Type Question Here

  • How to Use

    Click on the slider to change the metrics. Hover over each slider to learn more about the metrics themselves.

    Qualitative

    100%
    0%

    Quantitative

    100%
    0%

    Cost Effective

    100%
    0%

    Scalable

    100%
    0%

    Insightful

    100%
    0%

    Enduring

    100%
    0%

100 Results for ""career technical education""

The toolbox revisited: Paths to degree completion from high school through college

Adelman, C. (2006). The toolbox revisited: Paths to degree completion from high school through college. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved July 24, 2011, from http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/toolboxrevisit/toolbox.pdf

This data analysis is designed to provide an overview of students who were 12th graders in 1992 and who subsequently attended a 4-year college at any point between then and December 2000. In general, the data are thought to provide a glimpse of what contributes to earning a bachelor’s degree by age 26. The Toolbox Revisited uses data from the national grade-cohort longitudinal studies conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics. This study, known as the NELS:88/2000, be...
This data analysis is designed to provide an overview of students who were 12th graders in 1992 and who subsequently attended a 4-year college at any point between then and December 2000. In general, the data are thought to provide a glimpse of what contributes to earning a bachelor’s degree by age 26. The Toolbox Revisited uses data from the national grade-cohort longitudinal studies conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics. This study, known as the NELS:88/2000, began with a national sample of eighth-graders in 1988. They were scheduled to be in the 12th grade and graduate from high school in 1992. They were followed through December 2000. In addition to regular interviews with these students, the data set on which this study is based includes the critical components of high school and college transcripts, and the transcript data are the principal sources for the academic history observed.   Some of the more important findings were related to the following areas: academic momentum; the importance of high school and college curricula; students’ use of time; and students as decision-making adults were prevalent themes in the report. For example, academic intensity of curriculum was found to be more important than grades and test scores in terms of a relationship with college graduation. 95% of students who took the highest-level math and science courses in high school earned bachelor’s degrees, it was determined. Students are more likely to achieve this goal if they enter high school prepared to be successful in such rigorous courses—not to mention if their high school offers such courses. The data asserts that a gap in terms of opportunities for certain students (e.g., ethnic minorities and low-SES) to take advanced courses exists due to the courses not being offered in many schools where they attend. A major limitation of the study is the lack of qualitative information. Although it is useful to grasp a quantitative understanding of the high school coursework that is most likely to lead to college completion, that lack of a qualitative component leaves the reader wondering about the experiences of certain students with regard to their course-taking decisions. 
Read Full Excerpt

Smoothing the transition to college? The effect of Tech-Prep programs on educational attainment

Cellini, S. R. (2006). Smoothing the transition to college? The effect of Tech-Prep programs on educational attainment. Economics of Education Review, 25(4), 394-411. doi:16/j.econedurev.2005.07.006

This study used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97), which is a nationally representative sample of approximately 9,000 12 to 16 year-olds in 1996. The author restricted her sample to those over 18 years-old in 2002 in order to measure more accurately an individual's decision about postsecondary education and labor-force participation after high school. The author's analytical sample comprised of 7,211 young adults.The study's goal was to assess the effect...
This study used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97), which is a nationally representative sample of approximately 9,000 12 to 16 year-olds in 1996. The author restricted her sample to those over 18 years-old in 2002 in order to measure more accurately an individual's decision about postsecondary education and labor-force participation after high school. The author's analytical sample comprised of 7,211 young adults.The study's goal was to assess the effectiveness of Tech-Prep programs—programs aimed to smooth the transition from high school to college by awarding transferable credits for high school classes that blends the liberal arts with the practical arts—on educational attainment.The author employed a family fixed effects approach. Because individuals and their siblings who live in the same household typically share common factors (e.g., family resources, learning environments, neighborhoods, and schools), within-family estimations account for a host of unknown common factors that makes Tech-Prep participants systematically different from their non-participating peers. As a result, the author compared the outcomes of Tech-Prep participants with the outcomes of their non-participating siblings.The author found that students who participated in Tech-Prep are more likely to complete high school and attend a two-year college than their non-participating siblings. Although Tech-Prep participation increased the likelihood of two-year college participation, it decreased the likelihood of four-year college participation. These countervailing results led to a near zero net effect of Tech-Prep on any college enrollment.A limitation of this study was that the author did not account for local labor markets. Understanding the demand side of the market may provide insights to the likelihood that a high school provides Tech-Prep program as well as the type of programs that a school offers.
Read Full Excerpt

Fifth annual Early College High School Initiative evaluation synthesis report: Six years and counting: The ECHSI matures.

American Institutes for Research & SRI International. (2009). Fifth Annual Early College High School Initiative Evaluation Synthesis Report: Six Years and Counting: The ECHSI Matures. Washington DC: American Institutes for Research.

The Early College High School Initiative (ECHSI) is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and designed to develop Early College Schools (ECSs) that serve students who are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education. Participation in the program allows students to simultaneously pursue a high school diploma and earn up to 2 years of college credits. ECHSI is based on 5 Core Principles promoting collaboration between schools, families and communities, and a belief that...
The Early College High School Initiative (ECHSI) is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and designed to develop Early College Schools (ECSs) that serve students who are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education. Participation in the program allows students to simultaneously pursue a high school diploma and earn up to 2 years of college credits. ECHSI is based on 5 Core Principles promoting collaboration between schools, families and communities, and a belief that exposing underrepresented students to a rigorous high school curriculum and incentivizing them with college credits will motivate them to succeed academically and pursue higher educational opportunities. The findings of the program evaluation were based on analyses of data from quantitative and qualitative data sources. Quantitative data sources include a school survey, a student survey, extant data from publicly available sources, and the Student Information System (SIS). Qualitative data sources include site visits, intermediary interviews, and ECS graduate interviews. The results suggest many ECS students experienced academic success. ECS graduates were found to participate in postsecondary opportunities more often than a nationally representative sample (88% versus 72%). On average, ECS students earned 23 college credits upon graduation from high school, which is roughly the equivalent of two semesters of postsecondary education. Most ECS graduates self-reported feeling more prepared for college than other first-year college students and said their experience at an ECS prepared them for success in college.   Although, as a whole, students attending ECSs appear to do well, students who reported that they would be the first in their families to attend college seemed to struggle the most. These students had the lowest high school grade point averages, lower academic self-concept and educational aspirations, and lower academic engagement than other students. It should also be noted that students’ academic records prior to entering ECHS were not reported. As such, it is difficult to determine causality. In other words, given the lack of students’ academic performance records prior to attending an ECHS, it unclear whether students’ relatively good performance is due to attending an ECHS or if these students were high-performers prior to attending an ECHS and may have done well in any learning environment.
Read Full Excerpt

The postsecondary achievement of participants in dual enrollment: An analysis of student outcomes in two states

Karp, M. M. , Calcagno, J.C., Hughs, K.L., Jeong, D. W., & Bailey, T. R. (2007). The Postsecondary Achievement of Participants in Dual Enrollment: "An Analysis of Student Outcomes in Two States". New York: Columbia University. Community College Research Center

Dual enrollment programs expose students to college-level coursework during high school with the aim of preparing them for rigorous coursework in college. When students take and pass college-level courses—either within their high school or at a local college—they receive college credits, which can be applied to their postsecondary transcripts when they enter college. The authors analyzed two existing large-scale administrative datasets from two states (Florida and New York) using s...
Dual enrollment programs expose students to college-level coursework during high school with the aim of preparing them for rigorous coursework in college. When students take and pass college-level courses—either within their high school or at a local college—they receive college credits, which can be applied to their postsecondary transcripts when they enter college. The authors analyzed two existing large-scale administrative datasets from two states (Florida and New York) using sophisticated, though non-experimental, quantitative methods, including ordinary least squares and logistic regressions. The study finds that 3.5 years after high school graduation the dual enrollment participants had completed significantly more college credits while in college than their peers who did not participate. Grade point averages were also higher among participants, but effects differed across students in the two states. This rigorous study employs control variables to account for differences in the students who chose to participate in dual enrollment and those who did not. The authors point out selection issues inherent in such an analysis and properly frame their analysis. The findings will stand until more rigorous quasi-experimental and/or experimental studies are published.This study clearly addresses the policy implications of expanding dual enrollment programs beyond the current population of enrolled high school students, and carefully discusses the relations between the program and postsecondary success for several subgroups, including low-SES and career-technical students. 
Read Full Excerpt

The return to a sub-baccalaureate education: The effects of schooling, credentials and program of study on economic outcomes

Bailey, T., Kienzl, G., & Marcotte, D. E. (2004). The return to a sub-baccalaureate education: The effects of schooling, credentials and program of study on economic outcomes. Washington, D.C.:??U.S. Department of Education.??

The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine the labor market and economic returns to sub-baccalaureate education, and the ways in which these returns might vary by credential type, degree/certificate field, and across student populations. Based on their regression analyses of three national datasets (i.e., Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study [BPS], High School and Beyond [HS&B], and the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 [NELS:88]), the authors fin...
The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine the labor market and economic returns to sub-baccalaureate education, and the ways in which these returns might vary by credential type, degree/certificate field, and across student populations. Based on their regression analyses of three national datasets (i.e., Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study [BPS], High School and Beyond [HS&B], and the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 [NELS:88]), the authors find that participation in Career/Technical sub-baccalaureate education programs results in significant advantages in terms of employment and earnings, relative to high school graduates. However, the authors also identified important ways in which the economic returns to sub-baccalaureate education are conditioned by field of concentration, credential type, demographic characteristics, and high school CTE experiences. ·         Larger economic returns were realized among those individuals who concentrated in an occupational field compared to academic concentrators. ·         Generally, men who participated in sub-baccalaureate education enjoyed larger labor market and economic returns relative to male non-participants, than did women. ·         Women who complete career/technical coursework at the sub-baccalaureate level without earning a credential do not benefit from this coursework in the same manner as male students. ·         Occupational students who completed career/technical education coursework at the high school level prior to enrolling in community college experienced higher returns to participation in sub-baccalaureate education. This study provides empirical support for the economic returns to sub-baccalaureate education, and for career/technical education in particular. Further, the study demonstrates that participation in high school CTE coursework followed by additional CTE coursework at the sub-baccalaureate level results in significant gains in employment and earnings.
Read Full Excerpt

Promising outcomes for Tech Prep participants in eight local consortia: A summary of initial results

Bragg, D. D. (2001). Promising outcomes for Tech Prep participants in eight local consortia: A summary of initial results.

Tech Prep programs emerged out of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Act of 1990. The proceeding Perkins II law provided federal grants to states for establishing local consortia dedicated to creating articulated secondary to postsecondary curriculum and seamless transition into the first two years of college. While compliance data suggests effectiveness of Tech Prep programs, a gap exists in information about the relationship between Tech Prep implementation and student ex...
Tech Prep programs emerged out of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Act of 1990. The proceeding Perkins II law provided federal grants to states for establishing local consortia dedicated to creating articulated secondary to postsecondary curriculum and seamless transition into the first two years of college. While compliance data suggests effectiveness of Tech Prep programs, a gap exists in information about the relationship between Tech Prep implementation and student experiences and outcomes. To gain more knowledge about effective practices, 8 model consortia were identified and studied over a four-year longitudinal data collection processes, involving longitudinal survey administration, field visits, interviews with key stakeholders, high school, and community college transcript data, and classroom observations. This report presents findings two-years out from the January 1998 start of the mixed-methods study.Factors and mechanisms facilitating Tech Prep implementation and student participation included block scheduling, joint planning, and integrated instruction along with scholarships for Tech Prep participant transitioning to college. Overarching goal of implementing 2+2 integrated academic and CTE programs took various forms.  Tech Prep coordinators/directors were central to change efforts in high schools, whether located in the high school or at the community college. They helped manage confusion among practitioners about purpose of Tech Prep. Leaders faced challenges, with regard to augmenting their charge to raise academic standards on top of workforce development and technical employment support (often called Work Based Learning).Two changes that helped were (1) the implementation of block scheduling in order to create sufficient time block for joint planning and (2) establishing scholarships in order to encourage students to participate and signal Tech Prep’s college preparatory commitment. Tech Prep programs without an academic achievement and college preparatory orientation were perceived as tracking mechanisms and experienced trouble with implementation. It is unclear if the college prep components served to merely boost legitimacy of the program or to actually boost matriculation to college. While noting the preliminary nature of the analysis, the report suggests that a high percentage of Tech Prep participants go on to pursue some form of postsecondary education. However, it should be clarified that matriculation mostly occurred into 2-year postsecondary institutions. Further analysis is needed to tease out factors influencing student transition decisions, although it seems partially attributable to different Tech Prep models and varying emphases on transition to college and work.  
Read Full Excerpt

Long-term impacts on labor market outcomes, educational attainment, and transitions to adulthood

Kemple, J., & Willner, C. (2008). Long-term impacts on labor market outcomes, educational attainment, and transitions to adulthood. New York, NY: Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation.

For more than thirty years, high schools across the nation have implemented Career Academies, an intervention intended to increase educational and employment outcomes for participants. Career Academies typically involve the integration of career/technical and academic coursework based on a career theme in partnership with local employers.  The purpose of this study was to determine the long-term effects of participation in Career Academies on economic and labor market outcomes. Th...
For more than thirty years, high schools across the nation have implemented Career Academies, an intervention intended to increase educational and employment outcomes for participants. Career Academies typically involve the integration of career/technical and academic coursework based on a career theme in partnership with local employers.  The purpose of this study was to determine the long-term effects of participation in Career Academies on economic and labor market outcomes. The study employs a rigorous experimental design in which eighth and ninth graders in nine, urban high schools were randomly assigned to participate in a Career Academy. The treatment and control groups were then followed throughout the period of participation and for an eight-year follow-up period in order to determine the impact of Career Academies on students’ employment outcomes.  This study reports findings based on data collected eight years post-scheduled high school graduation.Based on their analysis, the authors find that participation in the Career Academy intervention resulted found strong economic gains for young men and strong gains in stable, independent living eight years following high school graduation. However, there were no measurable differences in academic performance, high school completion, or postsecondary enrollment and completion between Career Academy participants and non-participants.This study provides compelling evidence that among young men, and minority males in particular, Career Academies result in economic returns but no advantages in terms of academic outcomes. Due to the fact that the study was carried out in nine urban high schools, the generalizability of the findings is limited.
Read Full Excerpt

Accelerating the Academic Achievement of Students Referred to Developmental Education

Edgecombe, N. (2011). Accelerating the academic achievement of students referred to developmental education. Working paper. Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY.

This paper provides a review of the literature on academic acceleration and examines the research on the effects of these efforts on student outcomes.  Acceleration is defined as those efforts to reorganize instruction and/or curricula so that students may complete their academic requirements more quickly than they would under a traditional instructional delivery model.   Given the alarmingly high level of attrition observed in many traditional developmental course sequence(s),...
This paper provides a review of the literature on academic acceleration and examines the research on the effects of these efforts on student outcomes.  Acceleration is defined as those efforts to reorganize instruction and/or curricula so that students may complete their academic requirements more quickly than they would under a traditional instructional delivery model.   Given the alarmingly high level of attrition observed in many traditional developmental course sequence(s), acceleration efforts have increased in popularity in recent years, although the empirical research on the effects of these efforts is still relatively small, and in some cases, of questionable reliability.  The paper reviews 12 prior studies, all of which examine some aspect of the effects of acceleration in developmental education on student outcomes such as course pass rates, overall GPA, or credit completion.  The lack of a control group or any use of statistical controls is a chief limitation in much of the existing research. The paper presents two models of acceleration: course redesign (which includes compressed courses, paired courses, elimination of courses, and new or modified courses) and mainstreaming (through structural support or basic skills integration).  Generally, prior research suggests that shortening the time to degree for students in need of developmental education has positive effects on students’ academic progress, although why or how this occurs is not quite known.  Mainstreaming developmental courses with college-level courses appears to also have positive effects on course-completion rates for developmental students, with no adverse effects on high achieving students.  Alternatively, in at least two cases it appears that, particularly in writing, some students may benefit from deceleration, or extending instructional time, as opposed to shortening it. A primary strength of the paper is the attention to the policy challenges inherent in implementing acceleration programs, particularly in under-resourced institutions.  In contemplating acceleration programs, it is important to consider that pedagogical changes, such as teaching practices, are harder to scale up than structural ones, such as shortening the length of a course.  It is easy to lose sight of the larger discussion of what is taught, how it is taught, and for what educational purpose, in favor of focusing on simply moving students through remedial courses more quickly.  A heavy emphasis should fall on conducting cost-benefit analyses of acceleration efforts, as they may provide cost savings, but may also lead to compromised quality of courses if other crucial support services are eliminated.  Administrators and policymakers must consider a more precise matching of academic interventions with students’ needs as they consider bold changes in the course-delivery system in community colleges today.
Read Full Excerpt

Educational outcomes of I-BEST, Washington State Community and Technical College System's Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training Program: Findings from a multivariate analysis

Jenkins, D., Zeidenberg, M., & Kienzl, G. (2009). Educational outcomes of I-BEST, Washington State Community and Technical College System's Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training Program: Findings from a multivariate analysis. New York, NY: Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University.

The authors of this paper described I-BEST, a program designed to improve the rate at which returning adult students with basic skills enter and succeed within postsecondary institutions. I-BEST is based on the premise that by helping adult students succeed in postsecondary institutions, the economy of Washington State will be improved. Instructors using the I-BEST approach combine basic skills instruction with college-level career technical skills instruction. Given the contextual-based natu...
The authors of this paper described I-BEST, a program designed to improve the rate at which returning adult students with basic skills enter and succeed within postsecondary institutions. I-BEST is based on the premise that by helping adult students succeed in postsecondary institutions, the economy of Washington State will be improved. Instructors using the I-BEST approach combine basic skills instruction with college-level career technical skills instruction. Given the contextual-based nature of the I-BEST model, the belief is that grounding instruction in students’ experiences will enable them to internalize what they are learning.  Using regression and propensity score matching, a statistical technique, on a sample of 2006-2007 students, this study compared students enrolled in I-BEST with those not enrolled in this program on a range of developmental education outcomes to examine differences between the two groups. Findings revealed that I-BEST students were more likely to earn college credits (i.e., 81 percentage points higher), persist (i.e., 42 percentage points higher), earn an award (i.e., 51 percentage points higher), and make greater gains on basic skills tests (i.e., 18 percentage points higher) than non-I-BEST students. These findings should be read with the following caveat in mind—one potential limitation of this study is that readers do not know what caused I-BEST students to have higher outcomes than non-I-BEST students. Motivation of students and selection bias are factors that impact the results. 
Read Full Excerpt

Help or Hindrance? The Effects of College Remediation on Academic and Labor Market Outcomes

Martorell, P., & McFarlin, I. (2007). Help or hindrance? The effects of college remediation on academic and labor market outcomes. Unpublished paper.

Making causal claims about the effects of remedial coursework on student outcomes is inherently problematic.  Students who are less well prepared academically for college-level work are naturally more likely to be placed into remedial courses, making these students academically different from their peers not assigned to remedial courses.  Therefore, simply comparing the academic outcomes of these students to those of their more academically-prepared peers will lead to biased estimat...
Making causal claims about the effects of remedial coursework on student outcomes is inherently problematic.  Students who are less well prepared academically for college-level work are naturally more likely to be placed into remedial courses, making these students academically different from their peers not assigned to remedial courses.  Therefore, simply comparing the academic outcomes of these students to those of their more academically-prepared peers will lead to biased estimates of the impact of remediation due to selection.  This rigorous, quasi-experimental study uses longitudinal data on over 400,000 students who first entered a public two or four-year college in Texas between 1991-92 and 1999-00 to examine the causal effects of being assigned to remedial courses on a range of student academic and subsequent labor market outcomes.  The outcomes include the total number of credits a student attempted over 6 years, the grade in the first college-level mathematics course, whether or not a student transferred from a two-year to a four-year institution, whether or not a student attained a degree within six years, and the employment earnings in the 5th, 6th, and 7th year after a student enrolls in college.  Using a Regression Discontinuity (RD) design, the authors utilize the cutoff on the statewide developmental placement test used to assign students to remedial or college-level courses in reading, writing, and mathematics, and compare the outcomes among students on the margins of needing remediation. The authors conclude that remedial courses had little effect on the number of credits attempted, receipt of a college degree, or future labor market earnings among students at the cut-off.  The mixed results from these  studies suggests that the causal effects of remedial courses on student outcomes is not yet fully understood, and, as such, presents an opportunity for further research.  The paper provides a broad, comprehensive discussion of the costs of remediation, and how these costs should be considered in light of the potential benefits.  However, for students at the margins, it is not clear that remediation in its current form should be a scalable to a larger level.  The rigorous statistical techniques used in this paper provide an excellent example for how state data can be used to answer research questions on the effectiveness of developmental education broadly.
Read Full Excerpt

Unlocking the Gate: What we know about improving developmental education

Rutschow, E. Z., & Schneider, E. (2011). Unlocking the gate: What we know about improving developmental education. New York, NY: MDRC.

This paper provides a comprehensive literature review of existing experimental and quasi-experimental studies of developmental education interventions.  The authors examine the research on four types of interventions: 1.       Strategies targeted to students before they enter college. The authors find that research on early college readiness assessments is limited, but suggests somewhat positive effects, while dual enrollment programs and summer bridg...
This paper provides a comprehensive literature review of existing experimental and quasi-experimental studies of developmental education interventions.  The authors examine the research on four types of interventions: 1.       Strategies targeted to students before they enter college. The authors find that research on early college readiness assessments is limited, but suggests somewhat positive effects, while dual enrollment programs and summer bridge programs may lead to increases in credit accumulation and college readiness, respectively.  2.       Interventions that shorten the timing or content of courses. The authors conclude that students enrolled in condensed courses, self-paced courses, and/or mainstreamed developmental courses with college-level courses all show higher rates of persistence when compared to students taking traditional developmental courses, although the lack of an adequate control group is a limitation of this research.  Further research is needed to make clear the causal link between the actual structure of these courses and any observed increases in student achievement. 3.       Programs that combine basic skill attainment together with college-level coursework. Previous studies suggest that programs such as learning communities or vocational courses engage students directly with their interests while simultaneously providing students with developmental skills, such as reading, writing, or mathematics skills.  Programs such as Washington State’s Integrated Basic Education Skills Training (I-Best) Program have led to higher rates of credit accumulation over time, as well as persistence to the second year. 4.       Programs such as advising or tutoring. The results of these efforts are mixed, as separating the effects of targeted individual support efforts from student motivation and other factors is difficult. Generally, the existing research supports those programs which mainstream remedial students into college-level courses, accelerate the coursework, and/or provide developmental skills through vocational programs.   The obstacles to successfully implementing many of these programs are numerous, and the attention to faculty needs and strengths are critical for their success.  While the costs/ benefits of most of these interventions are not made explicit, for those interventions with positive effects on student outcomes, the case is made, either explicitly or implicitly, for expansion.  More radical innovations are also presented, including technology-interventions, alignment with high school curricula, and curricular redesign.  The prior research suggests that making minor shifts around the margins are not likely to produce improvements in the delivery of developmental education as much as more radical, innovative reforms.
Read Full Excerpt

Learning communities for students in developmental reading: An impact study at Hillsborough Community College

Weiss, M. J., Visher, M. G., Wathington, H., Teres, J., & Schneider, E. (2010). Learning communities for students in developmental reading: An impact study at Hillsborough Community College. New York, NY: Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University.

This paper takes one community college in Tampa Bay, Florida — Hillsborough Community College — to examine how effective the learning communities within the College are in helping students who need developmental education. Learning communities are designed so that small groups of students take courses together with the belief that when students form meaningful relationships, they can support each other in achieving academically and persisting toward graduation. This study was desi...
This paper takes one community college in Tampa Bay, Florida — Hillsborough Community College — to examine how effective the learning communities within the College are in helping students who need developmental education. Learning communities are designed so that small groups of students take courses together with the belief that when students form meaningful relationships, they can support each other in achieving academically and persisting toward graduation. This study was designed as a random assignment where out of the 6,794 students, nearly 4,000 were assigned to the program group (i.e., a learning community) and the remainder to a control group (i.e., enrollment in regular courses not in a learning community setting). In addition, the authors employed qualitative methods to examine specific aspects within the learning communities that were meaningful to students. Based on this study, quantitative findings generally suggest that the learning communities did not impact students’ outcomes, such as likelihood of completing developmental reading courses and persistence. However, learning communities did impact students’ abilities to complete the college-success course. Qualitative findings show that the quality of the learning communities generally improved over the course of the study. Despite the strength of the random assignment design, one limitation is that random assignment does not determine which individual aspects of the learning community were effective; rather, it evaluates the entire package of learning communities. 
Read Full Excerpt

Learning communities for students in developmental math: Impact studies at Queensborough and Houston Community Colleges

Weissman, E., Butcher, K. F., Schneider, E., Teres, J., Collado, H., & Greenberg, D. (2011). Learning communities for students in developmental math: Impact studies at Queensborough and Houston Community Colleges. New York, NY: Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University.

