that if Andre De Grasse asked for a 20-metre head start in the recent World Track and Field Championships to accommodate for his injury, no one would take him seriously. This comparison assumes that academic accommodations give disabled students an advantage over others. The difference, however, between De Grasse and students with a mental illness, is that students are not asking for a 20-metre head start; mental illness and other disabilities are setbacks which have students starting the race from 20-meteres behind the starting blocks. The purpose of accommodation is not to give them an edge over other students, but to bring them forward to the starting line with everyone else.
Reporting mandates, new leeway in using federal aid, and the chance to make it a school-quality indicator all raise the issue’s profile.
Student engagement and transcript data from the Center for Community College Student Engagement demonstrate the benefits of attending college full-time. Students who attend fulltime for even one semester have an edge—the full-time edge—that is reflected in their higher rates of engagement, completion of gateway courses, persistence, and credential attainment.
Given these findings, colleges should consider asking every student one straightforward question: “Is there any way you could attend college full-time, even for one semester?”
Near the beginning of a new study on racial attitudes and college attainment, the authors note the story of Desiree
Martinez, who attended a high school in a low-income part of Los Angeles and longed to enrol at the University of
California, Los Angeles. She confided her ambitions to a teacher. The teacher frowned and said, “I don’t know why
counselors push students into these schools they’re not ready for … Students only get their hearts broken when
they don’t get into those schools, and the students that do get in come back as dropouts.”
All willing and qualified students in Ontario must be able to access and excel within Ontario’s post-secondary education system. This is a foundational principle of OUSA’s policy and advocacy work. We believe universities are currently underserving students with disabilities and that this needs to change.
In support of this change, we conducted an exploratory primary research study during September and November 2015. We intended to learn about the lived experiences of attending university in Ontario for students who identify as having one or more disabilities. Specifically, we wanted to investigate the challenges associated with persistance and graduation. This report will start by presenting the external research on which this project is based, move on to describe the methodology, and end by presenting and discussing the findings.
In 2004, the Lumina Foundation for Education approved a generous grant to support validation research to explore and document the validity of the Community College Student Report (CCSR), add to the higher education field’s understanding of student engagement, and help to identify research or institutional practices that require further attention. The study was conducted in three strands that linked Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) respondents with external data sources: (1) data from the Florida Department of Education; (2) data from the Achieving the Dream project; and (3) student record databases maintained at community colleges that have participated in the CCSSE survey and are either Hispanic-Serving Institutions or members of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). All participating students had participated in the 2002, 2003, or 2004 administrations of the Community College Student Report, CCSSE’s survey instrument.
Currently, there is great interest across Ontario in the expansion of pathway programs between colleges and universities. Through strategic partnerships, two Ontario-based postsecondary institutions (a college and a university) have developed innovative and effective pathway programs that facilitate the transition of students between institutions for the completion of degrees, diplomas, and certificates. These programs support the training of highly qualified, market-ready graduates. This paper reports on a mixed-methods study of the successes and challenges of a particular Ontario college and university
pathway program, with a focus on the Bachelor of Commerce Pathway program. Preliminary results indicate that pathway students were more academically successful than their traditional university student counterparts but did experience a number of challenges in transitioning from college into university. Principal challenges included inefficient communication between
program administrators, academic advisors, and students; lack of orientation activities for pathway students; lack of college student preparedness in communication and critical thinking skills; and difficulties experienced by college
students integrating into the social–cultural life of the university.
During the past two decades community colleges and technical institutes in several jurisdictions, including parts of Canada, the
United States and Australia, have been given the authority to award bachelor degrees. One of the motivations for this addition
to the mandate of these institutions is to improve opportunities for bachelor degree attainment among groups that historically
have been underserved by universities. This article addresses the equity implications of extending the authority to award
baccalaureate degrees to an additional class of institutions in Canada’s largest province, Ontario. The article identifies the
conditions that need to be met for reforms of this type to impact positively on social mobility and inequality, and it describes the
kinds of data that are necessary to determine the extent to which those conditions are met. Based on interviews with students,
faculty, and college leaders, it was found that regulatory restrictions on intra-college transfer from sub-baccalaureate to
baccalaureate programs and lack of public awareness of a new type of bachelor degree may be limiting the social impact of this
The number of students with disability in higher education is increasing. National data reveal differences in the retention and success of these students across Australian higher education institutions but the reasons for this are not clear. The overarching aim of this study was to explore the relationship between supports and university adjustment for students with disability, and their retention and success.