This paper focuses on two community colleges — Queensborough and Houston Community Colleges — to examine outcomes of learning communities within these institutions on students’ developmental math. This study used a random assignment design to assign students to a treatment group (i.e., learning community participation) and a control group (i.e., regular courses/non-learning community participation group). Results from both Colleges suggest that students in the learning c...
This paper focuses on two community colleges — Queensborough and Houston Community Colleges — to examine outcomes of learning communities within these institutions on students’ developmental math. This study used a random assignment design to assign students to a treatment group (i.e., learning community participation) and a control group (i.e., regular courses/non-learning community participation group). Results from both Colleges suggest that students in the learning communities passed their developmental math courses at greater rates than those in the control groups. Despite this positive finding, the learning communities had no impact on students’ persistence or credits earned. Qualitative findings underscored that the quality of learning communities within both Colleges improved throughout the course of the study. The authors also used qualitative methods to examine specific aspects within the learning communities that were meaningful to students. Given the random assignment design used, it is difficult to know the specific aspects of the learning community that were most effective. This limitation is compensated by the use of qualitative data in order to hear how students made sense of their experiences in the learning communities. However, qualitative data are limited in that readers cannot know definitely those aspects that mattered most in the student outcomes of persistence and passing courses.
Read Full Excerpt

Postsecondary preparation and remediation: Examining the effect of the Early Assessment Program at California State University

Howell, J. S., Kurlaender, M., & Grodsky, E. (2009). Postsecondary preparation and remediation: Examining the effect of the early assessment program at California State University. Unpublished paper.

The California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, and California State University (CSU) developed the Early Assessment Program (EAP) in an effort to reduce the need for remedial English and math course-taking among incoming CSU freshmen. The voluntary program adds 15 additional questions to the 11th grade California Standards Test in both math and English. Students passing an upper threshold are exempted from remedial coursework at CSU. Students that do not are req...
The California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, and California State University (CSU) developed the Early Assessment Program (EAP) in an effort to reduce the need for remedial English and math course-taking among incoming CSU freshmen. The voluntary program adds 15 additional questions to the 11th grade California Standards Test in both math and English. Students passing an upper threshold are exempted from remedial coursework at CSU. Students that do not are required to take the CSU remediation exam and are counseled on how to improve their college readiness during their senior year. The results suggest that the EAP reduces the probability that students will need college remediation in English, and to a lesser extent, math. The authors conclude that the EAP encourages students to augment their academic preparation during their senior year to avoid remediation. The main limitation of the study is the possible threat of unobservable characteristics of the students related to both EAP participation and the need for remediation. For example, the authors are unable to measure motivation, which could be responsible for students voluntarily participating in the EAP and choosing to follow through on the advice to increase their academic preparation during their senior year. 
Read Full Excerpt

Supporting college transitions through collaborative programming: A conceptual model for guiding policy

Karp, M. M., & Hughes, K. L. (2008). Supporting college transitions thorugh collaborative programming: A conceptual model for guiding policy. Teachers College Record, 110(4), 838-866.

Recent efforts to encourage and accelerate the process of students attending college after high school have led to the expansion of what the authors refer to as “credit-based transition programs” (CBTPs). These programs allow students to take college classes and earn college credit while still in high school. The authors argue that despite the rapid expansion of these programs, there has been little theorizing about why CBTPs might lead to improved student access to, and persistence in, c...
Recent efforts to encourage and accelerate the process of students attending college after high school have led to the expansion of what the authors refer to as “credit-based transition programs” (CBTPs). These programs allow students to take college classes and earn college credit while still in high school. The authors argue that despite the rapid expansion of these programs, there has been little theorizing about why CBTPs might lead to improved student access to, and persistence in, college. The authors’ primary research question was: Through what mechanisms might credit-based transition programs encourage student success in postsecondary education? The authors present a conceptual model hypothesizing why and how CBTPs may lead to their intended outcomes. They then explore five CBTPs in diverse policy contexts (CA, IA, MN, NY and TX) through in-depth qualitative case studies. The data collected included a three day site visit during the first phase followed by interviews and observations. Based on the evidence that emerged from the case studies, they described the ways programs attempted to meet the needs of a wide range of students and identified program features that appear to best prepare middle- and low-achieving students for postsecondary education. The case study data led the authors to further refine their initial model to account for the complexity of the actual process and to take student motivation into account. Their final model hypothesizes that student participation in college coursework and support services, along with the attendant growth in academic skills, knowledge of the social aspects of college, and motivation, lead students to matriculate into postsecondary education. Moreover, because of their strong skills, students will likely persist in college once there. The findings from this study have important implications for policy makers and educators by suggesting that middle- and low-achieving students may benefit from participation in CBTPs if they are properly prepared for and supported in their college courses. In addition, the findings stress the importance of collaboration and communication across secondary and postsecondary sectors. This study provides a guide future research. In particular, quantitative research drawing from a larger sample may be conducted to test generalizability and statistical significance of the findings.
Read Full Excerpt

High school career academies and post-secondary outcomes

Maxwell, Nan L., and Victor Rubin. 2002. High school career academies and post-secondary outcomes. Economics of Education Review 21 (2):137?152. doi:10.1016/s0272-7757(00)00046-7.

 This paper focuses on the outcomes associated with one type of school-to-work program, the career academy. By comparing the outcomes from career academy programs with those from more traditional programs, we evaluate their potential for improving the post-secondary experiences over students from more traditional curriculum programs. Using both single-district and national (across-district) databases, we show that the career academy has the potential for increasing education levels to those...
 This paper focuses on the outcomes associated with one type of school-to-work program, the career academy. By comparing the outcomes from career academy programs with those from more traditional programs, we evaluate their potential for improving the post-secondary experiences over students from more traditional curriculum programs. Using both single-district and national (across-district) databases, we show that the career academy has the potential for increasing education levels to those of students describing themselves as having followed an academic program. However, we show that the career academy may not be equally effective for all students, and other studies have shown that they carry relatively high marginal costs over more traditional programs. Thus, it may be that career academies should be offered as part of an array of high school programs to meet the educational needs of diverse student bodies and cost constraints of administrators .
Read Full Excerpt

Latino students and the educational pipelines: Pathways to the bachelor's degree for Latino students

Swail, Watson S., Alberto F. Cabrera, Chul Lee, and Adriane Williams. 2005. Latino students & the educational pipelines: Pathways to the bachelor's degree for Latino students. Stafford, VA: Educational Policy Institute.

 Researchers, policymakers, and educators as a whole often wonder what becomes of students as they progress through the educational system. As a former teacher, I think back to students I taught whose names are now lost, but whose faces and personalities remain very much intact. I often wonder what happened to them since we last met. Did they finish high school? Go on to college? Get married and have children? Did they meet their personal goals? Ultimately, I want to know if things worked o...
 Researchers, policymakers, and educators as a whole often wonder what becomes of students as they progress through the educational system. As a former teacher, I think back to students I taught whose names are now lost, but whose faces and personalities remain very much intact. I often wonder what happened to them since we last met. Did they finish high school? Go on to college? Get married and have children? Did they meet their personal goals? Ultimately, I want to know if things worked out for them. The memories of these students still mean a lot to me. They helped shape me into the individual I am today, and they—well, most of them—made my life much, much better just through the opportunity to get to know and work with them. Unfortunately, as with most teachers, I am left mostly with memories. I mention this because knowing what becomes of students is a very critical part of the development of public policy and sound educational practice. But like teachers, only rarely do we ever get a glimpse into the lives of past students. This report is one of a series of three reports on Latino students in the educational pipeline, all of which are available for free download on the web at www.educationalpolicy.org. The purpose of this series is to provide a sense of the challenges facing Latino youth compared to White youth on the pathways to post-secondary education and the baccalaureate. The series relies on data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS), sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics in 1988 to follow 8th grade students from middle school through to the workforce. In total, over 26,000 8th-grade students were surveyed in 1988, with followup surveys in 1990 (10th grade), 1992 (12th grade), 1994 (2 years after scheduled high school graduation), and finally in 2000 (8 years after scheduled high school graduation). NELS gives us the best glimpse of students in and beyond the educational pipeline in America. 
Read Full Excerpt

Rewarding persistence: Effects of a performance-based scholarship program for low-income parents

Richburg-Hayes, L., Brock, T., LeBlanc, A., Paxson, C., Rouse, C. E., & Barrow, L. (2009) Rewarding Persistence: Effects of a Performance-Based Scholarship Program for Low-Income Parents. Report on the Opening Doors Project. Retrieved from the MDRC website: www.mdrc.org.

An investment in post-secondary education has been repeatedly shown to pay high monetary and non-monetary dividends to students and society at large. Despite such benefits, research shows that close to half of all students who matriculate at a community college drop out before graduating and do not complete a degree at any other college or university within a six-year time frame (U.S.Department of Education, 2003b). The reasons for this are many, ranging from weak academic preparation to difficu...
An investment in post-secondary education has been repeatedly shown to pay high monetary and non-monetary dividends to students and society at large. Despite such benefits, research shows that close to half of all students who matriculate at a community college drop out before graduating and do not complete a degree at any other college or university within a six-year time frame (U.S.Department of Education, 2003b). The reasons for this are many, ranging from weak academic preparation to difficulties balancing work, family, and school obligations. To study the effect of supplemental financial aid with an incentive component to encourage academic success and persistence, two New Orleans-area colleges operated a performance-based scholarship program with counseling in 2004-2005. The program was targeted to low-income parents as part of MDRC’s multi-site Opening Doors demonstration. With funding from the Louisiana Department of Social Services and the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the colleges offered students $1,000 for each of two semesters ($2,000 total) — distributed in three separate payments each semester — if they met two conditions: They had to enroll in college at least half time and they had to maintain an average grade of “C” or better. Students did not have to be welfare recipients, and the scholarships were paid in addition to federal Pell Grants. Program counselors monitored whether students met benchmarks, and physically handed the students their checks at the beginning, middle, and end of the semester.  Using a random assignment design — the “gold standard” methodology in program evaluation — MDRC assigned 1,019 parents who were enrolled or planning to enroll in a community college to either a control group who received their college’s standard financial aid package and student services or to a program group who received the same standard aid package and student services in addition to being eligible for the Opening Doors performance-based scholarship. Analyses in this report show that: • The Opening Doors program encouraged more students to register for college. Students who received the scholarship were not only more likely (by 5.3 percentage points) to register, they were more likely (by 6.4 percentage points) to register full time, although only half-time enrollment was required to maintain the scholarship. • The program increased persistence. Longer-term analyses for the first groups of students who entered the Opening Doors study show that program group students were more likely (by 6.5 percentage points) to be registered through four semesters after random assignment. • The program increased the number of credits that students earned. Follow-up data on the first groups of students to enter the Opening Doors study show positive effects on credit accumulation and grades through the fourth semester after random assignment.  • The program had positive impacts on a range of social and psychological outcomes.Students in the Opening Doors program reported greater engagement in working toward their personal goals and higher levels of perceived social support. Tragically, Hurricane Katrina, a category five hurricane, hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005, interrupting the follow-up period of the study. However, MDRC has made it a priority to replicate the program (and variations of it) in order to build more evidence on the potential of performance-based scholarships to help at-risk students through its recently launched Performance-Based Scholarship demonstration.    
Read Full Excerpt

Going, going, gone: the effects of aid policies on graduation at three large public institutions

Singell, L., & Stater, M. (2006). Going, going, gone: the effects of aid policies on graduation at three large public institutions. Policy Sciences. 39. 379-403. DOI: 10.1007/s11077-006-9030-7.

This paper exploits uniquely detailed data and cross-institution variation in aid for three large public universities to identify the effects of aid on the probability of college graduation. The results indicate that need-based and merit-based aid both increase graduation rates at large public institutions, but primarily through the types of students that ‘select’ these institutions. Merit-based aid facilitates an institution attracting students who have higher observed academic ability that...
This paper exploits uniquely detailed data and cross-institution variation in aid for three large public universities to identify the effects of aid on the probability of college graduation. The results indicate that need-based and merit-based aid both increase graduation rates at large public institutions, but primarily through the types of students that ‘select’ these institutions. Merit-based aid facilitates an institution attracting students who have higher observed academic ability that raises the probability of graduation. Need-based aid enables an institution to attract students with non-academic attributes such as social and cultural networks that, while often unobserved, improve graduation success. Broadly, our results suggest that recent aid policy that has moved away from need-based aid for low-income students (reducing their ability to find the best institutional match) and toward merit-based aid (that alters the distribution of high ability students across colleges) could foster stagnant graduation rates even with rising enrollment rates that have been observed over the last three decades. Keywords Higher education policy, Economics of education, Financial aid, College enrollment, College completion
Read Full Excerpt

Investigating the impact of financial aid on student dropout risks: Racial and ethnic differences

Chen, R., & DesJardins, S. L. (2010). Investigating the Impact of FA on Student Dropout Risks: Racial and Ethnic Differences. The Journal of Higher Education. 81(2). 179-208.

In the United States it is well established that investment in higher education is beneficial to individuals and society and that it promotes economic development. Increasingly, the higher education system has come to be seen as not only a provider of individual, social, and economic opportunity, but also a critical element in the national quest for equality of opportunity across socioeconomic, gender, and racial/ethnic lines (Anderson & Hearn, 1992). Park (1996) suggests that the larger the...
In the United States it is well established that investment in higher education is beneficial to individuals and society and that it promotes economic development. Increasingly, the higher education system has come to be seen as not only a provider of individual, social, and economic opportunity, but also a critical element in the national quest for equality of opportunity across socioeconomic, gender, and racial/ethnic lines (Anderson & Hearn, 1992). Park (1996) suggests that the larger the dispersion of schooling among the labor force, the greater the income inequality; and Bowen (1997) concludes that a democratic-capitalist society could use education, especially higher education, as a means of gradually reducing inequalities in the human condition. Bowen also notes, “In the long run,education could be an effective and acceptable means for changing the distribution of social position”(p. 58). 
Read Full Excerpt

Technology solutions for developmental math: An overview of current and emerging practices

Epper, R. M., & Baker, E. D. (2009). Technology solutions for developmental math: An overview of current and emerging practices. William and Flora Hewlett Foundation & Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Many experts in the world of mathematics and beyond contend that we cannot meet our developmental math student success goals without incorporating technology. The implementation of innovative technology in program design and practice, as reviewed in this report, provides us with an initial look at how technology can be used to expand, strengthen, and create efficiency in the delivery of developmental math practice.  Despite an expanding knowledge base in developmental math practice and the ...
Many experts in the world of mathematics and beyond contend that we cannot meet our developmental math student success goals without incorporating technology. The implementation of innovative technology in program design and practice, as reviewed in this report, provides us with an initial look at how technology can be used to expand, strengthen, and create efficiency in the delivery of developmental math practice.  Despite an expanding knowledge base in developmental math practice and the rapid expansion of technology in education, critical challenges remain in maximizing the promise inherent in these innovations. These include blending best practices in developmental math with leading technological innovation, developing a more robust and convincing evidence base, expanding development efforts for promising learning technologies, and overcoming the resistance to change that characterizes the organizational culture of many community colleges.   This report looks at the challenges of remediating math skills in community colleges and the potential of technology to address these challenges. It begins with a short review of current instructional strategies in community college developmental math, including the central pedagogical approaches. The paper continues by identifying several categories of emerging curricular innovations and presenting examples of how selected strategies are being implemented in community colleges.  The main body of the report focuses on technology and its role in supporting and strengthening the teaching of developmental math, including the current use of technology as well as promising directions for future use.  It concludes with a discussion of adoption challenges in moving forward, from both a curricular and institutional perspective.  The report is intended as a broad overview of current practices rather than an in-depth study or recommendation of particular instructional methods.  
Read Full Excerpt

Community college faculty and developmental education: An opportunity for growth and investment

Gerstein, A. (2009). Community college faculty and developmental education: An opportunity for growth and investment. Stanford, CA: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Community colleges have long provided broad access to large numbers of Americans who seek opportunities in higher education. Indeed, for many the only entrée into post-secondary learning is through an affordable public institution that can offer an array of career choices and possibilities for exploration or that can serve as a launching pad to a four-year institution. Yet many of these students arrive under-prepared for college-level work. Those adults who work with these hopeful youth in a...
Community colleges have long provided broad access to large numbers of Americans who seek opportunities in higher education. Indeed, for many the only entrée into post-secondary learning is through an affordable public institution that can offer an array of career choices and possibilities for exploration or that can serve as a launching pad to a four-year institution. Yet many of these students arrive under-prepared for college-level work. Those adults who work with these hopeful youth in an effort to provide them with future opportunities experience multiple challenges. The circumstances that surround the majority of these students exert myriad social and economic pressures. Striving to promote excellence in this context requires a multi-faceted support system to help students achieve success. One critical area of focus in addressing the increasing numbers of under-prepared students includes faculty professional development as a means to improve learning outcomes for students. This paper explores the issues focused on the faculty in community colleges. Specifically, the paper describes the context for the faculty and students in today’s community colleges. An examination of the issues surrounding faculty preparation to teach developmental education follows. Adjunct faculty teach the majority of developmental education courses and their role is explored as well. Typical professional development practices for community college faculty are described followed by a case example presenting two community colleges and the ways in which those faculties engaged in professional learning opportunities. Finally, a set of implications is offered regarding the faculty preparation for developmental education.
Read Full Excerpt

Beyond crossroads: Implementing mathematics standards in the first two years of college

American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges. (2006). Beyond crossroads: Implementing mathematics standards in the first two years of college. Memphis, TN: AMATYC.

Beyond Crossroads is intended to stimulate faculty, departments, and institutions to examine, assess, and improve every component of mathematics education in the first two years of college. The varied challenges for full-time and adjunct faculty are fully acknowledged. Faculty need and deserve the necessary facilities, equipment, and professional development opportunities essential for performing their teaching responsibilities. These standards, recommendations, and action items are not intended...
Beyond Crossroads is intended to stimulate faculty, departments, and institutions to examine, assess, and improve every component of mathematics education in the first two years of college. The varied challenges for full-time and adjunct faculty are fully acknowledged. Faculty need and deserve the necessary facilities, equipment, and professional development opportunities essential for performing their teaching responsibilities. These standards, recommendations, and action items are not intended to be a prescription for action used identically by each faculty member, department, or institution. Rather, they are to be used as a starting point for dialogue, reflection, experimentation, evaluation, and continuous improvement. Used in this way, this document can guide professionals toward standards-based mathematics education that promotes continuous professional growth and helps students maximize their potential in every college mathematics course. What is a mathematics standard? Mathematics faculty, administrators, mathematics education researchers, policy makers, politicians, and parents continue to engage in dialogue on the meaning and role of standards. The words “educational standard” can have any of the following meanings depending on the audience and the purpose for which the standard is developed: a vision of ideal practice essential knowledge in a field descriptors of student performance guides to align system components measurable goals for student learning
Read Full Excerpt

Promoting gatekeeper course success among community college students needing remediation: Findings and recommendations from a Virginia study

Jenkins, D., Jaggars, S., S., & Roksa, J. (2009). Promoting gatekeeper course success among community college students needing remediation: Findings and recommendations from a Virginia study (summary report). New York, NY: Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University.

This report summarizes key findings and recommendations from a Community College Research Center (CCRC) study designed to help community colleges develop strategies for improving the rate at which academically under-prepared students take and pass initial college-level (or “gatekeeper”) courses in math and English. CCRC conducted the study at the request of the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) to inform the system’s strategic objective of improving retention and academic success fo...
This report summarizes key findings and recommendations from a Community College Research Center (CCRC) study designed to help community colleges develop strategies for improving the rate at which academically under-prepared students take and pass initial college-level (or “gatekeeper”) courses in math and English. CCRC conducted the study at the request of the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) to inform the system’s strategic objective of improving retention and academic success for their students, particularly the large number of students who arrive unprepared for college-level work. The study examined student characteristics, course-taking patterns, and other factors associated with higher probabilities that students who require remediation will take and pass math and English gatekeeper courses.   
Read Full Excerpt

Promising practices for community college developmental education

Schwartz, W., & Jenkins, D. (2007). Promising practices for community college developmental education. New York, NY: Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University.

Developmental education is a key part of the college experience of a great number of community college students. Nationwide, about 60 percent of recent high school graduates who enter post-secondary education through community college take at least one remedial course (Bailey, Leinbach, & Jenkins, 2005). Yet, despite the prevalence of students who take developmental courses at community colleges, there is surprisingly little definitive research evidence on what makes for effective developmen...
Developmental education is a key part of the college experience of a great number of community college students. Nationwide, about 60 percent of recent high school graduates who enter post-secondary education through community college take at least one remedial course (Bailey, Leinbach, & Jenkins, 2005). Yet, despite the prevalence of students who take developmental courses at community colleges, there is surprisingly little definitive research evidence on what makes for effective developmental education practice.  Many studies of community college developmental education (or “remedial” education; we use these terms interchangeably) are based on programs and students at single institutions. These studies often do not make use of carefully selected comparison groups, and they typically do not track individuals long enough to find out whether students are eventually able to earn degrees or transfer to baccalaureate programs (see Levin & Calcagno, 2007). Studies that make it possible to claim that a particular practice is causally related to an outcome (as opposed to being merely correlated with an outcome) generally require that students be randomly assigned to treatment or control groups and that they be followed over an extended period of time. Such studies are generally expensive and time-consuming to carry out.  An MDRC study on learning communities, conducted as part of its Opening Doors project, is an example of experimental research. In that study, first semester developmental education students at Kingsborough Community College in New York were randomly assigned to either learning communities (the “treatment” group) or to a control group. The students were then tracked through their second semester. Results indicate that the students in learning communities had a statistically higher grade point average than did those in the control group (Bloom & Sommo, 2005). MDRC continues to track the students to examine the effect of learning communities on longer-term measures of educational success.   Experimental studies such as this one provide compelling evidence about the relationship between a given set of practices and resulting student outcomes. Yet even the findings of experimental research must be considered with some caution. The findings of all studies, including experiments, pertain to the particular interventions evaluated and the conditions under which they were implemented. The same outcomes may not be obtained when similar interventions are implemented under different circumstances.  Despite these qualifications, however, there is a growing body of literature that is useful in identifying developmental education practices that appear promising. While these studies often do not make use of rigorous methods, they typically do tap into the accumulated experience of educators who work with developmental students on a daily basis. For example, the Massachusetts Community College Executive Office (2006) recently released a report on effective practices in developmental mathematics that was based on collaboration with developmental educators from colleges throughout the state. And, indeed, the National Center for Developmental Education has been investigating effective developmental practices for more than 15 years. It has produced a wealth of information based on evaluations, case studies, and surveys (see, for example, Boylan, 2002). The document presented here provides a summary of key findings from the literature on effective developmental education practice. It is designed to promote discussion among community college educators and state agency staff in Connecticut as they consider how to improve outcomes for their many students who are academically unprepared to succeed in college.  One common theme in this literature is that no single set of practices will be effective with every student. There is a broad consensus in the literature — which is shared by the researchers at CCRC — that educators ought to take a holistic approach to developmental education. Instead of focusing on a narrow set of interventions, community colleges should employ a range of instructional strategies and support services, and they should ensure that all relevant instructional services and student supports are well-integrated with one another. The strategies and services that are developed should take account of the educational backgrounds of poorly prepared students, their expectations for higher education, and the demands of their lives outside school. Of course, the selection of specific approaches must be determined in conjunction with an analysis of the institutional capacity to support them, which depends on such considerations as the strength of existing student services, priorities of college leadership, organizational climate, and available funding. We hope that the practices described in this document encourage community college educators in Connecticut to reflect on how they currently approach developmental education and discuss ways they might strengthen program outcomes. In the tables that follow, descriptions of promising practices are grouped into these categories:  (1) program management and organization;  (2) assessment, instruction, and curriculum;  (3) student supports; (4) faculty; and  (5) public policy.  The tables indicate sources in the literature where more information on particular strategies can be found.  Any assessment of practices should be done in concert with an analysis of data on program performance and student success. We conclude this guide by describing a process whereby faculty and student support staff can use data on student outcomes to identify barriers to and opportunities for program improvement.   
Read Full Excerpt

Massachusetts community colleges developmental education best policy and practice audit

Sperling, C. (2009). Massachusetts Community Colleges developmental education best policy and practice audit. Unpublished paper.

Executive Summary The effective education of under-prepared students has long been a challenge for the nation’s 1200 community colleges; and the urgency to prepare greater numbers of students  to participate in a 21st century economy that increasingly requires successful completion of post...
Executive Summary The effective education of under-prepared students has long been a challenge for the nation’s 1200 community colleges; and the urgency to prepare greater numbers of students  to participate in a 21st century economy that increasingly requires successful completion of post-secondary education, is, if anything, increasing. In light of national and regional research that highlights the significant persistence and achievement gaps between students who enter community colleges “college-ready” and those whose skills in math, writing and/or reading place them into developmental education courses as a precursor to college-level study, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Community Colleges initiated a 15-month Audit of Massachusetts developmental education policies, practices and strategies.  The purpose was  to provide an update on the status of developmental education system wide  and to determine the alignment of recognized best practices and policies and those in use within Massachusetts’ community colleges. The resultant Massachusetts Community College Developmental Education Best Policy and Practice Audit Report:  presents current research findings regarding best practices and policies for promoting success among developmental learners; sheds light on the alignment between research-based practices and policies and the practices and policies currently in use within Massachusetts community colleges to advance student success in developmental courses; gauges the extent to which the community colleges in Massachusetts collect and make use of outcomes information to improve success in and beyond developmental courses and programs; updates the system on the status of Massachusetts community colleges’ implementation of policies and practices recommended by the 100% Math Initiative, a 2006 FIPSE-funded initiative to improve developmental mathematics instruction within Massachusetts community colleges provides a repository of practices and policies in place and “under construction” to advance the persistence and attainment of under-prepared learners within the Commonwealth’s community colleges; and provides recommendations  for improvement and areas for further inquiry.  The Process The Audit was conducted through several key steps, including  the development of a literature review of best practices and policies, and the utilization of research-based best practices and policies as the basis for development of Institutional Inventories to gather campus-based information. Because it was recognized that different departments and offices within an institution do things differently, separate inventories were created to capture the perspectives of chief academic officers; faculty chairs of departments that included developmental math, reading, and writing courses; and coordinators of self-contained college programs that exist to promote the achievement and advancement of academically under-prepared learners. Inventories for all five categories of participants were administered online.  Massachusetts Community Colleges Developmental Education Best Policy and Practice Audit :Based on a preliminary analysis of the resultant data, campus interviews were conducted to clarify ambiguous inventory responses and to expand upon information already collected. Quantitative and qualitative data informed one another, and both were used in formulating findings, conclusions and recommendations. Identified Areas for Further Development: An analysis of the findings yielded the following areas for focused attention over the next several years:  Linking commitment, inquiry, intention, and accountability. Good pilots adhere to the precept, “Plan you flight, and fly your plan”. Developing a carefully-considered coherent plan for increased student attainment requires asking the right questions, applying rigor and candor to data collection and analysis, determining critical domains for improvement, and establishing clear goals, strategies and incremental benchmarks by which progress can be measured. That doesn't suggest that a course correction isn't made when conditions call for it.  But intentionality is key to accomplishment;  and getting results requires sustained focus, an openness to new ways of approaching old challenges,  and persistent and determined effort over time. Pushing the fragments together in ways that best serve student attainment goals. There is strong evidence that the marriage of strong academic instruction and intrusive and proactive student support is key to the effectiveness of programs that have a significant impact on student persistence and attainment. When advising, tutoring, counseling, instruction, and student success strategies are not working together to present students with a holistic vision of what it takes to move forward with increased competence and confidence, there is less chance they will do so.  The more connected these elements are, the more connected students are to their goals, their trajectory in the learning process, and their accomplishments along the way. College organizational structures notwithstanding,  coordinated support across departmental lines is critical to the success of students for whom stepping up to college is an enormous step up. Requiring what is necessary for student progress and success. A commitment to effective practice for developmental students means applying what works unapologetically and enthusiastically. There are practices that, to date, have proven efficacious for under-prepared learners. Among them are Learning Communities, where there is close coordination between and among faculty, students and content; Student Success courses linked to content that provides a meaningful context for skills reinforcement; Supplemental Instruction, integrated tutoring and labs that provide practice, time on task, feedback and reinforcement; accelerated options that allow for rapid advancement of those prepared to move on; and proactive, intrusive advisement that provides students with a reliable and committed go-to person on an ongoing basis. Given options, many students will opt out of some or all of the services available to them. Knowing what a key role these interventions play in student progress and achievement, colleges should give thought  to how best to build effective support strategies into the core of at-risk students’ college experience. Aligning professional development goals and outcomes with student development and achievement goals.Given the fact that at least two thirds of incoming students at each college test into pre-college coursework, it is incumbent upon college staff and faculty to fashion professional development opportunities and resources that enhance the skills, knowledge and effectiveness of those who work on a day-to-day basis to advance the attainment of under-prepared students. Activities that pair theory with practice, and practice with follow-up student assessment, are encouraged; and handbooks that summarize and reinforce best practice research and strategies should be made available to full- and part-time faculty, advisors, tutors, and lab personnel whose focus is the increased attainment of underprepared learners. Performance measures for professional development  should  go beyond user satisfaction, focusing more directly on the impact of professional development on faculty and staff practice and on student learning and achievement that accrues from newly-implemented or modified  approaches. Bridging the chasm between secondary and post-secondary education. Large numbers of students graduate from high school unprepared for college-level study. While Accuplacer administration at the junior and senior high school levels provides information about where a prospective student would place in math, reading and writing courses within a Massachusetts public higher education institution, it does not do anything to prepare students for college-level work. Working with high school English and Math teachers to align curricula and expected outcomes is key and needs to receive greater focus and attention. And, though necessary, it may still not be sufficient. Actual student preparation may be aided by the provision of bridge programs, college courses in high schools, dual enrollment, early college high schools, high school/college team teaching, and/or joint professional development. Given the uphill climb for students who begin college in more than one developmental course , it is extremely important that greater numbers of high school students arrive at college adequately prepared for college-level study. Nurturing and growing successful practices. Best practices often emerge from experimentation with ideas that seem to lead in the right direction. Faculty and staff with good ideas are best nourished in an environment where taking risks is not risky. Encouraging a balance between creative and informed investigation and candid assessment and refinement is vitally important to the growth and development of an institution in search of good solutions.  Good solutions for a small cohort of students, however, should not be enough. Bringing best practices to scale is an enormous challenge  in an environment in which resources are scarce, and cut-backs— rather than build-outs—are on the minds of those responsible for fiscal management. Yet given the important goal of increased achievement and persistence for greater numbers of students, there is a need to base funding decisions on evidence of accomplishment. For colleges to shape themselves in ways that support a greater measure of success for under-prepared learners, strategies that demonstrate efficacy will likely have to reshape or replace those that cannot demonstrate equal effectiveness.  Initiating collaborations to conduct further practice-based research and share effective interventions. There is much to be learned from neighboring institutions and collaborative research. Based on the descriptions of individual initiatives at each of the colleges contained in the full Best Practices and Policies Audit Report, college staff from various institutions are encouraged to form professional Learning Communities to pursue collaborative research, development, and/or trial implementations; cooperate on data collection and analysis; and share models for growing and institutionalizing
Read Full Excerpt

Promising instructional reforms in developmental education: A case study of three Achieving the Dream colleges

Zachry, E. M. (2008). Promising instructional reforms in developmental education: A case study of three Achieving the Dream colleges. New York, NY: MDRC.

Executive Summary A large proportion of first-time community college students enter schools each year in need of developmental education, but few succeed in making it through these programs to college-level courses, let alone earning a certificate or a degree. Such discouraging outcomes have spur...
Executive Summary A large proportion of first-time community college students enter schools each year in need of developmental education, but few succeed in making it through these programs to college-level courses, let alone earning a certificate or a degree. Such discouraging outcomes have spurred many colleges across the country to focus on improving developmental education through a variety of interventions, including increased student advising, more professional development for faculty, and revision of the instruction and curriculum within developmental education courses themselves. In recent years, much of this work has been undertaken as part of Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count, a bold, multi-year, national initiative launched in 2003 by Lumina Foundation for Education. Achieving the Dream seeks to help more community college students succeed by reshaping the culture and practices inside community colleges and the external forces that affect their behavior. More specifically, the initiative encourages colleges to: 1. Commit to improving student success 2. Identify and prioritize problems 3. Engage stakeholders in developing strategies for addressing priority problems 4. Implement, evaluate, and improve strategies  5. Institutionalize effective policies and practices To assist in this work, Achieving the Dream provides colleges with a number of supports, including professional coaching and grants totaling $450,000 over the course of five years. This report examines the experiences of three of the eighty-three colleges currently involved in Achieving the Dream: Guilford Technical Community College in Greensboro, North Carolina; Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap, Virginia; and Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, Virginia. Using the Achieving the Dream model as a framework, each of these colleges chose to focus on improving developmental education as one of its priority areas, and each developed interventions to reach developmental learners who have a variety of skill levels and experiences. In detailing these instructional interventions, this report has three primary aims: (1) to highlight the components of several instructional reforms in developmental education, (2) to examine how colleges used the Achieving the Dream model of institutional reform to implement these interventions, and (3) to document ways in which such interventions can be implemented at other colleges across the nation. Unlike many MDRC studies, this analysis is based not on a random assignment evaluation of these instructional reforms but, rather, on a qualitative study of the implementation of these reforms. As such, the instructional reforms highlighted here are suggestive of promising practices in developmental education, rather than definitive judgments about their effectiveness. Key Findings Guilford Tech, Mountain Empire, and Patrick Henry each took a unique approach to reforming developmental education instruction. Their reforms sought to meet the varied needs of their student populations, including techniques to increase the success of developmental education students who have low skill levels, techniques to reach developmental education students with higher skill levels, and techniques suitable for learners with a variety of abilities. When instituting new reforms on their campuses, each of the colleges closely followed the three broad steps recommended by Achieving the Dream. Each undertook an analysis of their students’ achievement and developed specified priority areas for reform, around which they then instituted interventions to improve students’ success. Most of the instructional reforms that these colleges implemented were still in the pilot stages, but each of them showed promising trends in increasing students’ achievements, as evidenced by evaluations undertaken by the colleges. Though their programs varied, their experiences hold many lessons for the implementation of instructional reforms in developmental education, both for colleges hoping to institute similar reforms as well as for policymakers and leaders who hope to help colleges undertake this work. Considering Change: Analyzing Student Success, Developing Priorities for Improvement, and Researching Strategies for Reform. The colleges in this report tended to have similar experiences with using Achieving the Dream as a model for implementing instructional reforms in developmental education. • Achieving the Dream’s focus on a culture of evidence helped the colleges become more comfortable with analyzing student outcomes data and using this analysis as a basis for reform.  Each of the colleges in this report undertook a data analysis process similar to that suggested by Achieving the Dream. The colleges analyzed the student cohort data that they submitted to the Achieving the Dream database and examined such matters as graduation, persistence, and course pass rates. The colleges also undertook more detailed analyses, using state data or their own institutional data on programs and students to investigate the success of particular courses and groups of students.  • As encouraged by the initiative, the colleges analyzed student outcomes data for subgroups defined by income status and by race or ethnicity. This analysis did not prove to be particularly useful. National studies have shown that low-income students and students of color tend to have lower persistence and graduation rates than upper-income and white students. Achieving the Dream encourages colleges to disaggregate student data by race and income to see whether similar trends exist on their campuses and, if so, to develop interventions that try to “close the gap.” The colleges profiled in this report did not always find an analysis of differing racial and income student sub-populations to be useful, either because low-income and minority students made up a majority of their overall student population or because the achievement of these students differed little from the rest of the student body. • The identification of priority areas for reform grew fairly naturally from the colleges’ analyses of student outcomes. However, they found that they needed more time for intensive research and planning in order to identify and develop strategies that met these priorities. The first year of Achieving the Dream was intended to be a planning year, with the primary focus to be on analyzing student outcomes data to identify areas of improvement. In subsequent years, colleges were expected to pilot interventions designed to make students more successful. Some of the colleges emphasized the need for a longer planning and development period before implementing strategies. The choice and development of interventions continued to take place after the colleges’ initial planning year in Achieving the Dream, with some strategies being piloted during the second and third year of their implementation grant period.  Implementing Change: Piloting Interventions to Improve Student Success Although the colleges in this report implemented differing instructional reforms, several themes can be seen in their goals and experiences. • The colleges’ instructional reforms sought to accelerate students’ progression through developmental education, to reduce their financial aid challenges, and/or to increase student engagement.  The colleges identified three key challenges to address: students’ slow progress through developmental education course levels, the depletion of their financial aid, and the lack of engagement in their learning. Two colleges developed interventions aimed at increasing students’ progression through developmental education, by accelerating instruction (Mountain Empire’s Fast Track Math) or by providing more intensive instruction and revising the assessment of students’ progress (Guilford Tech’s Transitions program). These programs also had the added benefit of preserving students’ financial aid for college-level courses; students could move more quickly through the programs, or, in the case of Guilford Tech’s Transitions program, instruction was provided tuition-free. Two colleges also focused explicitly on increasing students’ engagement in their learning, by providing more interactive instructional models (Mountain Empire’s Peer-Led Team Learning and Patrick Henry’s Cooperative Learning).  • The colleges developed instructional models with differing levels of timing and intensity to meet the needs of lower- and higher-skilled developmental education students. The colleges’ interventions provided different levels of instruction depending on students’ needs. One college (Mountain Empire) developed more rapid, review-like instruction to better suit the needs of developmental education students with higher-level skills. Colleges also created more intensive instructional programs for developmental education students with lower skills, such as the Transitions program at Guilford Tech and the Peer-Led Team Learning program at Mountain Empire. • Faculty leadership was critical for developing and implementing instructional reforms in developmental education. The colleges’ support of faculty, through paid leave time and professional development, also played an important role in the implementation of these interventions. The colleges highlighted the important role that faculty members played in developing and implementing the instructional reforms in developmental education. While a supportive administration was important, the colleges emphasized that instructional reforms were most successful when developed and led by faculty members. Faculty members also emphasized the important role that paid leave time and professional development played in their ability to plan and implement these instructional reforms at their schools.  Scaling Up or Scaling Down: Monitoring Program Success as an Achieving the Dream College After implementing pilot interventions, Achieving the Dream colleges are expected to monitor and evaluate the success of these strategies. The Achieving the Dream initiative provides a set of guidelines to assist colleges in this process, since evaluation and research are new undertakings for many community colleges. The initiative lays out a sequential plan for developing evaluations, moving from (1) more qualitative, formative feedback evaluations, which provide preliminary information on the implementation of an intervention, to (2) more sophisticated summative evaluations — quantitative analyses of student outcomes within an intervention. Regardless of their abilities on entering the initiative, Achieving the Dream hopes to help colleges improve their evaluation capacity. As described below, the three colleges in this report had similar experiences with evaluating their instructional strategies: • The colleges tended to have moved beyond the formative evaluation stage to the early stages of summative evaluation, which track the success of an intervention by comparing the outcomes of a group of students who received the intervention with the outcomes of an analogous group of students who did not receive the reform. Formative evaluations are typically conducted when a program is brand-new, to determine whether services are being delivered as intended and to offer suggestions for improvement. Summative evaluations try to measure program effects on student achievement or other outcomes. While their methods differed, the colleges generally compared the achievement of students who received an instructional intervention with the performance of students who did not receive the reform.  • Based on their own evaluations, the colleges found that their instructional reforms were meeting with some level of success. Generally, the colleges found that their reforms had increased student persistence, improved their advancement through developmental education, and/or improved their engagement in their learning. In their evaluations of their interventions, the colleges found that the students who had received the instructional intervention tended to have greater success than a comparable group of students who had not received the intervention. The colleges examined a variety of achievement measures when looking at students’ success, including students’ advancement through developmental course levels, their persistence from semester to semester, and course pass rates. The colleges found that students who received their intervention had improved success in at least one of the benchmarks.  Implications for Institutional Reform: Revising Developmental Education Instruction as an Achieving the Dream College A number of lessons can be gleaned from these colleges’ experiences implementing new instructional reforms in developmental education. The implications for practice, policy, and Achieving the Dream are discussed below. Implications for Practice: Being Faculty-Focused in Order to Become Student-Focused • Fostering faculty leadership was critical in the development and implementation of instructional reforms in developmental education. While a supportive administration was seen as important, each of the colleges emphasized the role that faculty members had in instituting instructional reforms at their colleges. Faculty leaders were seen as the main instigators in bringing new instructional and curricular reforms to the school, and they generally played a critical role in the development of the reforms. The importance of faculty leadership may have been even more pronounced with these types of reforms, given that they sought to revise classroom practices and instruction. • Supporting professional development for faculty, either through training or through release time for curriculum development and planning, was also a necessity for the successful implementation of instructional reforms.  Supporting faculty through professional development also played an important role in the implementation of instructional reforms at these schools. The colleges tended to give faculty members leave time to research and develop their instructional interventions, and they supported the growth of these initiatives through supplemental training. Implications for Policy: The Importance of Flexibility • Flexible course-credit systems may enhance colleges’ ability to implement new instructional interventions.A flexible course-credit system, which allowed the colleges to implement courses at various levels of intensity, helped one college (Mountain Empire) to develop instructional reforms that were tailored to the needs of its student population. The State of Virginia permits colleges to create developmental courses ranging from one to five credits, which, in turn, allowed Mountain Empire to develop one- and two-credit Fast Track Math courses along with its other, more intensive three- to five-credit developmental math courses. States that have more restrictive credit systems may potentially limit this instructional flexibility. • Increased flexibility in the use of state funds may assist in colleges’ ability to build bridges across programs and departments. One college (Guilford Tech) was able to develop bridges between its developmental and adult basic education departments in an attempt to better assist lower-skilled developmental education students. This connection was aided by the flexibility in North Carolina’s adult basic education funding, which allows a subset of students who have low skill levels to be educated using adult education funds, even if these students already have a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) certificate. Such flexibility in funding streams may aid other colleges in connecting programs and departments that serve similar types of students. Implications for Achieving the Dream: Reflections on the Initiative’s Support and Guidelines • Achieving the Dream grants played an important role in colleges’ ability to pilot new interventions and strategies. Each college that joins Achieving the Dream receives $450,000 over the course of five years to support the implementation of the initiative and its goals at their schools. Guilford Tech, Mountain Empire, and Patrick Henry each discussed how the Achieving the Dream grant provided important seed money for developing new interventions at their colleges. They emphasized that the grant gave them greater flexibility to support staff in researching and implementing new strategies at their schools. • The colleges emphasized that Achieving the Dream had given them a more structured framework for tackling the challenges facing their institutions. The colleges found that they had a greater focus on student success than they had had before joining the initiative. While each of these colleges had some level of experience with institutional research, they all emphasized that Achieving the Dream had helped them create a broader interest in student achievement and the results of new reforms. The colleges believed that Achieving the Dream had helped them better focus on student success and the development of specific interventions toward this end. Many colleges are looking to improve the success rates of developmental education students, and Achieving the Dream has played an integral role in helping colleges undertake this work. This report is a beginning look at specific type of reforms that colleges undertook in developmental education: the revision of instruction and curriculum as a means of increasing student success. Subsequent reports will examine the implementation and trends in student achievement at all 26 Round 1 Achieving the Dream colleges (in Florida, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia) and at 13 Round 3 Achieving the Dream colleges (in Pennsylvania and Washington State). In addition, specialized reports will focus on the costs, student perceptions, and impacts of specific educational interventions or student services at selected Achieving the Dream colleges.
Read Full Excerpt

Building foundations for student readiness: A review of rigorous research and promising trends in developmental education

Zachry, E. M. , & Schneider, E. (2010). Building foundations for student readiness: A review of rigorous research and promising trends in developmental education. New York, NY: Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University.

A large proportion of first-time community college students enter schools each year in need of developmental education, but few succeed in making it through these programs to college-level courses, let alone earning a certificate or a degree. As a result, many community colleges participating in Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count –– a bold, multi-year, national initiative launched in 2003 by Lumina Foundation for Education –– are focusing on improving de...
A large proportion of first-time community college students enter schools each year in need of developmental education, but few succeed in making it through these programs to college-level courses, let alone earning a certificate or a degree. As a result, many community colleges participating in Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count –– a bold, multi-year, national initiative launched in 2003 by Lumina Foundation for Education –– are focusing on improving developmental education through a variety of interventions. The colleges participating in Achieving the Dream receive professional coaching and grants totaling $450,000 over the course of five years. They commit to collecting and analyzing data to improve student outcomes — a process known as “building a culture of evidence.” Specifically, colleges mine transcripts and gather other information to understand how students are faring over time and which groups need the most assistance. From this work, they implement strategies to improve students’ academic outcomes. Achieving the Dream colleges are expected to evaluate their strategies, expand effective ones, and use data to guide budgeting and other institutional decisions. This report examines the experiences of three of the 83 colleges currently involved in Achieving the Dream and their efforts to improve instruction in developmental classrooms: Guilford Technical Community College in Greensboro, North Carolina; Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap, Virginia; and Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, Virginia.  Using the Achieving the Dream model as a framework, each of these colleges implemented a system of reforms aimed at reaching developmental learners who have a variety of skill levels and experiences. Key Findings • Each of the three colleges took a unique approach to reforming developmental education instruction. Their reforms sought to meet the varied needs of their student populations, including techniques to increase the success of developmental education students who have low skill levels, techniques to reach developmental education students with higher skill levels, and techniques suitable for learners with a variety of abilities. • The particular instructional reforms that the colleges instituted tried to accelerate students’ progression through developmental education, to reduce their financial aid challenges, and/or to increase student engagement. • Most of the instructional reforms that these colleges implemented were still in the pilot stages, but each of them showed promising trends in increasing students’ achievements, as evidenced by evaluations undertaken by the colleges. • The colleges emphasized that Achieving the Dream had given them a more structured framework for tackling the challenges facing their institutions. The colleges found that they had a greater focus on student success than they had had before joining the initiative. The report concludes with lessons about the implementation of instructional reforms in developmental education, both for colleges hoping to institute similar reforms as well as for policymakers and leaders who hope to help colleges undertake this work.
Read Full Excerpt

Developmental education summer bridge program: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board cross-site evaluation final report

Zuniga, R. (2008). Developmental education summer bridge program: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board cross-site evaluation final report. Austin, TX: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Executive Summary Section 61.0762 of the Texas Education Code, entitled “Programs to Enhance Student Success,” was created by the Third Special Called Session of the 79th Texas Legislature. This section requires the Coordinating Board by rule to develop programs designed to enhance the succes...
Executive Summary Section 61.0762 of the Texas Education Code, entitled “Programs to Enhance Student Success,” was created by the Third Special Called Session of the 79th Texas Legislature. This section requires the Coordinating Board by rule to develop programs designed to enhance the success of students at institutions of higher education and decrease the need for developmental education.  Paragraph (1) under Section 61.0762 provides for summer higher education bridge programs in the subject areas of mathematics, science, and English/Language Arts. For the summer of 2007, the Higher Education Coordinating Board funded 22 of the 27 developmental education summer bridge programs proposed.  One program was subsequently cancelled leaving 21 programs. A total of 842 students participated, for an average of 40 students per program.  There were programs with as few as 8 (Tyler Junior College), and as many as 105 participants (El Paso Community College.)  The participants do not match the profile of students who one usually thinks of as seriously “at risk.”  This is not surprising, in part because the program is targeted at a group that only needs an academic nudge to be college-ready. Participants in the program were selected because they were on the border line academically, placing at least 2100 on the 11th grade TAKS (high enough to graduate), but below the 2200 required to be college ready. They also were not supposed to be eligible if they passed any of the approved TSI assessments. However, several programs did enroll participants that passed the TSI pre-assessment they gave upon entry into the program. Second, these students needed to be motivated to give up time in the summer to participate in the program. Virtually all of the programs included college ready content in a classroom setting, and diagnostic testing. These two components formed the basis for the program.  Notably, most of the sites went beyond the bare bones of the program and integrated study skills, introduction to campus life and social events that facilitated the creation of a peer/cohort group among the participants. Some also added career counseling, parent events/orientation, faculty professional development, and help in completing financial aid applications to the mix.   All of our conclusions are tentative and preliminary since: 1) this was the first year of the program and the number of participants in some sites was very small; and 2) there was a general lack of control over the data collected by the sites making more powerful statistical analysis that would indicate the overall effect of the program, and of specific features of the program, impossible. However, we can say that the program overall did have a moderately positive impact on participant’s scores in Math and probably had a similar effect on Writing Skills. The probable impact on Reading skills was smaller.  Moreover, the qualitative analysis suggests that those sites that took the time to recruit faculty and have them work together to develop a curriculum that met all the needs of the students (content area knowledge, study skills, peer group support and socialization to campus life) seem to fare better than the those that focused almost exclusively on passing the college-readiness test.
Read Full Excerpt

Dual enrollment programs: Easing transitions from high school to college

Bailey, T. R., Hughes, K. L., & Karp, M. M. (2003). Dual Enrollment Programs: Easing Transitions from High School to College. CCRC Brief No. 17. New York: Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University.

Research demonstrates clear economic benefits for students who continue education beyond high school (NCES, 2001). Yet the transition from high school to college is an unsuccessful one for many. Of those high school graduates who entered post-secondary education for the first time in the 1995-1996 school year, 37 percent had left two years later without having earned a degree or certificate. ...
Research demonstrates clear economic benefits for students who continue education beyond high school (NCES, 2001). Yet the transition from high school to college is an unsuccessful one for many. Of those high school graduates who entered post-secondary education for the first time in the 1995-1996 school year, 37 percent had left two years later without having earned a degree or certificate. This slippage results from a variety of causes. Some students are unsure how to apply for college or how to pay for it; some are academically unprepared for higher education; some face a frustrating task of balancing school and work. As post-secondary education becomes increasingly necessary to gain access to most reasonably well-paid jobs, the sharp division between high schools and colleges becomes more problematic.
Read Full Excerpt

Institutional responses to reduce inequalities in college outcomes: Remedial and developmental courses in higher education

Bettinger, E. P., & Long, B. T. (2006). Institutional responses to reduce inequalities in college outcomes: Remedial and developmental courses in higher education. In S. Dickert-Conlin & R. Rubenstein (Eds.), Economic inequality and higher education: Access, persistence, and success (pp. 1-39). New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation Press.

The names are listed alphabetically, and the researchers share authorship equally.  The authors’ email addresses are bettinger@case.edu and longbr@gse.harvard.edu.  The authors thank the Ohio Board of Regents for their support during this research project.  Rod Chu, Darrell Glenn, Ro...
The names are listed alphabetically, and the researchers share authorship equally.  The authors’ email addresses are bettinger@case.edu and longbr@gse.harvard.edu.  The authors thank the Ohio Board of Regents for their support during this research project.  Rod Chu, Darrell Glenn, Robert Sheehan, and Andy Lechler provided invaluable help with the data.  In addition, the Lumina Foundation provided crucial funding to aid in this research.  Erin Riley and Cathy Wegmann provided excellent research assistance. All opinions and mistakes are our own.
Read Full Excerpt

Estimating the returns to community college schooling for displaced workers

Jacobson, L. S., Lalonda, R. J., & Sullivan, D. G. (2005a). Estimating the returns to community college schooling for displaced workers. Journal of Econometrics, 125(1-2), 271-304.