High Enrollment Demands, Stretched Resources Higher education institutions are increasingly caught in a bind: Trying to serve growing enrollment demand with budgets based on the lower student counts of previous years. According to the Campus Computing Project’s 2011 Community Colleges and the Economy Survey, “More than two-thirds (69 percent) of the 448 campus presidents and district chancellors participating in the 2011 survey report increased headcount enrollment in winter 2011; concurrently,
three-fifths of the presidents participating in the survey report a reduction in the overall operating budget at their institution; two-fifths (41 percent) report that the budget cut was five percent or more.” This situation can lead to issues such as:
• over enrollments, especially in core courses, which creates a less-than-optimal and frustrating learning
experience for faculty and students;
• delayed graduation for students because of enrollment delays; and
• reduced retention rates as students seek other schools that can offer smaller class sizes and faster
Institutions typically can’t solve this problem by adding more sections to a class. They don’t have the budget to hire new faculty or support staff, and increased tuition revenues from higher enrollments may not cover the funding gap. Larger or overflow classroom space also may not be available, especially in an urban campus. From these factors, the core challenge emerges: How do campuses educate and graduate more students — with the same staff and classroom resources — while maintaining high learning levels and teaching standards?
Using Technology to Scale Classroom Instruction An emerging solution to this challenge is the use of blended learning curriculum design and lecture capture technology. This solution delivers courses through a mix of online and in-class content and participation.
Online lectures serve as the foundation of the blended learning model. The instructor can associate the lecture
video with online content and collaboration tools in order to deliver a complete learning experience to both on-campus and distance students. Availability of a recorded lecture can enable teaching and learning in multiple ways. For example, an inverted
teaching model is possible. Students watch a video lecture before the class, then arrive ready to discuss the lecture’s topic or work on a related activity.
By reviewing statistics on content access, instructors can identify where additional explanation is needed and
improve the content of the lecture or study materials.
Technology also helps instructors better serve students with special learning needs, using tools to create closed captioning of a video lecture and for compatibility with screen readers and other accessibility tools.
For students, the blended model delivers learning that is convenient and fits within their work schedules and
personal lives. They can access the lecture video and other content from a PC, tablet or smartphone, and from anywhere they can connect to the Internet.
How Blended Learning Helps Higher Education Technologies for delivering online access to classroom instruction offers several advantages for students, faculty,and their colleges and universities.
• Students can access the courses they need at the right time, increasing the likelihood they will graduate on
schedule. A clear, certain education path also increases student satisfaction and retention.
What are the key factors associated with attrition specifically at a Canadian community college?
Canada ranks first among OECD countries in the proportion of the adult population whose highest level of education is a credential from a community college or similar type of educational institution. Canada’s rate of attainment of this type of educational credential is more than three times the average for OECD member countries, and only three member countries have rates that are more than half Canada’s rate. This paper explores the factors that contribute to Canada’s high rate of short-cycle tertiary education attainment relative to other countries. The factors examined include: the role and prevalence of short-cycle postsecondary institutions in different countries; the proportions of students who begin postsecondary education in a college rather than a university; college graduation and transfer rates; and different approaches to workforce preparation. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of some of the implications of the international differences that were explored.
The majority of employers continue to say that possessing both field-specific knowledge and a broad range of knowledge and skills is important for recent college graduates to achieve long-term career success. Very few indicate that acquiring knowledge and skills mainly for a specific field or position is the best path for long- term success. Notably, college students
recognize the importance of having both breadth and depth of skills and knowledge for their workplace success.
Echoing findings from previous Hart Research employer surveys, employers say that when hiring, they place the greatest value on demonstrated proficiency in skills and knowledge that cut across all majors. The learning outcomes they rate as most important include written and oral communication skills, teamwork skills, ethical decision-making, critical thinking, and the ability to apply knowledge in real-world settings. Indeed, most employers say that these cross-cutting skills are more important to an individual’s success at their company than his or her undergraduate
Previous research has shown that fathers taking some time off work around childbirth, especially periods of leave of 2 or more weeks, are more likely to be involved in childcare related activities than fathers who do not do so. Furthermore, evidence suggests that children with fathers who are ‘more involved’ perform better during the early years than their peers with less involved fathers. This paper analyses data of four OECD countries — Australia; Denmark; United Kingdom; United States — to describe how leave policies may influence father’s behaviours when children are young and whether their involvement translates into positive child cognitive and behavioural outcomes. This analysis shows that fathers’ leave, father’s involvement and child development are related. Fathers who take leave, especially those taking two weeks or more, are more likely to carry out childcare related activities when children are young. This study finds some evidence that children with highly involved fathers tend to perform better in terms of cognitive test scores. Evidence on the association between fathers’ involvement and behavioural outcomes was however weak. When data on different types of childcare activities was available, results suggest that the kind of involvement matters. These results suggest that what matters is the quality and not the quantity of father-child interactions.
At a time when graduate schools are under pressure to produce more minority Ph.D.s, surveys at Yale and Michigan show the challenges facing nonwhite doctoral students.
Two institutions with major diversity initiatives have their work cut out for them in terms of improving campus climate for minority graduate students. Studies released by a student group at Yale University and by a graduate school at the University of Michigan suggest ongoing concerns that could have implications for retention as they work toward diversifying the Ph.D. pool. And since many minority undergraduates are pushing colleges and universities to find and hire more minority Ph.D.s as faculty members, these findings could have an impact at all the places that might do so.