This paper investigates the economic returns to retraining at community colleges for displaced workers. They link administrative earnings records to community college transcripts of workers displaced from jobs in the 1990s in Washington State. Since these workers attended classes alongside regular students, the results may generalize to other adults who seek retraining but who were not laid off.The authors find that the equivalent of an academic year of schooling at a community college...
This paper investigates the economic returns to retraining at community colleges for displaced workers. They link administrative earnings records to community college transcripts of workers displaced from jobs in the 1990s in Washington State. Since these workers attended classes alongside regular students, the results may generalize to other adults who seek retraining but who were not laid off.The authors find that the equivalent of an academic year of schooling at a community college raises long-term earnings of displaced workers by about 9 percent for men and 13 percent for women. However, all of the gains (14 percent for men and 29 percent for women) come from math, science and other technically oriented coursework.  They find zero or even negative returns to non-technical coursework. About one-third of the increase is due to higher wages and two-thirds is due to increases in employment and/or hours worked.The authors carefully explore the sensitivity of their estimates to a range of different specifications. Their preferred approach is to separate the initial impact of attendance (which might be due to job networking, or other “fixed” elements of the decision to attend) from the marginal return to additional credits beyond the first. In other words, rather than only comparing students who do not attend to students who do attend, they also compare attendees who accumulate different amounts of college credit. They argue that the initial impact probably incorporates the selection of more motivated people into job retraining. Effectively, they are comparing the additional earnings increment for workers who enroll in more credits relative to less. The implication is that other studies that simply estimate a linear impact in credits probably overstate the returns to education.The main limitation of the paper is that there was no plausibly random variation in college attendance. However, the paper is a detailed exploration of the statistical and methodological issues one faces with rich administrative data that is nonetheless observational (that is, there is no randomized experiment or other obvious way to achieve causal inference). Thus it is valuable not only because of the importance of the result, but also as a guide to researchers and practitioners who face similar circumstances. Data is increasingly common, yet experimental and quasi-experimental variation is still in short supply. The results are particularly relevant during this period of increased layoffs and high unemployment.
Read Full Excerpt

Labor market returns to community colleges: Evidence for returning adults

Leigh, D. E., & Gill, A. M. (1997). Labor market returns to community colleges: Evidence for returning adults. Journal of Human Resources 32(2), 334-353.

Kane and Rouse (1993) furnish evidence that enrollment in a two-year- or four-year-college program increases earnings by 5 to 8 percent per year of college credits, whether or not a degree is earned. This evidence has provided the intellectual basis for policy recommendations to increase access by ad...
Kane and Rouse (1993) furnish evidence that enrollment in a two-year- or four-year-college program increases earnings by 5 to 8 percent per year of college credits, whether or not a degree is earned. This evidence has provided the intellectual basis for policy recommendations to increase access by adult workers to long-term education and training programs, such as those supplied by community colleges. Yet to be answered, however, is the question whether these favorable return estimates hold for experienced adult workers who return to school. For both A.A. and non-degree community college programs, our results indicate returns that are positive and of essentially the same size for returning adults as they are for continuing high school graduates. Among males in non-degree programs, in fact, returning adults enjoy an incremental earnings effect of 8 to 10 percent above that received by continuing students.
Read Full Excerpt

The earnings effect of education at community colleges

Marcotte, D. E. (2010). The earnings effect of education at community colleges. Contemporary Economic Policy, 28(1), 36-51.

In this paper, I make use of data from the 2000 follow-up of the National Education Longitudinal Survey post-secondary education transcript files to extend what is known about the value of education at community colleges. I examine the effects of enrollment in community colleges on students’ subsequent earnings. I estimate the effects of credits earned separately from credentials because community colleges are often used as a means for students to engage in study not necessarily leading to a d...
In this paper, I make use of data from the 2000 follow-up of the National Education Longitudinal Survey post-secondary education transcript files to extend what is known about the value of education at community colleges. I examine the effects of enrollment in community colleges on students’ subsequent earnings. I estimate the effects of credits earned separately from credentials because community colleges are often used as a means for students to engage in study not necessarily leading to a degree or certificate. I find consistent evidence of wage and salary effects of both credits and degrees, especially for women. There is no substantial evidence that enrollment in vocational rather than academic coursework has a particularly beneficial effect, however. (JEL I2, J24) 
Read Full Excerpt

Career decision-making self-efficacy, perceived stress, and an integrated model of student persistence: A structural model of finances, attitudes, behavior, and career development

Sandler, M. E. (2000). Career decision-making self-efficacy, perceived stress, and an integrated model of student persistence: A structural model of finances, attitudes, behavior, and career development. Research in Higher Education, 41(5), 537-580.

In response to the extraordinarily diverse adult student population present in college today, a new structural equation model adapted from Cabrera et al. (1993) integrated model of student retention was identified with the addition of three variables: career decision-making self-efficacy (CDMSE), perceived stress and financial difficulty. The study examined the persistence of students (N = 937) 24 years of age or older studying in two-year and four-year degree programs, by combining data from a ...
In response to the extraordinarily diverse adult student population present in college today, a new structural equation model adapted from Cabrera et al. (1993) integrated model of student retention was identified with the addition of three variables: career decision-making self-efficacy (CDMSE), perceived stress and financial difficulty. The study examined the persistence of students (N = 937) 24 years of age or older studying in two-year and four-year degree programs, by combining data from a survey questionnaire and institutional records. Twenty-three variables were included, twelve endogenous variables and eleven exogenous variables, within a non-recursive structural equation model. The exogenous variables controlled for the background characteristics of the population of adult students examined. Of the twelve endogenous variables of a new integrated model of student persistence, CDMSE, a career development construct related to the perceived vocational futures and career-related tasks of adult students has the widest range of influence among the endogenous variables.
Read Full Excerpt

The returns to school quality: College choice and earnings

Strayer,?W. (2002). The returns to school quality: College choice and earnings. Journal of Labor Economics, 20(3), 475-503.

This article extends the research on school quality by focusing on the structural effects of high school quality on earnings. I specify a model of college choice and earnings determination that captures two separate effects of school quality on earnings. First, school quality affects a high school student’s choice of college. College choice, in turn, affects the individual’s post-school earnings. Second, the additional skills accumulated via a higher quality high school directly influence wa...
This article extends the research on school quality by focusing on the structural effects of high school quality on earnings. I specify a model of college choice and earnings determination that captures two separate effects of school quality on earnings. First, school quality affects a high school student’s choice of college. College choice, in turn, affects the individual’s post-school earnings. Second, the additional skills accumulated via a higher quality high school directly influence wages. The results suggest that high school quality influences earnings by affecting college choice behavior, while the direct effect of school quality on earnings is less evident.
Read Full Excerpt

Post-baccalaureate wage growth within four years of graduation: The effects of college quality and college major

Thomas, S. L., & Zhang, L. (2005). Post-baccalaureate wage growth within four years of graduation: The effects of college quality and college major. Research in Higher Education, 46(4), 437-459.

This study examines the impact of college quality and academic major on the wage growth of baccalaureate recipients by utilizing a nationally representative longitudinal sample (Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study: 93/97). College-level data come from the IPEDS 1992-93 and the Barron's Profiles of American Colleges, edition 1994.The authors estimate models to determine differences in the economic return to college quality and academic major across two points in time (1994 &...
This study examines the impact of college quality and academic major on the wage growth of baccalaureate recipients by utilizing a nationally representative longitudinal sample (Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study: 93/97). College-level data come from the IPEDS 1992-93 and the Barron's Profiles of American Colleges, edition 1994.The authors estimate models to determine differences in the economic return to college quality and academic major across two points in time (1994 & 1997) in the early career of college graduates. Separate models of earnings determination at these two points are estimated based on graduates’ demographic characteristics, family background, academic experiences, labor market experiences, and college characteristics. Major findings of the study include that accounting for other influences, the effects of college quality increase in the early career of college graduates and graduates from high quality colleges report a greater rate of growth in earnings. The results also confirm that majoring in business, engineering, and health has larger and stable effect on earnings over time. The main limitation of this study, as in all studies of this kind, is that estimates are subject to the bias of college graduates’ self-selection into their respective colleges and majors. 
Read Full Excerpt

Regression and matching estimates of the effects of elite college attendance on educational and career achievement

Brand, J. E., & Halaby, C. N. (2006). Regression and matching estimates of the effects of elite college attendance on educational and career achievement. Social Science Research, 35(3), 749-770.

This paper adopts a potential outcome approach to identify and estimate the average treatment effect of attending an elite college on educational and career achievement. A central purpose is to compare the estimates yielded by regression and matching methods of adjusting for the homogeneity of elite college attendance. The analysis follows a high school graduation and college entry cohort across four decades of labor force participation, and estimates elite college effects on educational attainm...
This paper adopts a potential outcome approach to identify and estimate the average treatment effect of attending an elite college on educational and career achievement. A central purpose is to compare the estimates yielded by regression and matching methods of adjusting for the homogeneity of elite college attendance. The analysis follows a high school graduation and college entry cohort across four decades of labor force participation, and estimates elite college effects on educational attainment, occupational socioeconomic status at early-, mid-, and late-career, and wages at mid- and late-career. The findings suggest that attending an elite college yields an advantage with respect to educational achievement and occupational status; results for wages are mixed. One prominent pattern is that the returns to attending an elite college for those who did attend are small by comparison to those that would have been achieved by otherwise equivalent students who attended non-elite institutions. 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.  
Read Full Excerpt

In search of the effects of academic achievement in postgraduation earnings

Donhardt, G. L. (2004). In search of the effects of academic achievement in postgraduation earnings. Research in Higher Education, 45(3), 271-284.

The relationship between academic achievement and the financial success of baccalaureate recipients in the workplace is the focal point of an investigation that covers the first 3 years following graduation. Employment activity and quarterly earnings of university baccalaureate recipients were tracked in a comprehensive study that merged state unemployment insurance records with student data files. Quarterly earnings were regressed on grade point averages while controlling for age, registration ...
The relationship between academic achievement and the financial success of baccalaureate recipients in the workplace is the focal point of an investigation that covers the first 3 years following graduation. Employment activity and quarterly earnings of university baccalaureate recipients were tracked in a comprehensive study that merged state unemployment insurance records with student data files. Quarterly earnings were regressed on grade point averages while controlling for age, registration type (native vs. transfer), major, gender, race, and industry. Patterns were discovered over the 3 years following graduation. Grade point average had little impact on earnings, as did registration type. Age, major, and industry were found to be significant. Gender and race held no significance. In an attempt to further explore the relationship between academic achievement and workplace success, a two-way ANOVA, repeated measures design was used to examine differences in the individual earnings of high academic achievers and low academic achievers over a 3-year period. No significant between-group effects were found. KEY WORDS: unemployment insurance; outcome assessments; economic success; Cognitive Skills (Human Capital) Theory; Certification Theory; predicting post-college earnings.
Read Full Excerpt

Effects of exposure to part-time faculty on community college transfer

Eagan, M.K. & Jaeger, A.J. (2009). Effects of exposure to part-time faculty on community college transfer. Research in Higher Education, 50(2), 168-188.

Over the past several decades, one of the most significant changes in the delivery of post-secondary education involves the dramatic increase in the use of contingent or part-time faculty. Although the increased use of part-time faculty within higher education makes sense from an administrative point of view, its use does not come without criticism. With community colleges representing a more convenient, affordable, and flexible educational option for a number of students, particularly those fro...
Over the past several decades, one of the most significant changes in the delivery of post-secondary education involves the dramatic increase in the use of contingent or part-time faculty. Although the increased use of part-time faculty within higher education makes sense from an administrative point of view, its use does not come without criticism. With community colleges representing a more convenient, affordable, and flexible educational option for a number of students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, examining how exposure to part-time faculty relates to students’ academic goals represents an important area of inquiry. This study draws from social and human capital frameworks and uses hierarchical generalized linear modeling (HGLM) to examine how exposure to part-time faculty relates to community college students’ likelihood of transferring to a four-year college or university. Findings suggest that students tend to be significantly less likely to transfer as their exposure to part-time faculty increases. Keywords Part-time faculty
Read Full Excerpt

Culture and ideology in keeping transfer commitment: Three community colleges

Shaw, K.M., & London, H.B. (2001). Culture and ideology in keeping transfer commitment: Three community colleges. The Review of Higher Education, 25(1), 91-114.

This study uses the concepts of ideology and culture in order to understand how community colleges have sustained their transfer function in light of the growing and competing demands place on the role of community colleges.  The author’s use of ideology and culture to examine community colleges allows for greater understanding of how policies and procedures are enacted and interpreted with an organization. The author employed ethnographic case study approach to conduct a compa...
This study uses the concepts of ideology and culture in order to understand how community colleges have sustained their transfer function in light of the growing and competing demands place on the role of community colleges.  The author’s use of ideology and culture to examine community colleges allows for greater understanding of how policies and procedures are enacted and interpreted with an organization. The author employed ethnographic case study approach to conduct a comparative analysis of approaches to the transfer function. This study draws data from a larger study of eight urban community colleges but analysis was conducted on three colleges. Data included interviews, observations, and document analysis, which yielded over 2,000 data elements. Findings identify community colleges with differing approaches to the transfer process (expectation-based, student centered, and service-orientated), which reveals how institutional values and expectations can dictate and guide the transfer process for students. These finding suggest by understanding how ideology operates as an explicit belief system, community colleges can shape academic practices and institutional functions to better support the transfer process. Limitations in this study include the complexities associated with defining culture and ideology. 
Read Full Excerpt

Employer perceptions of graduates of the United States land grant university system's workforce preparation

Alston, A. J., Cromartie, W., English, C. W., & Wakefield, D. (2009). Employer perceptions of graduates of the United States land grant university system's workforce preparation. Online Journal of Workforce Education and Development, 3(4), 1-11.

The purpose of this study was to analyze the perceptions of employers of land-grant college graduates regarding their preparation for entry-level positions in the agricultural sector in relation to specific competencies.  Overall it was found that land grant university graduates were prepared in the areas of interpersonal, communication, problem-solving, technology, decision making, and management skills, in addition to technical competence.  In order to ensure that&n...
The purpose of this study was to analyze the perceptions of employers of land-grant college graduates regarding their preparation for entry-level positions in the agricultural sector in relation to specific competencies.  Overall it was found that land grant university graduates were prepared in the areas of interpersonal, communication, problem-solving, technology, decision making, and management skills, in addition to technical competence.  In order to ensure that Land-Grant college graduates reach higher levels of preparation in the aforementioned areas, it was recommended in general that curriculum revisions be made. 
Read Full Excerpt

The uncertain future of the community college workforce development mission

Jacobs, J., & Dougherty, K. J. (2006). The uncertain future of the community college workforce development mission. New Directions for Community Colleges, 136, 53-62.

This chapter describes the evolution of the workforce development mission and its current crisis in the face of changing training demands, shriveling government support, and rising competition. Two alternative future paths are outlined: a baccalaureate degree-oriented new vocationalism and a renewed emphasis on serving the training needs of low-income adults. ...
This chapter describes the evolution of the workforce development mission and its current crisis in the face of changing training demands, shriveling government support, and rising competition. Two alternative future paths are outlined: a baccalaureate degree-oriented new vocationalism and a renewed emphasis on serving the training needs of low-income adults.
Read Full Excerpt

LINKing Gateway Technical College with workforce development: The SC Johnson - a family company story

Knudson, E. (2004). LINKing Gateway Technical College with workforce development: The SC Johnson - a family company story. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 28, 5-16.

Seven years ago, SC Johnson — A Family Company approached Gateway Technical College with a need to further strengthen their incumbent workforce’s technical training and education. Retirements, brain drain, and competition for technical expertise were the forces driving SC Johnson to develop a comprehensive, flexible, and timely workplace education initiative. SC Johnson employees formed an Education Advisory Council to assess employee training needs. The original goal of the Education Adviso...
Seven years ago, SC Johnson — A Family Company approached Gateway Technical College with a need to further strengthen their incumbent workforce’s technical training and education. Retirements, brain drain, and competition for technical expertise were the forces driving SC Johnson to develop a comprehensive, flexible, and timely workplace education initiative. SC Johnson employees formed an Education Advisory Council to assess employee training needs. The original goal of the Education Advisory Council was to offer SC Johnson employees on-site opportunities to develop electrical and mechanical skills. Employee participation and increased interest in training opportunities led the Education Advisory Council to recommend expanding and diversifying course offerings, and ultimately the link program was launched. ‘‘Link’’ stands for learn, integrate, and know and serves as the mission statement of the Education Advisory Council. SC Johnson sought a partner to share both their exceptional commitment to education and the resources, talents, and opportunities to create and run a state-of-the-art Employee Training Center. Gateway Technical College was the ideal partner who could cooperatively participate in a program that met SC Johnson’s training needs, yet afforded flexibility, expertise, and timeliness. The link story highlights the needs, opportunities, challenges, solutions, resources required, results achieved, and lessons learned when private and public entities collaborate to provide on-site training. Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the SC Johnson Employee Training Center is Gateway Technical College’s fourth official campus.
Read Full Excerpt

Right tracks -- wrong rails: The development of generic skills in higher education

Leckey, J. F., & McGuigan, M. A. (1997). Right tracks -- wrong rails: The development of generic skills in higher education. Research in Higher Education, 38(3), 365-378.

Higher education is being encouraged to provide the graduates needed by commerce and industry in order to ensure economic development and enhance competitiveness. Throughout Europe and America, recent findings indicate that employers show a preference for teamwork, communication, and self-skills abov...
Higher education is being encouraged to provide the graduates needed by commerce and industry in order to ensure economic development and enhance competitiveness. Throughout Europe and America, recent findings indicate that employers show a preference for teamwork, communication, and self-skills above knowledge, degree classification, intelligence, and reputation of the institution the graduate attended. Progressively less emphasis on traditional degrees and more on the validation of competence is clearly discernible. But the question persists: Are our higher education institutions meeting the challenge? Employing a large-scale extensive questionnaire, this study explores student and academic staff views within a higher education institution in the U.K. Results indicate that while staff and students ascribe equal importance to key generic skills, they differ in their views of the extent to which a number of such skills are currently being developed through course content. It is time for higher education to address explicitly the issue of the place of transferable skis in the curriculum. This problem is not unique to Europe. Indeed, the need for a concerted effort by teachers and policymakers in higher education to help rebuild American workforce competence has been repeatedly highlighted. Development work in this area should be a priority.
Read Full Excerpt

The effectiveness of occupational-technical certificate programs: Assessing student career goals

Lohman, E. M., & Dingerson, M. R. (2005). The effectiveness of occupational-technical certificate programs: Assessing student career goals. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 29, 339-355.

A traditional way of assessing program effectiveness of academic programs has been by determining the percentage of students who complete programs and receive degrees or some other acknowledgment of completion. This method of assessment is particularly problematic for community colleges because only 4% of students who enroll in occupational-technical certificate programs do so with the intention of earning a certificate. These circumstances pose significant problems for certificate institutions ...
A traditional way of assessing program effectiveness of academic programs has been by determining the percentage of students who complete programs and receive degrees or some other acknowledgment of completion. This method of assessment is particularly problematic for community colleges because only 4% of students who enroll in occupational-technical certificate programs do so with the intention of earning a certificate. These circumstances pose significant problems for certificate institutions as well as for those in coordinating=governing units at various levels who must assure that these programs are meeting the goals of the students and institutions in addition to the needs of a region or state. The purpose of this study was to investigate an alternative way of evaluating the effectiveness of occupational-technical programs to determine if they are meeting the goals of the students and institution by providing students with entry-level skills into the workforce or the ability to advance in their careers. Data were collected from the institution and from non-completers in occupational-technical certificate programs at an urban community college. The study investigated when students choose to drop out and why. It concluded that these students are very pragmatic in terms of their education and that they enroll for specific reasons and drop out when they achieve their goals. This study not only confirmed that students meet their career goals, but also that the institution meets its goals as well since it is successful in preparing students for the workforce or in advancing them in existing jobs.
Read Full Excerpt

Patchwork intermediation: Challenges and opportunities for regionally coordinated workforce development

Lowe, N., Goldstein, H., & Donegan, M. (2010). Patchwork intermediation: Challenges and opportunities for regionally coordinated workforce development. Economic Development Quarterly,25(2), 158-171.

This article depicts the benefits of community colleges who serve as workforce intermediaries for the pharmaceutical and bioprocessing (PBM) industry. As intermediaries, institutions partner with the local industry to identify workforce needs and prepare job seekers (through tailored academic offerings) to meet industry needs. An example of workforce intermediation is North Carolina’s BioWork program, a certificate program designed to provide students with specialized training for entry-lev...
This article depicts the benefits of community colleges who serve as workforce intermediaries for the pharmaceutical and bioprocessing (PBM) industry. As intermediaries, institutions partner with the local industry to identify workforce needs and prepare job seekers (through tailored academic offerings) to meet industry needs. An example of workforce intermediation is North Carolina’s BioWork program, a certificate program designed to provide students with specialized training for entry-level employment in pharmaceutical and bioprocessing manufacturing (PBM). Data employed in this study were collected from two surveys of students enrolled in BioWork at seven community colleges in North Carolina. A total of 255 students participated in the first survey and 125 in the follow-up survey. Data were also derived from county-level economic statistics reflective of labor market trends, such as employment rates, job growth rates, and job access. Interviews were also conducted with BioWork administrators and instructors at seven college sites. Interview data were used to develop a measure of intermediary services provided by each college. The authors’ use three logit models to estimate factors influencing participants’ receipt of pharmaceutical and bioprocessing job offers. Of interest, was whether institutions serving as workforce intermediaries were able to facilitate better employment outcomes than non-intermediary institutions. Findings illustrated that intermediary institutions were able to provide better access to employment outcomes than non-intermediary institutions. Findings also illustrated that being laid off, previous remedial education, and being female were negatively associated with employment outcomes; whereas, previous math and science coursework and previous microelectronic industry experience were positively predictive of receiving a PBM offer. This research found that higher levels of education were not associated with job offers, suggesting that BioWork created equal opportunities for those with potential disadvantages. These findings were insightful as they substantiate the impact of such community colleges serving as workforce intermediaries.  The primary limitation of the study is the data collected was limited to a minimal number of respondents (only 125 in second collection), which ultimately reduced the range of variables employed. Further, the data collected were restricted to a specific type of industry (PBM) within a single state context (North Carolina); as such, further work is needed to generalize findings beyond this context. 
Read Full Excerpt

Educational outcomes of labor-market linking and job placement for students at public and private 2-year colleges

Person, A. E., & Rosenbaum, J. E. (2006). Educational outcomes of labor-market linking and job placement for students at public and private 2-year colleges. Economics of Education Review, 25, 412-429.

While much research has examined how education influences work outcomes, fewer scholars have questioned whether or how school–labor market relationships might influence educational outcomes. With their rising enrollments and growing occupational programs, 2-year colleges are an increasingly important site of the school-to-work transition. Using interview and survey data from a local sample of 14 public and private 2-year colleges, we describe the employer linkages forged at different types of ...
While much research has examined how education influences work outcomes, fewer scholars have questioned whether or how school–labor market relationships might influence educational outcomes. With their rising enrollments and growing occupational programs, 2-year colleges are an increasingly important site of the school-to-work transition. Using interview and survey data from a local sample of 14 public and private 2-year colleges, we describe the employer linkages forged at different types of 2-year colleges, how institutional contexts shape linking activities, and how college–employer links are related to students’ efforts at college and confidence about degree completion. Using national longitudinal data (BPS and IPEDS), we test whether the patterns identified in our local sample are reflected nationally, examining whether the availability of job placement services by colleges predicts students’ timely degree completion.  
Read Full Excerpt

The road less traveled: Realizing the potential of career technical education in the California community colleges

Shulock, N., Moore, C., & Offenstein, J. (2011). The road less traveled: Realizing the potential of career technical education in the California Community Colleges. Sacramento, CA: Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy.

The Career Technical Education (CTE) mission of California’s community colleges is not well understood by policymakers in comparison to the transfer mission of the colleges. This exploratory study, to be followed by a more comprehensive research agenda, is motivated by the belief that CTE is a vital piece of the college completion agenda but is not receiving sufficient attention. While students can be successful in CTE in ways besides earning a certificate or degree, the issuing of workforce-r...
The Career Technical Education (CTE) mission of California’s community colleges is not well understood by policymakers in comparison to the transfer mission of the colleges. This exploratory study, to be followed by a more comprehensive research agenda, is motivated by the belief that CTE is a vital piece of the college completion agenda but is not receiving sufficient attention. While students can be successful in CTE in ways besides earning a certificate or degree, the issuing of workforce-related credentials is an undeniably important function of the colleges. CTE is important to the college completion agenda because it can help California: Meet completion goals; Meet workforce goals;     Meet equity goals; Increase post-secondary productivity; and realize benefits of high school reforms. California is not yet poised to take full advantage of the potential of the CTE mission area because CTE is generally characterized by: A lack of priority across the system; Weak credential structures and transfer pathways; Underdeveloped data and accountability systems; Higher costs that are not well addressed; and a lack of integration with core institutional operations. There is solid evidence of good job prospects for students with certificates and associate degrees in career fields. Student interest in vocational coursework is high, with 30% of course enrollments in vocational courses. Yet of the more than 255,000 degree/certificate-seeking students in the 2003-04 entering cohort (defined as enrolling in more than 6 units in the first year), only 5% earned certificates and only 3% earned vocational associate degrees within six years.
Read Full Excerpt

Preparation for midskilled work and continuous learning in nine community college occupational programs

Torraco, R. J. (2008). Preparation for midskilled work and continuous learning in nine community college occupational programs. Community College Review, 35(3), 208-236. doi: 10.1177/0091552107310119

This study examines student learning experiences in nine occupational education programs at two Midwestern community colleges. Interviews with 39 program graduates and 10 of their supervisors provided information about the features of the occupational programs that were most beneficial for job preparation, those that were least beneficial for job preparation,and the extent to which the occupational programs prepared students to keep learning on their own after graduation. ...
This study examines student learning experiences in nine occupational education programs at two Midwestern community colleges. Interviews with 39 program graduates and 10 of their supervisors provided information about the features of the occupational programs that were most beneficial for job preparation, those that were least beneficial for job preparation,and the extent to which the occupational programs prepared students to keep learning on their own after graduation.
Read Full Excerpt

What can institutional research do to help colleges meet the workforce needs of states and nations?

Toutkoushian, R. K. (2005). What can institutional research do to help colleges meet the workforce needs of states and nations? Research in Higher Education, 46(8), 955-984. doi: 10.1007/s11162-005-6935-5

Although society expects higher education to prepare students for the workforce, institutions of higher education have not been effective at adapting to labor force needs. This article articulates why it can be difficult for higher education to respond to the labor market and indicates that it will probably continue to be that way.  This author situates his article in economic theory and synthesis of research on labor markets (including labor market shortages) and students...
Although society expects higher education to prepare students for the workforce, institutions of higher education have not been effective at adapting to labor force needs. This article articulates why it can be difficult for higher education to respond to the labor market and indicates that it will probably continue to be that way.  This author situates his article in economic theory and synthesis of research on labor markets (including labor market shortages) and students’ choice of majors. Using a case study of the state of New Hampshire, he demonstrates the complexity involved in combining labor market data with higher education data in order to forecast labor market shortages. While providing this caution about the realities of responding to labor market shortages, Toutkoushian also suggests that higher education can be more responsive to the labor market if partnered with state government and policy agencies. The author suggests that analyzing labor market data to make practice and policy decisions about academic programs should include environmental scanning, compilation of historical data, and developing a detailed simulation model as demonstrated in the article. The author also suggests that institutional research offices can do this work.
Read Full Excerpt

Validating an instrument for assessing workforce collaboration

Townsend, A., & Shelley, K. (2008). Validating an instrument for assessing workforce collaboration. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 32, 101-112.

The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA The community college has always played an integral role in job training but never more so than following the 1998 Workforce Investment Act (WIA) that significantly increased the community colleges’ opportunity to join with others in the provision of job training services. With this, however, came demand for high levels of collaboration between the state’s community colleges and Workforce Investment Network (WIN) ...
The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA The community college has always played an integral role in job training but never more so than following the 1998 Workforce Investment Act (WIA) that significantly increased the community colleges’ opportunity to join with others in the provision of job training services. With this, however, came demand for high levels of collaboration between the state’s community colleges and Workforce Investment Network (WIN) Job Centers, as WIA-mandated partnering agencies. In this study, an instrument developed by Mattessich and Monsey (1992) for measuring inter-agency collaboration was used in surveying community college personnel and WIN Job Center personnel. There were two major goals of this research effort, the first of which was the validation of the instrument, the Wilder Collaboration Factor Inventory. The second goal was to determine the level of collaboration between Mississippi’s 15 community colleges and the Mississippi Department of Employment Security’s 45 comprehensive WIN Job Centers. The results of a factor analysis support the constructs proposed in the Wilder instrument as being key elements of successful collaboration. Some areas of strength reported by the 572 participants were shared history, favorable climate and culture for collaboration, adaptability, as well as the organizations having a unique purpose. Areas reflecting concern include open and frequent communication, having multiple layers of participation, and the adequacy of resources. Additional data suggest other areas of strengths and areas of concern regarding the collaborative effort between the community college and WIN Job Center partners.
Read Full Excerpt

Development of the applied baccalaureate

Townsend, B. K., Bragg, D. D., & Ruud, C. M. (2009). Development of the applied baccalaureate. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 33(9), 686-705.

Increasing demands for economic competitiveness and educational effectiveness have led states and institutions to implement new approaches to facilitating baccalaureate completion. This study examined one of these approaches, the applied baccalaureate degree, which is designed to incorporate applied associate course work and degrees once considered terminal or at a non-baccalaureate level into a transfer program leading to a baccalaureate degree. Based on a national state-by-state inventory cond...
Increasing demands for economic competitiveness and educational effectiveness have led states and institutions to implement new approaches to facilitating baccalaureate completion. This study examined one of these approaches, the applied baccalaureate degree, which is designed to incorporate applied associate course work and degrees once considered terminal or at a non-baccalaureate level into a transfer program leading to a baccalaureate degree. Based on a national state-by-state inventory conducted in 2007–2008, the study documents the extent to which applied baccalaureate degrees are offered across the United States and explores the development of these degrees in community colleges and traditional baccalaureate degree-granting institutions. Using Stark and Lattuca’s (1997) lens of factors affecting curriculum development and implementation through external, organizational, and institutional lenses, this study found many applied baccalaureate degrees emerged in response to external or environmental influences, such as workforce demands and statewide needs to increase baccalaureate attainment. Student demand and institutional support were less apparent, though evident in some institutions. More research is needed to examine the economic and educational effectiveness of these degrees as well as to explore which student populations are impacted by this phenomenon. Enrollment and impact on adult learners is an especially important question, given the focus of the degrees on workforce and economic development.
Read Full Excerpt

The outlook for noncredit workforce education

Van Noy, M., & Jacobs, J. (2009). The outlook for noncredit workforce education. New Directions for Community Colleges, 2009(146), 87-94. doi: 10.1002/cc.369

Post-secondary noncredit education has become increasingly common, and at many community colleges, noncredit education enrolls more students than credit programs do (Bailey and others, 2003). Much of the growth has occurred in courses connected with workforce instruction and contract training. These programs are noted for their important role in responding to shifting workforce demands and providing skills in a way that is flexible and responsive to employer needs (Dougherty and Bakia, 1999; U.S...
Post-secondary noncredit education has become increasingly common, and at many community colleges, noncredit education enrolls more students than credit programs do (Bailey and others, 2003). Much of the growth has occurred in courses connected with workforce instruction and contract training. These programs are noted for their important role in responding to shifting workforce demands and providing skills in a way that is flexible and responsive to employer needs (Dougherty and Bakia, 1999; U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2004). This growth raises fundamental questions about whether the colleges are keeping pace with student and workforce needs, using resources efficiently in their organizational approach, and providing access to all students. To explore these issues, this chapter focuses on the following questions: What is the current system of noncredit workforce education in terms of state funding policy, community college organizational practice, and program outcomes? What are current issues and future trends for noncredit workforce education?
Read Full Excerpt

Practices and procedures guiding workforce development initiatives in one Louisiana technical college region

Wainwright, W. S. (2004). Practices and procedures guiding workforce development initiatives in one Louisiana technical college region. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 28, 525-534.

The study reported in this paper surveyed eight campus deans in the Louisiana Technical College Greater Baton Rouge=Northshore District II Service Delivery Area about the institutional infrastructure for providing workforce training and continuing education to their respective communities. Study results indicated that while all campuses in the District attempted to respond to the customized training needs of business and industry, only a few of the campuses were adequately equipped, staffed, and...
The study reported in this paper surveyed eight campus deans in the Louisiana Technical College Greater Baton Rouge=Northshore District II Service Delivery Area about the institutional infrastructure for providing workforce training and continuing education to their respective communities. Study results indicated that while all campuses in the District attempted to respond to the customized training needs of business and industry, only a few of the campuses were adequately equipped, staffed, and supported by an effective infrastructure dedicated to delivery of high quality workforce training, including rapid response to inquiries and requests from employers and workers. The study resulted in a regional webpage and portfolio project designed to market a consistent message about workforce training opportunities offered through the Louisiana Technical College District II campuses to support the region as a whole.
Read Full Excerpt

Futures focus: Proposed solutions for the cyclic workforce

Cambell, D., & Williams, K. (2005). Futures focus: Proposed solutions for the cyclic workforce. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 29, 663-669.

The 2003 Community College Futures Assembly identified three major areas of concern to be addressed by community college leadership. These included the identification and remediation of under-prepared students,and management and understanding of challenges and opportunities associated with the increasing enrollment of under-represented students; developing creative ways to find and manage new money; and developing business partnerships that provide needed training for industry profitability a...
The 2003 Community College Futures Assembly identified three major areas of concern to be addressed by community college leadership. These included the identification and remediation of under-prepared students,and management and understanding of challenges and opportunities associated with the increasing enrollment of under-represented students; developing creative ways to find and manage new money; and developing business partnerships that provide needed training for industry profitability and developing flexible curriculum patterns. During 2003, these topics were studied and at the 2004 Futures Assembly discussion ensued regarding possible solutions for these and additional critical issues. The following, from the 2004 Futures Policy Commission Report(University of Florida Institute of Higher Education [UF IHE], 2004), documents the critical issues, their background, and possible solutions 
Read Full Excerpt

Human capital and population growth in nonmetropolitan U.S. counties: The importance of college student migration

Winters, J. V. (2011). Human Capital and population growth in nonmetropolitan U.S. counties: The importance of college student migration. Economic Development Quarterly, XX(X) 1-13.

Researchers have consistently shown that the stock of human capital in an area, measured as the share of the adult population with a college degree, is a strong predictor of future population growth. This article examines this relationship for U.S. non-metropolitan counties and posits that student migration for higher education may play an important role. Students often move to an area for college and then stay in the area after their education is complete, causing the area’s educated populati...
Researchers have consistently shown that the stock of human capital in an area, measured as the share of the adult population with a college degree, is a strong predictor of future population growth. This article examines this relationship for U.S. non-metropolitan counties and posits that student migration for higher education may play an important role. Students often move to an area for college and then stay in the area after their education is complete, causing the area’s educated population to grow. Empirical evidence suggests that student migration explains nearly all the greater in-migration to highly educated non-metropolitan counties. Implications for non-metropolitan brain drain are discussed.  
Read Full Excerpt

Washington State's Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training Program (I-BEST): New evidence of effectiveness

Zeidenberg, M., Cho, S.-W., & Jenkins, D. (2010). Washington State?s Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training Program (I-BEST): New evidence of effectiveness (CCRC Working Paper No. 20). New York, NY: Columbia University, Teachers College, Community College Research Center. [See Wachen, Jenkins, & Van Noy, 2011 for more information on I-BEST]

Many community colleges are faced with the problem of educating basic skills students—students who have very low levels of academic skill. Nationally, over 2.5 million students take adult basic skills courses through community colleges, high schools, or community organizations. Often, these students hold low-skill jobs or are not working, and few of them successfully transition from basic skills courses to college-level coursework that would help them earn credentials that would increase their...
Many community colleges are faced with the problem of educating basic skills students—students who have very low levels of academic skill. Nationally, over 2.5 million students take adult basic skills courses through community colleges, high schools, or community organizations. Often, these students hold low-skill jobs or are not working, and few of them successfully transition from basic skills courses to college-level coursework that would help them earn credentials that would increase their chances of securing jobs paying family-supporting wages.  To increase the rate at which adult basic skills students advance to and succeed in college-level occupational programs, the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) developed the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training, or I-BEST. In the I-BEST model, a basic skills instructor and an occupational instructor team teach occupational courses with integrated basic skills content, and students receive college-level credit for the occupational coursework. The goal of this instructional model is to increase the rate at which basic skills students are able to succeed in college-level coursework leading to certificates and associate degrees in high-demand fields. I-BEST programs cover a wide range of occupations, with courses in such areas of study as nursing and allied health, computer technology, and automotive technology. We examined students who enrolled in I-BEST in 2006–07 and 2007–08. We examined the effect of the program on seven educational outcome variables: (1) whether a student earned any college credit (of any kind), (2) whether a student earned any occupational college credit, (3) the number of college credits a student earned, (4) the number of occupational college credits a student earned, (5) whether or not a student persisted to the following year after initial enrollment, (6) whether a student earned a certificate or degree, and (7) whether a student achieved point gains on basic skills tests. We also examined the following two labor market outcomes: the change in wages for those who were employed both before and after program enrollment, and the change in the number of hours worked after leaving the program. We used three methods in this study: multivariate regression analysis (both OLS and logistic), propensity score matching (PSM), and differences-in-differences. The same control variables were used for all three methods: basic skills test scores, whether or not basic skills students were native English speakers, age, sex, race, disability status, single parent status, married parent status, a proxy for socioeconomic status based on students’ residence, academic or occupational intent, financial aid receipt, the type of aid received, quarter of initial enrollment, level of previous schooling, whether the student was on welfare, and whether the student worked while enrolled.  We selected as our comparison group for the regressions those basic skills students who during the study period took an occupational course on their own, outside of I-BEST. Considering I-BEST students alongside those in the control group—who exhibited motivation to pursue college-level occupational education by enrolling in at least one such course on their own—creates a fair and probably conservative comparison. In the PSM analyses, we allowed the PSM algorithm to select comparison students from the full sample of basic skills students. Both the multivariate regressions and the PSM analyses produced similar results, which add robustness to the study. We found that enrollment in I-BEST had positive impacts on all but one of the educational outcomes (persistence was not affected), but no impact on the two labor market outcomes. However, it is likely that I-BEST students did not fare better than the comparison group in the labor market because they were entering the market just as the economy was entering the recent major recession. Perhaps a future evaluation will reveal better labor market outcomes. The difference-in-differences (DID) analysis found that students who attended colleges with I-BEST after the program was implemented were 7.5 percentage points more likely to earn a certificate within three years and almost 10 percentage points more likely to earn some college credits, relative to students who were not exposed to I-BEST.  Unlike the regression and PSM analyses, the DID approach allows us to make causal inferences about the effectiveness of I-BEST. The DID findings are especially impressive given that they are based on the effects of I-BEST during their first year of implementation at the subset of colleges offering the “treatment” examined. We assume that the effectiveness of the I-BEST model will improve as colleges have more experience with it. 
Read Full Excerpt

Improving access to the baccalaureate

Zinser, R. W., & Hanssen, C. E. (2006). Improving access to the baccalaureate. Community College Review, 34(1), 27-43. doi: 10.1177/0091552106289905

This article presents an analysis of national data from the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program regarding articulation agreements for the transfer of 2-year technical degrees to baccalaureate degrees. Quantitative and qualitative data are illustrated to help explain the extent to which ATE projects improve access to universities for technical students. ...
This article presents an analysis of national data from the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program regarding articulation agreements for the transfer of 2-year technical degrees to baccalaureate degrees. Quantitative and qualitative data are illustrated to help explain the extent to which ATE projects improve access to universities for technical students.
Read Full Excerpt

A trend analysis of manufacturing-related program graduates of community and technical colleges: Great Lakes and Plains region

Eighmy, M. A. (2009). A trend analysis of manufacturing-related program graduates of community and technical colleges: Great lakes and plains region. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 17(1), 30-44.

Manufacturers in the United States are struggling to recruit and hire high-skilled workers needed to maintain productivity and to compete globally. While the total number employed in the manufacturing sector is shrinking, the demand for high-skilled workers has increased. According to Deitz and Orr (2006), “Technology and increased globalization have, on the one hand, reduced the number of low-skilled jobs and, on the other, provided opportunities for high-skilled manufacturing employment to e...
Manufacturers in the United States are struggling to recruit and hire high-skilled workers needed to maintain productivity and to compete globally. While the total number employed in the manufacturing sector is shrinking, the demand for high-skilled workers has increased. According to Deitz and Orr (2006), “Technology and increased globalization have, on the one hand, reduced the number of low-skilled jobs and, on the other, provided opportunities for high-skilled manufacturing employment to expand” (p. 7). The transformation of the nature of jobs in manufacturing has thrust manufacturers into the midst of a severe shortage of qualified workers. A 2005 survey by the National Association of Manufacturers found that “the vast majority of American manufacturers are experiencing a serious shortage of qualified employees, which in turn is causing significant impact to business and the ability of the country as a whole to compete in the global economy” (The Manufacturing Institute, 2005, p. 1). Employers have historically relied on the community college as a source of candidates for skilled positions. In recent years, critics have blamed the secondary and post-secondary education systems for not adequately preparing students for the workforce. Critics also hold the education systems culpable for directing students away from jobs in the manufacturing sector. Although community colleges have been criticized for not meeting the demand for high-skilled manufacturing workers, the literature is void of data that either supports or rejects these claims. This trend analysis used data mining and knowledge discovery research techniques to provide knowledge of the output (completers or graduates) of high-skilled workers from manufacturing programs in community colleges. Data from the National Center for Educational Statistics were used to determine long-term and short-term completion trends in manufacturing-related programs in the Great Lakes and Plains Region states. The trend analysis provides historical data regarding the role of community colleges in filling the need for high-skilled manufacturing workers. This study is limited to only one aspect of the information gap: completers (graduates) of credit-based manufacturing related programs. The study did not seek to inform readers of other important aspects of the knowledge gap, such as enrollment trends, non-credit training provided, or recruiting and marketing for manufacturing programs. While these are important areas that would inform the discussion, they were beyond the scope of this study. 
Read Full Excerpt

Priorities and changing practices: Vocational rehabilitation and community colleges improving workforce development programs for people with disabilities

Flannery, K. B., Slovic, R., Benz, M. R., & Levine, E. (2007). Priorities and changing practices: Vocational rehabilitation and community colleges improving workforce development programs for people with disabilities. Journal of Vocational Education, 27, 141-151.

This study investigated four Occupational Skills Training Programs (OST) in Oregon’s community colleges. Of interest, was how a partnership between vocational rehabilitation (Oregon’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services) and community colleges served to provide short-term training opportunities for people with disabilities. Stakeholders from the occupational skills and rehabilitation services communities gathered to establish common standards indicative of successful OST ...
This study investigated four Occupational Skills Training Programs (OST) in Oregon’s community colleges. Of interest, was how a partnership between vocational rehabilitation (Oregon’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services) and community colleges served to provide short-term training opportunities for people with disabilities. Stakeholders from the occupational skills and rehabilitation services communities gathered to establish common standards indicative of successful OST programs. These standards required that: 1) the programs have a sufficient quantity of appropriate referrals; 2) the curriculum and training lead to living wage employment opportunities; 3) coordinated services enable training that supports family wage employment; and 4) the programs have established policies with a system of accountability.  These four constructs led to the creation of an instrument with corresponding items for each construct. The instrument composed of 24 indicators, referred to as the Occupational Skills Training Self-assessment Tool (OST:SAT), was given to stakeholders to identify their perceptions of the importance of each item using a Likert-scale. The OST:SAT was completed by members of the stakeholder group, responding to each indicator on its importance and current status. Stakeholders in each college region met to discuss findings with a focus on items identified as important but least in place, or indicators where discrepancy across stakeholder groups were evident. Conversations around the results of the instrument were used to identify goals for the following year. Regional stakeholders met to develop objectives and strategies (e.g., tasks, timelines, responsibilities, logistics) associated with the identified goals. The article identifies how partnerships can be levied to improve training programs in order to meet the needs of vocational rehabilitation consumers. The process identified relied upon leveraging information, experiential knowledge, and resources from partnership networks to provide better opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The collaboration process described is the strength of the article. However, insufficient information was provided on the instruments validity or reliability. In addition, little information was provided on findings from the data collection or statistics on job training and opportunities outcomes.  
Read Full Excerpt

The Quantum Opportunity Program demonstration: Final impacts

Schirm, A., Stuart, E., & McKie, A. (2006). The Quantum Opportunity Program demonstration: Final impacts. Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY From July 1995 through September 2001, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Ford Foundation (Ford) operated a demonstration of the Quantum Opportunity Program (QOP). QOP offered intensive and compreh...
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY From July 1995 through September 2001, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Ford Foundation (Ford) operated a demonstration of the Quantum Opportunity Program (QOP). QOP offered intensive and comprehensive services to help at-risk youth graduate from high school and enroll in post-secondary education or training. The QOP demonstration targeted youth with low grades entering high schools with high dropout rates. Randomly selected eligible youth were enrolled in QOP and served even if they transferred to other schools, dropped out of school, became incarcerated, or became inactive in QOP for a long time. QOP’s primary goals were to increase the rates of high school graduation and enrollment in post-secondary education or training. Its secondary goals were to improve high school grades and achievement test scores and to reduce risky behaviors, such as substance abuse, crime, and teen parenting. QOP was mainly an after-school program providing case management and mentoring, supplemental education, developmental activities, community service activities, supportive services, and financial incentives. These services were provided year-round for five years to enrollees who had not graduated from high school, and were designed to be comprehensive enough to address all barriers to success and to be intensive. The program model specified roughly 15 to 25 enrollees per case manager, and it prescribed an annual participation goal of 750 hours for each enrollee who had not graduated. From graduation to the end of the demonstration, enrollees who had graduated received limited services—some mentoring and assistance with enrolling in post-secondary education or training. Community-based organizations (CBOs) in seven sites operated QOP demonstration programs. Five sites (Cleveland, Fort Worth, Houston, Memphis, and Washington, DC) were funded by DOL. Four of the five served 100 youth each, and the Washington, DC site served 80 youth. The other two sites (Philadelphia and Yakima) served 50 youth each with funding from Ford, which also funded the technical assistance provided to sites throughout the demonstration. DOL has funded the evaluation of the QOP demonstration.
Read Full Excerpt

International Baccalaureate students studying at UK higher education institutions: How do they fare?

Higher Education Statistics Agency. (2011). International Baccalaureate Students studying at UK Higher Education Institutions: How do they fare?: http://www.ibo.org/research/programmevalidation/documents/HESAUKPostsec_Final_Report.pdf

Introduction and executive summary With growing numbers of students entering the UK tertiary education system holding International Baccalaureate qualifications, there is now sufficient data available to make comparisons between International Baccalaureate (IB) students and those holding the more traditional A levels and Scottish Higher qualifications (A levels). This report sources data from the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) on students known to hold&nbs...
Introduction and executive summary With growing numbers of students entering the UK tertiary education system holding International Baccalaureate qualifications, there is now sufficient data available to make comparisons between International Baccalaureate (IB) students and those holding the more traditional A levels and Scottish Higher qualifications (A levels). This report sources data from the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) on students known to hold International Baccalaureate qualifications and data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) on students studying at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the United Kingdom. The report combines data from these two sources to identify characteristics and trends of IB students compared with students holding the more traditional A level, Scottish Higher and other level 3 qualifications. Throughout this report, data has been restricted to full-time first degree students attending, qualifying or leaving HEIs in the UK. The majority of the data has been restricted to the academic year 2008/09 with some comparisons with the academic year 2007/08 for entrants. Different cohorts of students are used throughout this report: entrants refer to the cohort who entered their HEI during the specified academic year; students refers to those studying at an HEI during the specified academic year, regardless of their year of study; qualifiers refers to students who gained a qualification during the specified academic year and leavers are those students who left their institution in the specified academic year. Data on non-continuation rates of students uses both academic years 2007/08 and 2008/09. For entrants, comparisons can be made between IB and A level students. For students, qualifiers and leavers who entered HE prior to 2007/08 (the majority of full-time first degree students, qualifiers and leavers), it is not possible to identify students holding only A level qualifications and therefore comparisons have been made between IB and A level & equivalent qualifications. The report aims to answer the following research questions proposed by the International Baccalaureate Organization. 1. To what extent are IB students more likely to enroll in top-ranked universities? IB entrants were much more likely to be enrolled at one of the top 20 HEIs than entrants holding other qualifications. Proportion wise, more than double the amount of IB entrants attended the top HEIs compared with A level entrants. [Figure 8, Section 2]. IB entrants holding 35 or more IB points were more likely to attend a top 20 HEIs than any other HEI. In particular, 91.0% of IB entrants holding 44-45 points attended one of the top 20 HEIs. [Figure 9, Section 2]. 2. What fields of study do IB students pursue at tertiary level, and how does IB diploma participation/performance relate to and/or predict their tertiary academic performance in general, and in these selected fields? The most popular subject areas studied by IB entrants were Business & administrative studies and Social studies. IB entrants were almost twice as likely to study Medicine & dentistry than A level entrants, but less likely to study Biological sciences [Figure 10, Section 3]. IB students were more likely to achieve a first class honours award than A level students in all subject areas except in Mass communications & documentation [Figure 14, Section 4]. Across all subject areas, except Languages, Architecture, building & planning, IB entrants were less likely to leave their institution without receiving an award in the following year than A level entrants [Figure 17, Section 5]. 3. How do IB students perform academically at tertiary level, in terms of subject grades, class of graduation qualification (e.g. first class, second class upper division, etc.) and length of degree completion/graduation rates, relative to a matched comparison group and to students overall within the UK tertiary education system? IB students outperformed A level students in terms of class of degree in the majority of subjects areas [Figure 13, Section 4]. A clear positive relationship was seen between number of IB points held and proportions gaining first class and upper second class honours degrees [Figure 15, Section 4] Although the majority of IB and A level & equivalent students obtained their first degrees in their third year of study, a higher proportion of A level & equivalent students than IB students qualified in their fourth year. Much of this difference may be attributed to subject of study [Section 4]. 4. How do IB students engage with learning at tertiary level, as measured by continuation rate (measures attrition/dropout), relative to a matched comparison group and to students overall within the UK tertiary education system? Entrants holding IB qualifications were less likely to leave their institution in the following year, without gaining an award than entrants holding other types of qualifications [Figure 17, Section 5]. A level entrants were more likely than IB entrants to leave without an award in all subject areas except for Languages and Architecture, building & planning [Figure 18, Section 5]. 5. To what extent do IB students, across (i) Socio-economic status (SES), and (ii) ethnic groups (especially ethnic minorities), perform academically and engage productively at tertiary level, in terms of subject grades, class of graduation qualification (e.g. first class, second class upper division, etc.), length of degree completion/graduation rates, and continuation rate, relative to a matched comparison group and to students overall within the UK tertiary education system (or specific university level)? UK students from managerial and professional occupation backgrounds (Socio-economic classification groups 1 to 3) generally performed better than those from other backgrounds, this was more apparent for IB qualifiers than for A level & equivalent qualifiers [Figure 16, Section 4]. White UK students outperformed Black and minority ethnic (BME) students for both IB and A level & equivalent qualifiers with the difference being more apparent amongst A level & equivalent qualifiers [Figure 16, Section 4]. For UK IB entrants, there was little difference between the proportions who left with no award for the different occupation backgrounds [Section 5]. White UK IB entrants were slightly more likely to both continue into the following year and also to leave with no award than UK BME entrants, similar was true of A level entrants [Section 5].  6. What are the post-tertiary pathways of IB students, and how do these compare with non-IB students? This can be further broken down into the following: • To what extent do IB students pursue graduate studies, and in what fields? • What are the post-tertiary employment circumstances and patterns of IB students? • What industry sectors and fields of work do they pursue post-graduation? IB leavers were more likely to go into further study only after leaving their HEI than A level & equivalent leavers [Figure 19, Section 6]. Of those leavers entering further study, IB leavers were more likely to study for a Higher degree than A level & equivalent leavers [Figure 20, Section 6]. Greater proportion of IB leavers than A level & equivalent leavers were employed within professional, scientific and technical activities, but lower proportions were employed in wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles and human health and social work activities [Figure 21, Section 6]. IB leavers were more likely to be employed in graduate level jobs and in higher paid occupations than A level & equivalent leavers [Figures 23 and 24, Section 6]. In order to address these research questions, this report first provides an overview of IB entrants studying in the  UK, looking at the overall proportions of IB entrants, where they came from, the location of HEI attended, socio-economic background and, for UK students, the type of school they attended. Following on from this, the report analyses the enrollment patterns at the ‘top’ HEIs, the chosen fields of study, achievement and non-continuation rates. The final section looks at the activities of leavers approximately six months after leaving HEIs, including further study, employment rates, types of jobs, industries and occupations of employment.
Read Full Excerpt

Pathways to college access and success

Hughes, K.L., Karp, M.M., Fermin, B. & Bailey, T. (2005). Pathways to college access and success. Washington, DC: Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education.

This report looks at the ways that credit-based transition programs (CBTPs) may help middle-and low-achieving students enter and succeed in college. It highlights promising practices used by CBTPs to help students who might have been considered non-college-bound prepare for college credit course work. The report also discusses the challenges that CBTPs face when trying to include such students. This report is the final report from the Accelerating Student Success Through Credit-Based Transiti...
This report looks at the ways that credit-based transition programs (CBTPs) may help middle-and low-achieving students enter and succeed in college. It highlights promising practices used by CBTPs to help students who might have been considered non-college-bound prepare for college credit course work. The report also discusses the challenges that CBTPs face when trying to include such students. This report is the final report from the Accelerating Student Success Through Credit-Based Transition Programs study, which was initiated by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) in the fall of 2003. The goal of the study is to better understand the characteristics of CBTPs and the students they serve. These programs, such as Tech-Prep, dual or concurrent enrollment, International Baccalaureate (IB) and Middle College High School (MCHS), allow high school students to take college-level classes and earn college credit. They sometimes also provide services to support the main aspects of the high school-to-college transition. CBTPs are widespread and interest in them by policymakers, educators, parents, and students has increased in recent years. In addition, while these programs are not new, the idea that they should be accessible to a broader range of students is a new approach. In the past, CBTPs enrolled primarily academically proficient and high-achieving students. Today, however, a growing number of policymakers, education reform groups, and researchers argue that middle-and even low-achieving high school students may benefit from participation in these programs. Yet, despite their popularity nationwide, there is limited research-based information on CBTPs, particularly those programs that include a broad range of students. The research for this report was conducted in the spring and fall of 2004. Case studies were undertaken in five states—California, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, and Texas. Two dual enrollment programs, an MCHS, an IB program, and a Tech-Prep program were studied. The first section of the report describes the sites and examines some of the ways in which contextual features influence program implementation. The report then highlights findings regarding four key program features—student recruitment and selection processes, curriculum, support services, and data collection and use. For each feature, the researchers investigated the current practices of the case study sites, identified those practices that seemed most promising in meeting the needs of middle-and low-achieving students, and identified barriers to implementing them. Readers should note that the data reflect program practices at the time the research was conducted in the spring and fall of 2004. In addition, in order to give the study participants anonymity, the specific research sites were given pseudonyms. When given permission, the name of the general program is used.  KEY FINDINGS Student Recruitment and Selection At the sites studied, student recruitment is typically done informally. The result is that students in CBTPs tend to be motivated, mature, and responsible. In addition, some sites are becoming more selective because of conflict with the sponsoring post-secondary partner over unprepared or disruptive students. Some sites set admissions requirements or select only some students into the program. Other sites have no such requirements, and students need only to sign up for the CBTP to participate. Programs without formal admissions requirements can still pose informal barriers to admissions. For example, relying on word-of-mouth to inform students about the program does not maximize knowledge about the program among the high schools’ student bodies as a whole. Open participation does not necessarily ensure broad access. In order to ensure that all students—including those not usually seen as college-bound—learn about the program and have the opportunity to enroll, programs should initiate formal recruitment strategies involving middle school and high school guidance counselors and parents, as well as teachers. Curriculum CBTP course work falls into three categories: high school course work, which meets graduation requirements but also may give students the knowledge and skills necessary for success in college-level classes; developmental course work, which is explicitly designed to prepare students for the demands of college-level work; and, college credit course work. These courses may be organized into a curricular pathway, a clear route moving students from one level of course work to another. Developmental course work and the presence of curricular pathways help ensure that students from a range of academic backgrounds are able to participate in the CBTP. Creating these pathways and helping students take advantage of them are often challenging for programs, however, because they require high schools and colleges to work together closely. In order to maximize the range of students participating in CBTPs, programs should implement clear curricular pathways. Pathways should include high school courses aligned with college admissions requirements and developmental course work leading to college credit courses. These pathways should be clearly communicated to students. Support Services Nonacademic as well as academic support services are essential in helping students understand and meet the demands of a post-secondary environment. This is particularly important for students who previously have not been successful in school. In general, services vary along two dimensions. They may vary in their sponsor, meaning whether they are offered by the high school, by the college, or through a collaboration. They also may vary in their content, for example whether services provide academic support, general personal support, or specific college-preparatory activities, such as assistance with college applications or financial aid. Services offered through collaboration often are more cohesive and tailored to students’ needs.  Students in CBTPs should ideally have access to both high school-and college-sponsored services, as well as customized services that are developed collaboratively by the institutional partners. Data Collection and Use; Perceived Benefits of the Programs Most sites do not have systematic data collection procedures, and most of the data available at the sites indicate short-term outcomes, making program evaluation difficult. There is little data sharing between high school and college partners, and many sites lack staff time and knowledge to collect and use data effectively. Despite these limitations, study participants do indicate that there are three primary benefits to students who participate in CBTPs: the opportunity to earn free college credit, gaining “a taste” of college, and increased confidence in their academic abilities.  Perceived benefits are not yet supported by evaluation research. Programs should engage in data collection in order to confirm that students, particularly middle-and low-achieving students, do achieve these outcomes from their program participation. Recommendations for Policymakers, Practitioners, and Researchers The data indicate that three broad areas should be addressed by programs and policymakers seeking to help middle-and low-achieving students enroll and be successful in CBTPs: student access, institutional collaboration, and data collection for program evaluation. Broad access to CBTPs should be encouraged by: Developing multiple ways to ensure that all students—regardless of academic background and level of motivation— learn about the CBTP; •Developing a program culture that is supportive of and encourages students from different backgrounds and academic levels to participate; and •Structuring the program and the curriculum with an eye towards increasing access, such as by creating developmental sequences of courses. Policymakers can support programs in these efforts by providing incentives for programs that enroll middle-and low-achieving students. Collaborative relationships should be encouraged by: •Clearly establishing the roles and benefits for each institution in the partnership,•Supporting broader integration between the secondary and post-secondary sectors, and •Simplifying the credit earning and credit transfer process. Policymakers have a strong role to play. They can compel the two institutional sectors to rethink and align their standards, curriculum, and assessment practices. Aligning high school graduation requirements with college entrance requirements is an important first step. Articulation of high school with college course work also would help students transitioning to college know that they are prepared. Policymakers also should support dual credit programs, in which students receive high school and college credit for their program course work, as opposed to receiving one type of credit or the other. Practitioners should work with researchers to collect outcomes data that can be used for outcomes analysis. Policymakers should support outcomes analysis that begin with students’ performance prior to program participation, include comparison groups, and follow students through college matriculation and graduation. In order to assist researchers in their efforts to evaluate the outcomes of CBTPs, the report presents a conceptual model. The model suggests ways that program features may work together to promote the success of middle-and low-achieving students as they make the transition from secondary to post-secondary education. Future research should test the model. The findings from the Accelerating Student Success Through Credit-Based Transition Programs study lend credence to the enthusiasm many policymakers and educators have for CBTPs. CBTPs have the potential to help a wide range of students, not only the most academically advanced, but also the middle-to low-achieving students, become prepared for post-secondary education.
Read Full Excerpt

The early college high school initiative: An overview of five evaluation years

Berger, A., Adelman, N., & Cole, S. (2010). The early college high school initiative: An overview of five evaluation years. Peabody Journal of Education, 85(3), 333-347. doi:10.1080/0161956X.2010.491697

Nationally, there has been a lot of attention paid to the importance of “college readiness” for high school students. This attention reached a zenith in 2009 with Congress’s use of federal stimulus dollars as a lever to improve student achievement through a commitment to “making progress toward rigorous college-and career-ready standards” (U.S. Department of Education, 2009). The author states that the copyright is owned by AIR & SRI International. All rights rese...
Nationally, there has been a lot of attention paid to the importance of “college readiness” for high school students. This attention reached a zenith in 2009 with Congress’s use of federal stimulus dollars as a lever to improve student achievement through a commitment to “making progress toward rigorous college-and career-ready standards” (U.S. Department of Education, 2009). The author states that the copyright is owned by AIR & SRI International. All rights reserved. This research was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The views expressed in this article do not  necessarily reflect the view of the foundation. 
Read Full Excerpt

Creating access and success: Academic pathways reaching underserved students

Bragg, D. D., Kim, E., & Barnett, E. A. (2006). Creating access and success: Academic pathways reaching underserved students. New Directions for Community Colleges, 2006(135), 5-19.

The aspiration to attend college is nearly universal among American youth, yet the fulfillment of such desires is much more limited. According to the U.S. Department of Education (2004), roughly 90 percent of the 2002 high school sophomore cohort desired a college education, and over 70 percent expected to complete a four-year college degree. In actuality, only 62 percent of this group enrolled in college, and nearly half of the college entrants failed to return for a second year. Those ...
The aspiration to attend college is nearly universal among American youth, yet the fulfillment of such desires is much more limited. According to the U.S. Department of Education (2004), roughly 90 percent of the 2002 high school sophomore cohort desired a college education, and over 70 percent expected to complete a four-year college degree. In actuality, only 62 percent of this group enrolled in college, and nearly half of the college entrants failed to return for a second year. Those who do not enter or remain in college do not experience the same benefits, such as increased annual earnings, as college graduates (Howe, 1988; Rosenbaum, 2001). The term college access links a number of different issues: how low- and middle-income families pay college costs, how students traditionally underrepresented in higher education overcome discrimination and social disadvantage, and how well high school graduates are prepared for college-level work (Cabrera and La Nasa, 2001). Several researchers and policymakers have addressed the importance of curricular and institutional structures that enhance links between secondary and post-secondary education 
Read Full Excerpt

The educational outcomes of occupational sub-baccalaureate students: Evidence from the 1990s

Alfonso, M., Bailey, T. R., & Scott, M. (2005). The educational outcomes of occupational sub-baccalaureate students: Evidence from the 1990s. Economics of Education Review, 25, 197-212.

Abstract Occupational students constitute the majority of enrollments at community colleges. Moreover, over the last 15 years, the ‘‘vocationalization’’ of the community college has been one of the most controversial trends in higher education. However, little is known about how the educational experiences of occupational students compare to those of academic students. This paper uses two Beginning Post-secondary Student Longitudinal studies (BPS89 and ...
Abstract Occupational students constitute the majority of enrollments at community colleges. Moreover, over the last 15 years, the ‘‘vocationalization’’ of the community college has been one of the most controversial trends in higher education. However, little is known about how the educational experiences of occupational students compare to those of academic students. This paper uses two Beginning Post-secondary Student Longitudinal studies (BPS89 and BPS96) to analyze the educational outcomes of sub-baccalaureate occupational students. Our findings suggest that occupational students pursuing an associate degree complete their degree goals less often than their academic counterparts. Part of this difference can be explained by differences in student characteristics and expectations, but the gap remains after controlling these factors. We conclude that community colleges have yet to figure out and implement the optimal approach to providing direct occupational preparation within an institutional structure that continues to rest on a foundation oriented towards academic education.
Read Full Excerpt

Secondary to postsecondary technical education transitions: An exploratory study of dual enrollment in Georgia

Harnish, D. & Lynch, R.L. (2005). Secondary to postsecondary technical education transitions: An exploratory study of dual enrollment in Georgia. Career and Technical Education Research, 30(3), 169-188.

An exploratory study of credit-based transition programs was conducted to better understand the processes, outcomes, facilitators,and barriers to high school student access to and continuation in post-secondary education. This qualitative case study research examined characteristics and operations of dual enrollment programs and their link to key transition outcomes to address the question: Do credit-based transition programs, specifically dual enrollment, facilitate college access and su...
An exploratory study of credit-based transition programs was conducted to better understand the processes, outcomes, facilitators,and barriers to high school student access to and continuation in post-secondary education. This qualitative case study research examined characteristics and operations of dual enrollment programs and their link to key transition outcomes to address the question: Do credit-based transition programs, specifically dual enrollment, facilitate college access and success for students who participate in them? Research questions focused on organization,participation, and outcomes of dual enrollment in the state of Georgia.  Findings from site visits to technical colleges and high schools address emerging issues in organization, staffing, credit policies, funding, collaboration, student characteristics and motivation, programs of study, barriers to student access, benefits to student, follow-up, and program outcomes. This research is the first phase of a longitudinal, comprehensive multi-method study of dual enrolled students in Georgia and factors related to their transition into post-secondary education and work.
Read Full Excerpt

Accountability and career technical education (CTE) policy: A brief review of six states of the United States

Hawley, J. D., & de Montrichard, A. (2009). Accountability and Career Technical Education (CTE) Policy: A Brief Review of Six States of the United States. International Handbook of Education for the Changing World of Work, Part III, Section 3, 393-410.

Accountability concerns are at the top of the list of issues that career technical education (CTE) administrators are currently forced to deal with. As it has evolved in the United States, state CTE policy is trying to juggle missions that include preparation for careers with current efforts to improve the academic achievement of youth. This focuses attention at the state level on the articulation of public policies that ‘thread the needle’—allowing students to master both occu...
Accountability concerns are at the top of the list of issues that career technical education (CTE) administrators are currently forced to deal with. As it has evolved in the United States, state CTE policy is trying to juggle missions that include preparation for careers with current efforts to improve the academic achievement of youth. This focuses attention at the state level on the articulation of public policies that ‘thread the needle’—allowing students to master both occupational content and academic skills. The United States Federal Department of Education’s (DOE) web-site for CTE reflects the three themes CTE is trying to balance for career and technical education: Increasing academic achievement; Fostering post-secondary transitions; and preparing students for high-skill, high-wage careers. This emphasis on a variety of outcomes for CTE is reflected in the academic and policy literature. One recent report from the Association for Career and Technical Education stresses the critical role that academic skills play in current CTE practice.  The policy paper lays out a framework for CTE in the twenty-first century suggesting that CTE programmes offer both rigorous academic and vocational content. The authors described the issue as follows: ‘we believe that CTE courses and instructional methodologies have a place in the high-school environment, and that there should not be an artificial split between academic coursework and vocational studies’ (Association for Career and Technical Education, 2006, p. 3). Additionally, the long-standing programme from the Southern Regional Education Board emphasizes the importance of academic skills for improvements in the quality of CTE coursework. The recent empirical work done by High Schools that Work illustrates the gains when students in CTE achieve high levels of academic as well as vocational content. Bottoms and Young (2005) provide data that if students take at least four credits of maths or college preparatory English as part of a CTE programme, 80 to 90% did not need remedial coursework in college. R. Maclean, D. Wilson (eds.), International Handbook of Education for the Changing 393 World of Work, DOI 10.1007/978-1-4020-5281-1 III.3, C Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009|J.D. Hawley, A. de Montrichard This focus on accountability has come to a head while the Federal Government’s main policy on education, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), faces continued resistance from states. They continue to object to the appearance of unfunded mandates within the legislation. The difficulty persists when developing performance measures related to curriculum standards. A 1999 report on state-level accountability strategies asserts that: most of the measurement issues related to the conflicting purposes of vocational education (school reform versus workforce development) and governance/system delivery (centralized versus decentralized) are quite complex. All states are working on parts of the system or systems. It is hoped that the parts eventually sum to a whole (Rahn, O’Driscoll & Hudecki, 1999). Nevertheless, states have historically developed strategies to measure and assess the performance of high-school vocational education in each of these areas. The current debate centres on expanding the accountability systems defined by NCLB, but balancing those accountability demands that are unique to CTE programmes.
Read Full Excerpt

Career and technical education (CTE) student success in community colleges: A conceptual model

Hirschy, A., S., Bremer, C. D., & Castellano, M. (2011). Career and Technical Education (CTE) Student Success in Community Colleges: A Conceptual Model. Community College Review [online first].

Career and technical education (CTE) students pursuing occupational associate’s degrees or certificates differ from students seeking academic majors at 2-year institutions in several ways. This article examines several theoretical models of student persistence and offers a conceptual model of student success focused on CTE students in community colleges. ...
Career and technical education (CTE) students pursuing occupational associate’s degrees or certificates differ from students seeking academic majors at 2-year institutions in several ways. This article examines several theoretical models of student persistence and offers a conceptual model of student success focused on CTE students in community colleges.
Read Full Excerpt

Strengthening transitions by encouraging career pathways: A look at state policies and practices

Hughes, K. L., and Karp, M. M. Strengthening Transitions by Encouraging Career Path- ways: A Look at State Policies and Practices. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Community Colleges, 2006.

There is now common agreement that all youth need some education beyond high school to be economically self-sufficient. However, persisting in college and earning a credential is difficult for many students (see Bailey, Alfonso, Scott, & Leinbach, in press; Deil-Amen & Rosenbaum, 2002; National Center for Education Statistics, 2004).1 In attempting to help students gain access to and be successful in post-secondary education, whichever type of degree or credential they seek, po...
There is now common agreement that all youth need some education beyond high school to be economically self-sufficient. However, persisting in college and earning a credential is difficult for many students (see Bailey, Alfonso, Scott, & Leinbach, in press; Deil-Amen & Rosenbaum, 2002; National Center for Education Statistics, 2004).1 In attempting to help students gain access to and be successful in post-secondary education, whichever type of degree or credential they seek, policymakers and practitioners increasingly speak of the need to improve the transition between secondary and post-secondary studies. Whether the call is for a “seamless web” (Hodgkinson, 1999), a “more robust set of pathways” (Schwartz, 2004), or “a new commitment to a single system” of education (National Commission on the High School Senior Year, 2001), the common element is tying together the curricula, requirements, and assessments of the secondary and post-secondary sectors.Through the creation of P–16 (preschool through post-secondary) commissions in 30 states (National Governors’ Association, n.d.), attention is being paid to the continuum of education in which students engage. Rather than viewing each step in isolation, the goal is to reconceptualize education as a pathway spanning high schools, colleges, and workplaces. Policymakers expect that connecting formerly separate facets of the education system will facilitate students’ transitions into college and careers. In addition, policymakers have sought reforms that will better prepare students for post-secondary education. Such reforms include adopting more stringent high school graduation requirements and graduation exit exams and increasing the availability of rigorous programs such as advanced placement and dual enrollment.Consistent with these reforms, increasing attention has been paid to the integration of academic and occupational preparation to increase the rigor of career and technical education (CTE) while making stronger connections to high-wage, high-growth occupations. At the federal level, these goals are encouraged by proposed changes to a key funding stream for career and technical education, the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Act. Although revisions to the act have yet to be finalized, in recent reauthorization discussions the federal government sought to use the act to support vocational education reform in keeping with the federal emphasis on higher academic standards and accountability. Because all students are career bound as well as college bound, these changes will encourage the refinement of CTE programs in occupations that require post-secondary credentials, to ensure rigorous academics as well as to encourage smooth secondary-to-post-secondary transitions. Perkins funding may be an impetus for reform, but states must address their own systems of education and how they are working (or not working) in support of these goals. States need to rethink the structure and focus of the education pipeline, including the relationships between high schools and colleges, academic and applied courses, and educational credentials and the labor market. In this report, we identify ways in which state policies can support CTE students’ academic and labor market success by creating coherent systems of preparation for students entering technical fields. In particular, we focus on state policies that support the implementation of career pathways, such as those encouraged by the U.S. Department of Education’s College and Career Transitions Initiative, which span secondary and post-secondary education and culminate in rewarding careers.
Read Full Excerpt

Dual enrollment can benefit a broad range of students

Karp, M. M., & Hughes, K. L. (2008). Dual Enrollment Can Benefit a Broad Range of Students. Techniques: Connecting Education and Careers, 83(7), 14-17.

Dual enrollment programs that enable high schoolers to enroll in college courses and earn college credit can positively influence students in career and technical education (CTE) programs, according to a recent study by the Community College Research Center (CCRC). The study finds that CTE students who participated in dual enrollment courses had better educational outcomes than their classmates who did not participate. The report, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Education via ...
Dual enrollment programs that enable high schoolers to enroll in college courses and earn college credit can positively influence students in career and technical education (CTE) programs, according to a recent study by the Community College Research Center (CCRC). The study finds that CTE students who participated in dual enrollment courses had better educational outcomes than their classmates who did not participate. The report, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Education via the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, provides evidence that CTE students can benefit from participating in programs to prepare them for college as well as careers.
Read Full Excerpt

Career academies: Impacts on students' initial transitions to postsecondary education and employment

Kemple, J. J. (2001). Career academies: Impacts on students? initial transitions to postsecondary education and employment. New York, NY: Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation.

For more than thirty years, high schools across the nation have implemented Career Academies, an intervention intended to increase educational and employment outcomes for participants. Career Academies typically involve the integration of career/technical and academic coursework based on a career theme in partnership with local employers.  The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of participation in Career Academies on high school graduation and postseconda...
For more than thirty years, high schools across the nation have implemented Career Academies, an intervention intended to increase educational and employment outcomes for participants. Career Academies typically involve the integration of career/technical and academic coursework based on a career theme in partnership with local employers.  The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of participation in Career Academies on high school graduation and postsecondary education enrollment. The study employs a rigorous experimental design in which eighth and ninth graders in nine, urban high schools were randomly assigned to participate in a Career Academy. The treatment and control groups were then followed throughout the period of participation and for a six-year follow-up period in order to determine the impact of Career Academies on students’ chances of high school completion and college enrollment.  This study reports findings based on data collected one year post-scheduled high school graduation. The author determined that while Career Academies increased participating students’ levels of engagement during their high school experience, participation did not result in increased chances of high school completion relative to non-participants, on average. Among "high dropout-risk" students, however, participation in Career Academies increased the likelihood of remaining in high school through the 12th grade. A primary limitation of the study stems from the fact that it took place in one type of educational setting, i.e., urban high schools. While this enabled the author to assess the effects of the Career Academies intervention for a diverse group of students, the results are not necessarily generalizable to other educational settings (i.e., suburban high schools, middle and high SES schools). 
Read Full Excerpt

Statewide articulation agreement between high schools and community college career and technical programs

King, S. and West, D. (2009). Statewide Articulation Agreement between High Schools and Community College Career and Technical Programs, Community College Journal of Research & Practice, 33(6), 527-532.

Recent legislation requires increased linkages between all levels of educational institutions. Articulation agreements are critical to ensure a smooth transition for students, and statewide agreements afford students more options for continuing their education. High school and community college instructors were brought together in a statewide meeting to review curricula and determine community college courses for which high-school-program-completers meeting certain criteria, ...
Recent legislation requires increased linkages between all levels of educational institutions. Articulation agreements are critical to ensure a smooth transition for students, and statewide agreements afford students more options for continuing their education. High school and community college instructors were brought together in a statewide meeting to review curricula and determine community college courses for which high-school-program-completers meeting certain criteria, including a specified score on the statewide occupation-specific assessment, could receive credit. Thirty-three high school programs were selected or statewide articulation agreements, with at least one community college program allowing articulation with approximately 50 community college courses.
Read Full Excerpt

Researching CTE student success: A new conceptual framework

Kotamraju, P. (2007). Researching CTE student success: A new conceptual framework. Techniques, 82(4), 49-52.

FOR CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION (CTE) practitioners, researchers and policymakers to see themselves as central players in the emerging consensus regarding the changing future of public education, they must all come together as a new frontline to establish evidence-based accountability systems that make the case for measuring CTE student success. These evidence-based accountability systems must be built using common measures, methodologies and metrics,...
FOR CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION (CTE) practitioners, researchers and policymakers to see themselves as central players in the emerging consensus regarding the changing future of public education, they must all come together as a new frontline to establish evidence-based accountability systems that make the case for measuring CTE student success. These evidence-based accountability systems must be built using common measures, methodologies and metrics,
Read Full Excerpt

The role of career and technical education in Iowa community college

Laanan, F. and Compton, J. (2006). The Role of Career and Technical Education in Iowa Community College, Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 30: 293-310.

This scholarly paper describes and analyzes the role of career and technical education (CTE) in Iowa community colleges. Iowa’s community colleges are doing a good job of responding to the changing workforce needs of the state and providing smooth career pathways. However, changes in the population and economy of the state will call for further changes in CTE programs. The distinctive characteristics of CTE in Iowa community colleges, the impact of community college CTE programs on the...
This scholarly paper describes and analyzes the role of career and technical education (CTE) in Iowa community colleges. Iowa’s community colleges are doing a good job of responding to the changing workforce needs of the state and providing smooth career pathways. However, changes in the population and economy of the state will call for further changes in CTE programs. The distinctive characteristics of CTE in Iowa community colleges, the impact of community college CTE programs on the state’s economy, the role of accountability, and the future implications for CTE in the state are discussed. Recommendations based on the results of the study include improving articulation agreements, increasing retention among at-risk students, and increasing collaboration among Iowa’s 15 community colleges.
Read Full Excerpt

Training tomorrow's workforce: Community college and apprenticeship as collaborative routes to rewarding careers

Lerman, R. I., (2009, December). Training Tomorrow?s Workforce: Community College and Apprenticeship as Collaborative Routes to Rewarding Careers. Washington, DC: Center for American Progress.

With nearly 15 million workers unemployed and another 9 million working part time involuntarily, the time is right to invest in upgrading the skills of many in the U.S workforce. Sound investments in skills today are likely to yield high returns in the form of added earnings and improved productivity tomorrow and well into the future. If directed at improving qualifications for middle-skill jobs, enhanced training can reduce inequality while promoting economic growth. Th...
With nearly 15 million workers unemployed and another 9 million working part time involuntarily, the time is right to invest in upgrading the skills of many in the U.S workforce. Sound investments in skills today are likely to yield high returns in the form of added earnings and improved productivity tomorrow and well into the future. If directed at improving qualifications for middle-skill jobs, enhanced training can reduce inequality while promoting economic growth. The president and the U.S. Congress are responding to the training agenda in a variety of ways, by increasing spending and promoting innovation in K-12 education and in post secondary college and job training programs. The Community College Initiative- part of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009-would authorize $730 million per year for several purposes. One is to fund innovative and elective programs that “… lead to the completion of a post-secondary degree, certificate, or industry-recognized credential leading to a skilled occupation in a high-demand industry…” Some of the dollars would go directly to states for reforms in community colleges. In addition, President Barack Obama has proposed significant funding to help support construction projects to modernize facilities at community colleges. These proposed reforms reinforce recent legislation that expands college grants and loans and increases their accessibility to workers on unemployment insurance. At the same time, serious state fiscal woes have limited the budgets of community colleges and strained their capacity to serve the increasing numbers of students who wish to enroll. Although a primary target of these interventions is to expand community colleges, the ultimate goal is to upgrade the skills of American workers and improve their prospects for rewarding careers. This paper considers a complementary approach to increasing valued and marketable skills: scaling up apprenticeship programs, especially in combination with community college and other post-secondary education programs. Apprenticeship programs train individuals to achieve the skills of a fully skilled worker through supervised, work-based learning and related academic instruction. Apprentices are employees at the firms and organizations where they combine productive work along with learning experiences that lead to demonstrated proficiency in a significant array of tasks. Apprenticeship programs offer an array of advantages over pure post-secondary education programs. Since apprenticeship openings depend on employer demand, mismatches between skills taught and supplied and skills demanded in the work place are unusual. Apprenticeship provides workers with a full salary so that participants can earn while they acquire valued skills. Apprentices learn in the context of real work settings and attain not only occupational skills but other work-related skills, including communication, problem-solving, allocating resources, and dealing with supervisors and a diverse set of coworkers. Apprenticeship is particularly appealing as a way of integrating minorities-especially minority young men-into rewarding careers. Having learning take place mostly on the job, making the tasks and classroom work highly relevant to their careers, and providing participants wages while they learn can give minorities increased confidence that their personal efforts and investment in skill development will pay. In addition, mastering a skill by completing an apprenticeship gives graduates a genuine sense of occupational identity and occupational pride. Apprenticeship offers a respected, portable certification. These advantages help explain why many countries have been working to expand their programs significantly. There are currently about 470,000 apprentices in programs registered with the Department of Labor and perhaps another 500,000 or more in unregistered programs. About 56 percent of registered apprentices are in construction trades and about the same share are in joint union-management programs. However, most programs are undertaken by employers. Although research on apprenticeship programs is sparse, one careful study found that both the short-term and long-term earnings gains and overall social benefits from apprenticeship training are extremely high. The lifetime return to apprenticeship training is estimated at more than double the return to community college participation. Can these benefits of apprenticeship training be incorporated into community college and other post-secondary settings? What is the rationale for apprenticeship-community college collaboration and the current state of collaboration? What steps should be taken to expand apprenticeship and collaborations between community colleges and apprenticeship programs? This paper examines and provides some answers to these questions. Although the paper does not capture the full the complexity and diversity of community colleges and apprenticeships in the United States, it describes examples of cases in which the two systems do and do not interact. Collaboration between community colleges and apprenticeship programs makes sense for several reasons. Worker success in occupations requires that they gain not only content knowledge about their field but also other skills-including problem solving-used in the context of the occupation as well as on other jobs. For many occupations, community colleges are well-positioned to provide the academic-based instruction but cannot deliver the necessary nonacademic skills and occupational expertise. These require learning in the context of productive work and real operations, the type of learning that comes with apprenticeship training. For community colleges, apprenticeships assure relevance for their students and allow students to document their abilities to perform in the workplace. In addition, they allow overcrowded, strained community colleges to overload some of their education and training to elective work-based learning under skilled supervisors. For apprenticeships, community colleges provide college credit and a college framework. Notwithstanding the logic of collaboration, several barriers can limit the interactions between apprenticeship programs and community colleges. Sponsors of apprenticeship-usually employers but often union-employer programs-sometimes find that community colleges do not offer courses that are well-tailored to the apprentice’s needs. The content may not be sufficiently specific, the equipment at the college may be dated, the courses may not be offered or may meet at times that working people find hard to accommodate, and the starting dates of semesters may not meet employer needs. It may take too long for community colleges to develop new courses that are required as new programs or new technologies in existing programs arise. Still, the paper finds many examples of collaboration. About one-third of all apprentices obtain their academic instruction from community or technical colleges. Some apprenticeship programs-for example, several sponsored by the Utility Workers of America-require apprentices to complete an associate’s degree along with their apprenticeship training. Some states- including Florida and Washington-provide tuition subsidies to community colleges for those in apprenticeship training. Community colleges often grant college credit for courses apprentices take as part of their related instruction. Many programs use community college instructors for courses held outside the school. South Carolina, for example, offers a distinctive form of collaboration. Using a special grant from the legislature, the technical college system in South Carolina hosts the Apprenticeship Carolina initiative. Staff housed at the college system actively market apprenticeship and encourage employers to use community college and other resources for related courses. Other potential areas of collaboration are infrequent, including the granting of college credit for skills developed in apprenticeship programs and the use of community colleges as a base for recruiting potential apprenticeship sponsors. Data on the views of employer sponsors comes from both a national sample of more than 900 apprenticeship sponsors as well as an in-depth set of interviews with a smaller number of sponsors. The interviews revealed some barriers to collaboration. One is the limited flexibility of community college courses-they are not offered enough on a regular basis and may be cancelled if the classes are too small. Other sponsors see the courses as not adequately matched to the requirements of the occupation. Although some sponsors acknowledge that obtaining a joint associate’s degree would add to the apprenticeship certification, others see little added value for their workers beyond the apprenticeship credential itself. In all likelihood, however, community college certifications would add significantly to the status, adaptability, and long-term earnings of apprenticeship completers. Recommendations The most important strategy for expanding apprenticeship-community college collaborations is to increase the employer demand for apprenticeships. More apprenticeships will lead to more collaboration as community colleges see opportunities for closer links with employers and jobs. Expanding apprenticeship training will diversify the nation’s portfolio of training strategies and incorporate a wider variety of strategies that succeed in raising skills and earnings. Several actions taken today can increase opportunities for workers to gain occupational credentials valued in the labor market, but achieving a major expansion of apprenticeships will require a long-term effort. Although the community colleges and apprenticeship programs already cooperate in some ways, what policies might expand their collaborations? Here are 10 recommendations that can be implemented in the short run. 1. Fund measures to scale apprenticeship programs by expanding the budget for marketing the programs and providing an incremental subsidy to employers expanding their programs. Marketing and technical assistance are necessary to show employers the advantages of apprenticeship training and to help them implement registered apprenticeships. Quality reviews should accompany the technical assistance to assure that the new apprenticeships yield the necessary skills for mastery of relevant occupational skills. 2. Providing more resources for these purposes to the Office of Apprenticeship at the federal level and some state apprenticeship offices would generate large numbers of added slots which, in turn, would lead to social benefits-added earnings and tax revenue- that far outweigh the added costs. Tax credits can complement the marketing efforts and increase incentives for employers. One possibility is a tax credit of $4,000- $5,000 for each new apprenticeship position beyond 80 percent of last year’s level. Given the job projections analyzed in this paper, increasing the penetration of apprenticeships in fields that already offer apprenticeships could generate a five-fold increase in some places. 3. Encourage more states to subsidize portions of the tuition of apprentices taking community college courses. "is step would encourage more employers to use community colleges for their related instruction and could ultimately lead more apprentices to obtain associate’s degrees. 4. Follow the earnings pathways of community college students and use the results as performance indicators. House bill H.R 3221 moves in this direction. Such a step could encourage community colleges to work closer with apprenticeship programs, since they have an excellent track record of achieving earnings gains. At the same time, research with these data might provide evidence to apprentices about the long-term benefit of seeking an associate’s degree alongside their apprenticeship certification. 5. Draw on existing standards and develop new standards to award college credit for expertise gained and mastered on the job. The American Council on Education has produced a National Guide to College Credit for Workforce Training; it suggests credit levels for various components of several apprenticeship programs. Some schools already offer such credits through this process or their own processes but the practices are spotty. Already, four-year colleges and universities offer credit to students for internships that involve far less documented expertise than apprenticeship. Doing so in the apprenticeship context would encourage more apprentices to complete degree programs. 6. States should use their discretionary funds within the Workforce Investment Act to coordinate joint initiatives between apprenticeships and community college, potentially linked with WIA and even high school programs. States could provide incentives for contractors on state-funded programs to offer apprenticeship programs, including programs linked to community colleges. Some states-notably Washington-already use mandates and incentives for this purpose. 7. Use funds available in the Community College Initiative to undertake innovations that foster apprenticeship-community college collaborations. Set aside funding from the reentry programs and other labor-related and justice-related programs to experiment with apprenticeship expansions for ex-offenders. The experiment could focus on two to three sectors, involve industry associations, local employers and close linkages between the criminal justice system, apprenticeship staff, and community colleges. The project would include a rigorous evaluation. 8. Undertake a number of non-experimental research projects to provide important policy-relevant information on apprenticeship and community colleges. For example, qualitative research on the use of apprenticeship and/or community colleges to train for a particular occupation could examine the curricula in each type of program, test graduates, and determine employer satisfaction and program costs. Another low-cost project could track earnings profiles of apprentices and conduct field interviews to determine whether apprenticeship completers subsequently take post-secondary courses and achieve post-secondary degrees. 9. Experiment with training modalities-including apprenticeship and community college-to determine their net impacts on urban young people. It is possible to use experimental methods without rejecting applicants for the programs. Impact studies could test the effect of recruitment on participation into various programs as well as the separate impacts of apprenticeship and community college on employment and earnings. These studies could provide persuasive evidence about the efficacy of recruitment into programs, the effects of training on earnings, and the employer’s perceived estimates of productivity impacts. The study should also incorporate a study of employers participating in the apprenticeship program. Finally, this paper recommends the development of a long-term strategy to expand apprenticeship training, including college credit and other collaborations with community colleges. The goal should be to provide sufficient opportunities to cover at least 20 percent of the U.S. entry-level work force. To develop this strategy, foundations and governments should come together to sponsor a study group. The group would commission papers, learn lessons from the major apprenticeship expansions in the United Kingdom and Australia, hold a major conference and public meetings, and then propose a sequence of policies to bring the U.S. apprenticeship system to scale and to ensure close collaboration with colleges, especially community colleges.
Read Full Excerpt

Science achievement and occupational career/technical education coursetaking in high school: The Class of 2005

Levesque, K., Wun, J., & Green, C. (2010). Science Achievement and Occupational Career/Technical Education Coursetaking in High School: The Class of 2005 (Statistics in Brief) (NCES 2010-021). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

Introduction Since 1990, federal legislation has encouraged states and local programs to improve the academic achievement of students who participate in career/technical education (CTE).1 This focus on academics is intended, in part, to provide high school students with rigorous content needed to prepare for further education and careers in current or emerging professions (2006 Perkins Act, Section 3(5)(A)(i)). Since enactment of this federal mandate to improve the academic a...
Introduction Since 1990, federal legislation has encouraged states and local programs to improve the academic achievement of students who participate in career/technical education (CTE).1 This focus on academics is intended, in part, to provide high school students with rigorous content needed to prepare for further education and careers in current or emerging professions (2006 Perkins Act, Section 3(5)(A)(i)). Since enactment of this federal mandate to improve the academic achievement of CTE participants, related research has focused on tracking trends in the academic performance of CTE participants and analyzing the “value added” of CTE participation to academic achievement (Silverberg et al. 2004). Researchers have measured academic performance in two main ways, analyzing trends in both the academic course taking and tested achievement of CTE participants. These analyses have shown that, since 1990 and earlier, both the amount and rigor of CTE participants’ academic course taking have increased and the percentage of public high school graduates combining rigorous academic coursework with concentrated CTE coursework has also increased (Tuma and Burns 1996; Levesque et al. 2000; Levesque 2003b; Silverberg et al. 2004; Levesque et al. 2008). Other analyses have shown that the academic achievement of CTE participants as measured by standardized tests has increased over time, particularly in reading and math (Silverberg et al. 2004). Moreover, these studies have shown that gaps in academic course taking and achievement between CTE participants and their non-participating classmates have narrowed. In addition to analyzing trends in the academic performance of CTE participants, researchers have also examined the “value added” of CTE course taking to students’ academic achievement. Descriptive analyses typically find that greater CTE course taking is associated with lower academic achievement at the end of high school (McCormick and Tuma 1995; Levesque et al. 1995). While this lower achievement may be due, in part, to differences in the amount and types of academic courses that CTE participants take, differences in student characteristics also play a role, including the historically lower prior academic achievement of CTE participants compared with non-participants (Levesque et al. 2000; Agodini, Uhl, and Novak 2004). Analyses that account for differences in various student characteristics have consistently shown a neutral effect of CTE coursework on academic achievement (Rasinski 1994; Plank 2001; Agodini et al. 2004; Bae et al. 2007). These latter analyses typically group CTE participants into a single category, comparing CTE participants overall with their non-participating peers. Other analyses suggest, however, that both initial and subsequent academic achievement in high school vary by the type of CTE coursework that students take and that CTE students are not a homogeneous group
Read Full Excerpt

Step to college: Moving from the high school career academy through the four-year university

Maxwell, N. L. (2001). Step to college: Moving from the high school career academy through the four-year university. Evaluation Review, 25(6), 619?654.

This study addresses the question “Do school-to-work programs, as embodied by career academies, facilitate post-secondary education?” The author conceptualizes post-secondary education as a series of steps through the university and examines the high school career academy’s influence on entrance into, route through, and outcomes from a 4-year university. Data are drawn from applicant and student records at a comprehensive, urban university for all individuals originating from a sing...
This study addresses the question “Do school-to-work programs, as embodied by career academies, facilitate post-secondary education?” The author conceptualizes post-secondary education as a series of steps through the university and examines the high school career academy’s influence on entrance into, route through, and outcomes from a 4-year university. Data are drawn from applicant and student records at a comprehensive, urban university for all individuals originating from a single district’s high schools. The findings suggest that students from career academies have higher academic achievement upon leaving high school, less need for remediation in English at the university, and a 4-percentage-point increase in graduation from the university than students who are not from academies. These findings suggest that school-to-work programs could facilitate positive outcomes in post-secondary education. However, the continued high rates of remediation and the low rates of graduation, even for students from career academics, suggest that their influence might not be enough to ensure success in post-secondary education. This analysis therefore suggests that further research should identify program components that increase post-secondary education and determine how these components can be institutionalized and built on in subsequent reforms.
Read Full Excerpt

Year three of the Talent Development High School Initiative in Philadelphia: Results from five schools

Philadelphia Education Fund. (2002). Year Three of the Talent Development High School Initiative in Philadelphia: Results from five schools.

Students who attend the five Philadelphia neighborhood high schools that have adopted the Talent Development (TD) comprehensive reform model have shown marked improvement in attendance, standardized test scores, grades, and rates of suspensions. Their rates of arrests and setting school fires are significantly lower than similar schools in the city. ...
Students who attend the five Philadelphia neighborhood high schools that have adopted the Talent Development (TD) comprehensive reform model have shown marked improvement in attendance, standardized test scores, grades, and rates of suspensions. Their rates of arrests and setting school fires are significantly lower than similar schools in the city.
Read Full Excerpt

High school dropout and the role of career and technical education: A survival analysis of surviving high school

Plank, S., DeLuca, S., & Estacion, A. (2008). High School Dropout and the Role of Career and Technical Education: A Survival Analysis of Surviving High School, Sociology of Education, 81(4), 345-370.

This article uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 to investigate high school dropout and its association with the high school curriculum. In particular, it examines how combinations of career and technical education (CTE) and core academic courses influence the likelihood of leaving school. Hazards models indicate a significant curvilinear association between the CTE-to-academic course-taking ratio and the risk of dropping out for youths who were aged 14 and younger w...
This article uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 to investigate high school dropout and its association with the high school curriculum. In particular, it examines how combinations of career and technical education (CTE) and core academic courses influence the likelihood of leaving school. Hazards models indicate a significant curvilinear association between the CTE-to-academic course-taking ratio and the risk of dropping out for youths who were aged 14 and younger when they entered the ninth grade (not old for grade). This finding suggests that a middle-range mix of exposure to CTE and an academic curriculum can strengthen a student’s attachment to or motivation while in school. The same association was not found between course taking and the likelihood of dropping out for youths who were aged 15 or older when they entered high school, thus prompting further consideration of the situation of being old for grade in school settings that remain highly age graded in their organization.
Read Full Excerpt

Does the vocational focus of community colleges hinder students' educational attainment?

Roksa, J. (2006). Does the vocational focus of community colleges hinder students? educational attainment? Review of Higher Education, 29, 499-526.

Although praised for democratizing higher education and fulfilling the needs of local communities, community colleges have been criticized for lowering educational attainment by “cooling out” and “diverting” students from four-year institutions. (See literature reviews by Bailey & Morest, 2004; Dougherty, 2001.) One characteristic of community colleges that has received much attention in this regard is vocational training. Since Brint and Karabel’s (1989) seminal critique of...
Although praised for democratizing higher education and fulfilling the needs of local communities, community colleges have been criticized for lowering educational attainment by “cooling out” and “diverting” students from four-year institutions. (See literature reviews by Bailey & Morest, 2004; Dougherty, 2001.) One characteristic of community colleges that has received much attention in this regard is vocational training. Since Brint and Karabel’s (1989) seminal critique of vocational training in community colleges, several studies have implied that the vocational focus of community colleges decreases transfer rates to four-year institutions
Read Full Excerpt

Delivering STEM education through career and technical education schools and programs

Stone, J. R. III (2011). Delivering STEM Education through Career and Technical Education Schools and Programs. Washington, DC: National Academies, Board on Science Education.

Career and technical education (CTE) is an important component of the U.S. high school enterprise. More than 90% of students in high school take at least 1 CTE credit according to the National Center on Educational Statistics (Levesque, et al 2008). Analyses conducted by the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) of transcript data collected as part of the ELS2002 study by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) show that 56% of all students take less...
Career and technical education (CTE) is an important component of the U.S. high school enterprise. More than 90% of students in high school take at least 1 CTE credit according to the National Center on Educational Statistics (Levesque, et al 2008). Analyses conducted by the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) of transcript data collected as part of the ELS2002 study by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) show that 56% of all students take less than 3 credits of CTE with no particular focus or concentration. For such students, CTE is likely an elective in their programs. We find another 27% take 3 or more CTE credits—however, these credits are taken with no focus. Such students are possibly exploring career fields. Finally, about 17% take three more credits with a focus or concentration. These students are taking enough CTE to constitute a serious focus or major.
Read Full Excerpt

Rigor and relevance: Enhancing high school students' math skills through career and technical education

Stone, J.R. III, Alfeld, C., & Pearson, D. (2008). Rigor and relevance: Enhancing high school students? math skills through career and technical education. American Educational Research Journal, 45(3), 767-795.

The purpose of this research study is to determine whether integrating mathematics content into Career/Technical Education (CTE) curriculum increases high school students’ math achievement. The authors employ a randomized experimental research design in which CTE teachers were randomly assigned to either an experimental or control group. Members of the experimental group worked with math teachers to develop "math-enhanced" CTE instructional activities and received in-depth pedagogica...
The purpose of this research study is to determine whether integrating mathematics content into Career/Technical Education (CTE) curriculum increases high school students’ math achievement. The authors employ a randomized experimental research design in which CTE teachers were randomly assigned to either an experimental or control group. Members of the experimental group worked with math teachers to develop "math-enhanced" CTE instructional activities and received in-depth pedagogical training, whereas the teachers in the control group delivered CTE curriculum without math-enhancement. The authors of the study find that CTE students who participated in math-enhanced curriculum performed better on a traditional math test and a college placement math test without experiencing depressed levels of technical skills. However, the intervention did not result in improved performance on an applied math test. As increasing math achievement is important for gaining access to postsecondary education, the empirically demonstrated benefits of “math-enhanced” CTE curriculum may have implications for increasing college access among CTE students.The primary limitation of the study relates to the relatively small sample size used in the experimental design (600 students and 130 teachers). A larger sample would bolster the generalizability of the findings. The authors also highlight an important caveat regarding the effectiveness of integrating math and CTE curricula in increasing math achievement. Teachers who participated in the intervention emphasized the importance of engaging in a long and involved professional development process prior to delivering the math-enhanced CTE curriculum. They reported that the intervention would not work as effectively if the lessons were simply "packaged" for teachers who did not participate in the pedagogical training. Such an involved training process may limit the scalability of the intervention.
Read Full Excerpt

The impacts of career-technical education on high school labor market success

Bishop, J. and Mane, F. (2004). The Impacts of Career-Technical Education on High School Labor Market Success, Economics of Education Review, 23, 381-402.

The paper assesses the effects of offering upper-secondary students the opportunity to pursue vocational education in high school on completion rates and subsequent earnings. Analysis of internationalcross-section data found that nations enrolling a large proportion of upper-secondary students in vocational programs have significantly higher school attendance rates and higher upper-secondary completion rates. Test scores at age 15 and college attendance rates for people&nbs...
The paper assesses the effects of offering upper-secondary students the opportunity to pursue vocational education in high school on completion rates and subsequent earnings. Analysis of internationalcross-section data found that nations enrolling a large proportion of upper-secondary students in vocational programs have significantly higher school attendance rates and higher upper-secondary completion rates. Test scores at age 15 and college attendance rates for people over age 20 were not reduced. Analysis of 12 years of longitudinal data found that those who devote about one-sixth of their time in high school to occupation-specific vocational courses earned at least 12% extra one year after graduating and about 8% extra seven years later (holding attitudes and ability in 8th grade, family background and college attendance constant) This was true both for students who did and did not pursue post-secondary education. Computer courses hadparticularly large effects on earnings eight years after graduating.
Read Full Excerpt

Project Lead the Way: A pre-engineering curriculum that works

Bottoms, G., and Anthony, K. Project Lead the Way: A Pre-Engineering Curriculum That Works. A New Design for High School Career/Technical Studies. Atlanta: Southern Regional Education Board, May 2005a.

The High Schools That Work (HSTW) and PLTW partnership began in September of 1999 in order to create a high school pre-engineering pathway. The design and rigor of the PLTW program provides students with quality learning experiences across both academic and career/technical classes. PLTW complements the major goals of the HSTW design by blending the essential content of traditional college-preparatory academic studies with challenging career/technical studies, thus increasing the percenta...
The High Schools That Work (HSTW) and PLTW partnership began in September of 1999 in order to create a high school pre-engineering pathway. The design and rigor of the PLTW program provides students with quality learning experiences across both academic and career/technical classes. PLTW complements the major goals of the HSTW design by blending the essential content of traditional college-preparatory academic studies with challenging career/technical studies, thus increasing the percentages of students completing a quality core curriculum and scoring at or above the proficient level in reading, mathematics and science.
Read Full Excerpt

Exploring STEM career options through collaborative high school seminars

Cantrell, P., & Ewing-Taylor, J. (2009). Exploring STEM career options through collaborative high school seminars. Journal of Engineering Education, 98(3), 295-303.

The K-12 Engineering Education Programs (KEEP) Seminar Series for high school juniors and seniors began in 2003 as a collaborative program sponsored by the College of Education, College of Engineering, and the Raggio Research Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education at the University of Nevada, Reno. It ran for five years and attracted 130 students to weekly sessions for eight weeks each year where they engaged with presenters from the STEM fields. Th...
The K-12 Engineering Education Programs (KEEP) Seminar Series for high school juniors and seniors began in 2003 as a collaborative program sponsored by the College of Education, College of Engineering, and the Raggio Research Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education at the University of Nevada, Reno. It ran for five years and attracted 130 students to weekly sessions for eight weeks each year where they engaged with presenters from the STEM fields. The goal was to provide students with opportunities to observe research presentations by scientists and engineers in a wide array of specialties in order to understand how the STEM disciplines are integrated and to understand the possibilities for their future career paths. A descriptive study found that females were more stable in their career choices over the eight-week seminar series, and seniors were better able to learn new STEM content and make connections between high school courses and the seminar presentations than were juniors.
Read Full Excerpt

Career and technical education as pathways: Factors influencing postcollege earning of selected career clusters

Compton, J., Laanan, F. S., & Starobin, S. (2010). Career and Technical Education as Pathways: Factors Influencing Postcollege Earning of Selected Career Clusters, Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 15(1/2), 93-113.

This study investigated the relationship between student characteristics such as gender, race/ethnicity, program of study, degree completion, and earnings outcomes for students enrolled in career and technical education (CTE) programs within the business, information technology (IT), and marketing career clusters in community colleges to determine which variables lead to improved earnings for these students. It draws upon data from the Iowa Department of Education (IDE), Iowa Workforc...
This study investigated the relationship between student characteristics such as gender, race/ethnicity, program of study, degree completion, and earnings outcomes for students enrolled in career and technical education (CTE) programs within the business, information technology (IT), and marketing career clusters in community colleges to determine which variables lead to improved earnings for these students. It draws upon data from the Iowa Department of Education (IDE), Iowa Workforce Development (IWD), and the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC). The study found that gender has the strongest influence on earnings for all three of the career clusters, with women earning less in all three. However, this plays out differently between the three clusters. Women who complete degrees in business and marketing earn less even than men who enroll in these programs without completing degrees. However, women who complete associate degrees in IT have an increase in earnings that is higher than that of men and have fifth year earnings that approach those of men. Completion of associate degrees had a positive influence on earnings for marketing and IT, but did not have a significant impact on earnings for the business cluster. The article concludes by addressing implications for research, policy, and practice.
Read Full Excerpt

The role of career and technical education in facilitating student transitions to postsecondary education

Dare, D. (2006). The Role of Career and Technical Education in Facilitating Student Transitions to Postsecondary Education, New Directions for Community Colleges, 135, 73-80.

This chapter examines recent attempts to promote students’ transitions into post-secondary education. In particular, it focuses on the evolution of career and technical education (CTE) to promote student transition by coupling more rigorous academic preparation with CTE programs. ...
This chapter examines recent attempts to promote students’ transitions into post-secondary education. In particular, it focuses on the evolution of career and technical education (CTE) to promote student transition by coupling more rigorous academic preparation with CTE programs.
Read Full Excerpt

The relation of high school career and work oriented education to postsecondary employment and college performance: A six-year longitudinal study of public high school graduates

The employment and college enrollment history of high school graduates (N = 4,476) of a large, suburban school district was examined, with particular interest in how the post-secondary employment and school of graduates who had completed a career-and work-oriented secondary educational program (N = 399) compared with that of other graduates (N=4,476). Overall, program participants fared better on many employment outcomes than non-program participants, and as well as non-p...
The employment and college enrollment history of high school graduates (N = 4,476) of a large, suburban school district was examined, with particular interest in how the post-secondary employment and school of graduates who had completed a career-and work-oriented secondary educational program (N = 399) compared with that of other graduates (N=4,476). Overall, program participants fared better on many employment outcomes than non-program participants, and as well as non-program participants on college performance. They worked more quarters and had more continuous employment than non-program participants. Program participants also earned more over the 6-year follow-up and each year from 1994 through 1998. They were also less likely to be employed in areas traditionally considered short-term or temporary in their first jobs than were non-program graduates,and more were employed in trades than were non-program participants. Finally, program participants performed nearly the same on college outcomes as did non-program participants. Results call for adjusting thinking about the benefits of career-and work-oriented secondary education for all students, whether their post-secondary plans are to enroll in college or to enter employment.
Read Full Excerpt

The effects of student-faculty interaction in the 1990s

Kuh, G.D., & Hu, S. (2001). The effects of student-faculty interaction in the 1990s. The Review of Higher Education, 24, 309-332.

Educators at all levels believe that frequent, meaningful interactions between students and their teachers are important to learning and personal development. The higher education literature almost unequivocally extols the virtues of student-faculty contact (e.g., Astin, 1977, 1985, 1993; Bean, 1985; Bean & Kuh, 1984; Feldman & Newcomb, 1969; Kuh, Schuh, Whitt & Associates, 1991; Lamport, 1993; Pascarella, 1985; Pascarella & Terenzini, 1976, 1979, 1981; Tinto, 1993; Wilson et al....
Educators at all levels believe that frequent, meaningful interactions between students and their teachers are important to learning and personal development. The higher education literature almost unequivocally extols the virtues of student-faculty contact (e.g., Astin, 1977, 1985, 1993; Bean, 1985; Bean & Kuh, 1984; Feldman & Newcomb, 1969; Kuh, Schuh, Whitt & Associates, 1991; Lamport, 1993; Pascarella, 1985; Pascarella & Terenzini, 1976, 1979, 1981; Tinto, 1993; Wilson et al., 1975). In general, the more contact between students and faculty both inside and outside the classroom, the greater the student development and satisfaction (Astin, 1993). Some colleges and universities offer incentives to promote this interaction, such as making available small amounts of money to underwrite expenses if faculty members will entertain students in their homes or attend cultural events on campus with groups of students. Social contacts alone are not likely to have the desired influence however. That is, it is both the frequency and nature of student-faculty interaction combined that have the greatest impact, such as when interactions have an intellectual or substantive focus (e.g., career plans) as contrasted with an exclusively social exchange (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991). This finding has generated interest in creating living-learning centers on campus and developing different forms of learning communities where faculty members are more likely to interact with their students about topics presented in their courses. As a result, the amount of student-faculty contact will presumably increase, positively affecting both learning outcomes and student satisfaction.
Read Full Excerpt

Popular but unstable: Explaining why state performance funding systems in the United States often do not persist

Dougherty, K.J., Natow, R.S., & Vega, B.E. (2012). Popular but unstable: Explaining why state performance funding systems in the United States often do not persist. Teachers College Record 114 (3), 1-41.

Using a comparative case-study approach, this study examines the factors that have led many states to drop performance funding for higher education. The authors find that a major cause of performance funding’s demise was opposition from higher education institutions. A significant source of this opposition was the downturn in state finances in the early 2000s, which led institutions to focus on preserving their core state funding and giving up performance funding. They also found that higher e...
Using a comparative case-study approach, this study examines the factors that have led many states to drop performance funding for higher education. The authors find that a major cause of performance funding’s demise was opposition from higher education institutions. A significant source of this opposition was the downturn in state finances in the early 2000s, which led institutions to focus on preserving their core state funding and giving up performance funding. They also found that higher education opposition was stimulated by a perception of inadequate consultation with higher education institutions, use of performance indicators that institutions found invalid, high implementation costs to institutions, and erosion of campus autonomy. Higher education opposition was also provoked if performance funding took the form of not adding to existing state funding but instead holding back a portion of the state appropriation and requiring institutions to earn it back through improved performance. The study contrasted the experiences of three states that dropped performance funding in whole or in part (Missouri, Washington, and Florida) and a fourth (Tennessee) that has retained it for more than 30 years. The analysis was based on documentary records and extensive interviews with higher education officials, legislators and staff, governors and advisors, business leaders, minority group leaders, researchers, and outside consultants. Possible implications of these findings are that if state leaders are to create a sustainable basis for state performance funding, they must find ways to insulate funding from the ups and downs of the state revenue cycle, better secure the support of public institutions (by including institutional leaders early on in the design phase), and expand its breadth of political support by reaching out to such sectors as business and non-profit groups.
Read Full Excerpt

Accountability in Higher Education: Exploring Impacts on State Budgets and Institutional Spending Patterns.

Rabovsky, T. M. (2012). Accountability in Higher Education: Exploring Impacts on State Budgets and Institutional Spending Patterns. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory.doi:10.1093/jopart/mur069

This study asks: to what extent has state performance funding for higher education been an effective tool for restructuring financial incentives and exerting influence over administrative behavior? Using multiple years of data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, among other sources, and sophisticated statistical techniques, the authors finds that performance funding policies have not had substantial ...
This study asks: to what extent has state performance funding for higher education been an effective tool for restructuring financial incentives and exerting influence over administrative behavior? Using multiple years of data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, among other sources, and sophisticated statistical techniques, the authors finds that performance funding policies have not had substantial impacts on state budgets but that they have had some limited impact on institutional spending priorities. Additionally, the author found that the effects on institutional spending were more pronounced within public research universities than other public colleges. The author specifically examines two related research questions:  first, does performance funding make state appropriations more outcome-oriented?  To answer this question, the author explored the relationship between state appropriations and a number of factors, including various performance measures and the impact of those performance measures in instances where states utilized a performance funding program. The author found almost no difference between states with performance funding and those without, indicating that performance funding does not have the desired effect on state appropriations. Second, the author examined whether performance funding policies influence university spending priorities. To do this the author examined the impact the existence of a state performance funding program (along with a number of control variables) had on the percentage of institutional spending  devoted to research and the percentage devoted to instruction. The author found that the existence of a state performance funding program was indeed associated with institutions spending less on research and more on instruction; however, the effect size was relatively small. The impact was slightly greater among research universities. While the estimated impact was small in magnitude, this study does demonstrate that performance funding has impacted institutional spending priorities. This is surprising, as performance funding was not shown to impact state appropriations to those institutions. This implies that institutions are responding to the existence of those programs, despite the fact that they were not demonstrated to significantly impact funding.  This is a finding that certainly warrants further examination.  Further, it is possible that if state performance funding programs actually significantly altered state expenditures to institutions that those programs would have an even larger impact on institutional spending priorities and other behaviors. Accountability in Higher Education:Exploring Impacts on State Budgets andInstitutional Spending PatternsThomas M. RabovskyUniversity of OklahomaABSTRACTIn recent years, performance-based accountability regimes have become increasingly prevalent throughout government. One area where this has received considerable attention in recent years is higher education, where many states have adopted funding policies that seek to tie institutional funding to objective measures of performance. To what extent have these policies been effective tools for restructuring financial incentives and exerting influence over administrative behavior? Using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, this article finds that performance-funding policies have not had substantial impacts on state budgets but that they have had some limited influence oninstitutional spending priorities. Furthermore, effects on institutional spending were found to be greater on public research universities than other public colleges.Research on the increased use of performance information in the public sector has been a dominant theme in the management literature over the past decade and a half. Proponents argue that performance-based accountability structures make it easier for political leadersand the general public to evaluate public agency outputs and to impose sanctions when agencies fail to produce desired results. Critics claim such policies are often short sighted, blind to the practical realities that many public managers deal with, and are implemented in ways that distort agency missions and result in unintended consequences that negatively impact service delivery. Implicit in this debate is the assumption that performance-basedmechanisms of accountability will, in some way, reform state budgets and change service delivery.One area where this discussion has become salient is higher education. In recent years, there have been several initiatives, at both the state and the federal levels, to directly link performance to funding (Aldeman and Carey 2009; Burke 2002; Zumeta 2001). Although there have been a few attempts to uncover the impacts associated with these higher education performance-funding policies (Volkwein and Tandberg 2008), our knowledge about them has thus far largely been based on anecdotal evidence and limited case studies (Banta, The author would like to thank Joseph Ripberger, Alisa Hicklin Fryar, Matthew Nowlin, Thaddieus Conner, and theanonymous referees for their helpful comments on the manuscript. Address correspondence to the author at trabovsky@ou.edu.doi:10.1093/jopart/mur069 ª The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Inc. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.comJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory Advance Access published February 29, 2012 Rudolph, Dyke, and Fisher 1996; Doyle and Noland 2006; Sanford and Hunter 2010). Assuch, there remain serious gaps in our empirical knowledge about the extent to which these policies are having substantive impacts on budgetary processes at the state level and on service delivery at the organizational level. This article uses institutional-level data frompublic colleges and universities in all 50 states to determine whether the adoption of performance-funding policies corresponds with a better link between student outcomes (graduation rates, retention, and bachelor’s degrees produced) and state appropriations andwhether these policies have any noticeable effects on the way that public universities prioritize activities related to research and instruction.ACCOUNTABILITY AND THE PERFORMANCE MOVEMENTCritics have long complained that public organizations tend to be inefficient and unresponsive to external stakeholder groups relative to their private counterparts (Chubb and Moe 1990; Osborne and Gaebler 1992; Wilson 1989). Many observers blame this apparentdysfunction on the prevalence of incrementalism in the budgetary process and argue that reform efforts aimed at greater utilization of information regarding organizational performance can make budgets less political and more merit based, which will in turn boost costefficiency gains within the public sector (Moynihan 2008; Radin 2006). By rewarding organizations that perform well and sanctioning those that perform poorly, policymakers can provide strong incentives for public agencies to reduce or eliminate wasteful activities and to employ entrepreneurial strategies in developing new technologies and methods to improve service delivery. Furthermore, by holding public agencies accountable for performance, policymakers are able to get more ‘‘bang for the buck’’ by spending less money on programs that do not work and more on those that do. Although performance budgeting has become ubiquitous at all levels of government in America over the last 15 years (Kettl 2000; Melkers and Willoughby 1998; Moynihan 2008), empirical research has generally found only limited evidence that performance information has a meaningful impact on budget decisions, particularly at the state and federal levels of government (Gilmour and Lewis 2006a, 2006b; Joyce 1999; Long and Franklin 2004; Moynihan 2008; Radin 2000). Why have policymakers been so apt to adopt performance mechanisms if they do not use the information that these systems generate?Moynihan (2008) argues that performance policies are often symbolic in nature and that many times there is little commitment to true reform on the part of political actors.Even if reform efforts represent a sincere effort to change government, there are several factors that can limit the influence of performance information in the budgetary process. As Moynihan (2008) highlights, performance information is rarely, if ever, usedin a completely neutral or rational way. Performance must be given meaning by human decision makers, which makes it inherently political and subjective. For instance, there is often times significant disagreement within the policy community about the legitimacyof various indicators. This inhibits information use because many actors view the data that performance regimes generate with distrust and are thus unlikely to engage in meaningful learning (Moynihan 2008; Radin 2006). Second, as both Gilmour and Lewis (2006b) and Moynihan (2008) point out, it can be unclear whether poor performance should be met with reduced or increased funding. Some observers may interpret poor performance as evidence that an organization needs additionalresources in order to accomplish important tasks and thus push for more funding. For 2 Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory example, many critics of K-12 accountability policies, such as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), contend that these regimes are likely to create negative feedback loops that make it virtually impossible for schools serving vulnerable and at-risk populations to close achievement gaps or improve student outcomes (Neill 2003).Finally, given the potential for budgetary reforms to create new sets of winners and losers, it is reasonable to expect that affected agencies will seek to influence policy design in a way that protects their interests (Moynihan 2008). As such, organizations with resource advantages, particularly in terms of political influence, are more likely to secure performance regimes that emphasize indicators they will score satisfactorily on, and as a result, performance budgeting would be unlikely to dramatically change the funding landscape.Regardless of their impact on budgetary actors, performance-funding policies ultimately aim to influence public sector service delivery. Proponents argue that public administrators will react to performance-based incentives by adopting management strategies that increase efficiency and improve performance. Furthermore, some argue that performance-based systems, when properly designed and implemented, have the potential to promote organizational learning by helping managers to identify problems and to more systematically assess the strengths and weaknesses of programs (Behn 2003; Moynihan 2008).Critics, however, warn that performance systems, particularly when they are imposed in a top-down manner with little differentiation to account for important variation in terms of task difficulty or resource availability, can lead to perverse incentives that harm client populations (Radin 2006; Smith 1990). In some cases, administrators may respond to unrealistic accountability requirements by ‘‘gaming the system’’ to manipulate data such that indicators are no longer valid measures of performance (Booher-Jennings 2005; Figlio and Getzler 2002; Heilig and Darling-Hammond 2008; Jacob 2005; Jacob and Levitt 2003). In other cases, administrators focus more heavily on tasks that boost scores in the short term, at the expense of developing a long-term strategic plan to improve outcomes (Abernathy 2007). Finally, administrators may react to performance regimes they perceive as illegitimate and unreasonable by adopting a strategy of resistance where they change little, ifanything in terms of service delivery, and then attempt to undermine or marginalize the role of performance information in program assessment (Radin 2006). Since many performance reform efforts have historically proven to be short lived and primarily symbolic innature, public managers often rightly perceive that they can simply wait things out without exerting much time or energy to redesign program activities.PERFORMANCE FUNDING IN HIGHER EDUCATIONWithin the area of higher education, performance-based accountability has become an area of significant attention in the past decade (Huisman and Currie 2004; King 2007; McLendon, Hearn, and Deaton 2006). In an era that has seen tuition rates skyrocketand increased pressure from the international arena, American universities have struggled to satisfy demands for improved performance. According to the most recent data, the average public college in America graduates less than 60% of its students and graduation rates for many minority groups are much lower than that (Carey 2008). This has caused many to call for major reforms that make institutions of higher learning more accountable for student outcomes (Aldeman and Carey 2009; Casper and Henry 2001; Kelly, Schneider, and Carey 2010; Liefner 2003). Rabovsky Accountability in Higher Education Starting in the late 1990s, Joseph Burke began surveying state higher education officials to better understand the landscape of accountability in higher education (Burke 2002). In doing so, he developed a three-tiered classification of accountability policies. At the lowest level, Burke classified states as having performance reporting policies. These states gather data on student outcomes, but there is no substantial link between school performance and funding decisions. Performance budgeting policies are those where the state collects performance data and the legislature/funding agency considers it when crafting the budget but where there are no formally specified benchmarks that result in automatic increases/decreases in financial support. The strongest accountability policies, termed performance funding, are those where some portion (often times a small percentage) of institutional funding is directly linked to the achievement of performance indicators (Burke 2002).Within this classification, performance-funding policies have been the most controversial. Those in favor of performance funding lament the lack of external pressure on institutions to improve student outcomes and have emphasized the importance of using outcome measures to incentivize improved institutional performance (Aldeman and Carey2009; Burke and Minassians 2003; Kelly, Schneider, and Carey 2010). On the other hand, some have pointed out that performance funding could potentially result in a narrow focus on a small number of indicators, which could cause institutions to dilute the quality ofeducation via grade inflation in order to improve their scores (and thus their budgets) (Hunt 2008; Wellman 2001; Zumeta 2001).Performance-funding policies spread rapidly during the late 1990s and early 2000s, but experienced a lull starting in the mid-2000s. The motivations behind adopting these policies have been traced to several key factors. McLendon, Hearn, and Deaton (2006) find thatmany of the factors that made New Public Management reforms successful in other policy areas and the adoption of accountability mechanisms in K-12 education (particularly with regards to NCLB) helped contribute to the adoption of performance-funding policies inmany states.Despite their popularity during the last decade, performance-funding policies have also proven to be somewhat unstable, with several states quickly abandoning these policies soon after they were adopted (Dougherty, Natow, and Blanca forthcoming). Many statesadopted policies that only tied bonus money directly to performance, and thus, fiscal constraints caused by economic recessions eliminated the funding base from which performance money was drawn (Burke and Minassians 2003; Dougherty and Natow 2009).Other causes of declining popularity of performance funding include a lack of support from the higher education community, lackluster involvement of the private sector and business leaders, and political turnover that replaced former champions of performance fundingwith new leaders that were not interested in maintaining a long-term commitment to these policies (Dougherty and Natow 2009).During the last 2 years, however, performance funding has resurged as a prominent reform proposal. In 2009, Complete College America, a nonprofit advocacy organization, formed andbegan to lobby state governments to adopt a series of higher education reforms. These efforts focused on reorganizing governance structures, improving remediation, and increasing the role of performance data in budgeting and strategic planning activities (Complete College America 2010a). As of November 2010, 24 states have pledged to incorporate core principles from the Complete College America agenda, which includes a strong push toward performance funding, into their public systems of higher education (Complete College America 2010b).Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory This article empirically examines two aspects of the debate about performance funding in higher education that have currently received little attention in the literature. First, how effective have performance-funding policies been at reforming state budgets? Underlying the causal logic behind performance funding is the belief that organizations will respond to changes in the funding environment by adopting new strategies and techniques to improve performance. If this assumption is correct, then performance-funding policiesmust have a meaningful impact on the level of support that institutions receive from state governments, not of other influences (such as the health of the economy or other factors that limit the amount of money that states have to spend on higher education). This article explores whether the adoption of performance funding strengthens the link between student outcomes and state appropriations, as proponents suggest, or whether these policies have been more symbolic with regards to budgetary impacts.Second, this article seeks to understand whether stronger accountability mechanisms influence the way that institutions allocate resources. In recent years, many universities have sought to expand their capacity to conduct research, partly because doing so increasestheir ability to secure attractive funding but also because research output is often times associated with higher levels of prestige and reputation (Archibald and Feldman 2008; Gansemer-Topf and Schuh 2006; Grunig 1997; Robst 2001; Ryan 2004). Those concerned about student outcomes and cost containment, however, argue that overly focusing on research at the expense of instructional activities is problematic because often times these research endeavors do not actively involve or affect undergraduate education (Weisbrod, Ballou, and Asch 2008). Thus, some see research as a distraction that public institutions, particularly those with low student achievement, should focus on less heavily. If accountability policies are successful in altering the focus of institutions away from certain activities (such as research) and toward others (such as instruction), then we ought to observe differences in university expenditures on these activities when comparing schools in states with funding policies versus those in states without them.The causal logic that underlies performance accountability mechanisms (figure 1) implies that incentives will be restructured in a way that results in changes in management that are geared toward improving performance with respect to client outcomes. Unfortunately, much of the research that examines the impacts of these policies, particularly in the area of higher education, skips the intermediate links in the causal chain and focuses exclusively onwhether the adoption of performance policies result in improved student success. As a result, we have some limited information about whether accountability policies were successful in bringing about improved performance (Volkwein and Tandberg 2008), but we havevery limited systematic analysis that can tell us why (or why not). If we are to understand anything about why these policies work or do not work, we must begin by understanding whether they are successful in changing the incentive structures that public managers face.If they are unsuccessful in doing so, then the causal logic of performance management breaks down and the desired impacts are unlikely to be realized. Causal Logic of Performance Funding PoliciesRabovsky Accountability in Higher Education 5DATAThe empirical component of this article proceeds in two stages. In stage one, I examine the link between performance information and the amount of money that public universities receive from state governments. In stage two, I explore the impact of performance-funding policies on institutional behavior. In both stages, I rely on data that are publicly reported in the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) for institutional indicators.STATE POLICIES FOR PERFORMANCE FUNDINGIn keeping with Burke’s framework, I define states as having adopted a performancefunding policy if they directly and formulaically tie state appropriations to institutional performance with respect to student outcomes. In order to identify which states have adopted performance-funding policies (and when these policies were adopted), I consulted a variety of sources, including reports by academics and policy think tanks (Aldeman and Carey 2009; Burke and Serban 1998; Dougherty et al. 2010) and source documents from state governments. Because I am interested in the effect that these policies have on appropriations, I code policies as starting when they are first funded, rather than when the legislature,governor, or coordinating board adopted a plan to implement performance funding at some point in the future. In a few instances, there were conflicts between some of my sources regarding the content and adoption dates for performance-funding policies; in thesecases, I contacted staff members from the state agency responsible for higher education policy to inform coding decisions. Information about the adoption dates and content of these policies is listed in table 1.Although the content of performance-funding policies varies significantly across the states, there are also a number of notable trends. The most common indicator that states use in measuring performance is graduation rates (15 of 20 policies), followed by retention (9), student outcomes for minority or low-income students (6), number of degrees produced (5), various measures of cost efficiency (5), research productivity and external funding forresearch (5), student or faculty diversity (4), and student pass rates on exit exams, licensure tests, or national learning assessment exams (4). These findings are generally consistent with earlier studies of performance-funding indicators (Burke 2001).STAGE ONE—DOES PERFORMANCE FUNDING MAKE APPROPRIATIONS MOREOUTCOME ORIENTED?In stage one, the amount of money that a university received in state appropriations, measuredin constant dollars, is the dependent variable. Traditionally, higher education hasbeen financed primarily in terms of inputs, such as the number of students enrolled orthe number of credit hours that students take, so I include several independent variablesthat measure inputs in my stage one model. First, I include measures for the number ofundergraduate and graduate students enrolled at the university, with the expectation thateach will be positively related to state appropriations. I also include several indicators forat-risk or vulnerable student populations, such as traditionally underrepresented racial minoritiesor students from low-income socioeconomic backgrounds. These include percentageof students who are black, percentage of students who are Hispanic, and the percentageof students who receive federal grant aid, which I employ as a measure for low income.6 Journal of Public Administration Research and TheoryTable 1Summary of Performance-Funding Policies and Performance IndicatorsState Years Policy Was in Effect Performance IndicatorsArkansas 1994–1996 (first funded in 1995) Graduation rates, retention, minority graduation rates, minority retention, licensure passrates, exit exams, administrative costs, faculty teaching load, student body diversity,faculty diversity, alumni, and employer surveysArkansas 2008–Present Number credit hours enrolled at the beginning of the term, number of coursecompletionsColorado 1993–Present (first funded in 1994) Graduation rates, retention, minority student success, pass rates of graduates ontechnical exams, institutional support/administrative expenditures per full-timestudent, class size, number of credits required for degree, faculty instructionalworkload, and two institution-specific measuresIndiana 2007–Present Graduation rates, bachelor’s degrees produced, degree completion for low-incomestudents, research productivityKansas 1999–Present Indicators are specific to each institution (and are largely selected by the institutions),includes things such as graduation rates, retention, student body diversity, graduates’scores on learning assessment exams, minority student outcomes, participation instudy abroad programs, faculty credentials, and external research grantsKentucky 1996–1997 Graduation rates, retentionKentucky 2007 (suspended after1 year due to budget cuts)Degree production per full-time equivalent student, minority student degree production,one indicator of choice(includes graduation rates, student learning assessments, transfer credits, and otherindicators)Louisiana 2008–Present Number of degree completers, minority student degree completers, number ofcompleters in science, technology, engineering, and math fieldsMinnesota 1995–1997 (first funded in 1996) Graduation rates, retention, ranking of incoming freshmen, minority student enrollmentMissouri 1991–2002 (first funded in 1993) Graduation rates, bachelor’s degrees produced, bachelor’s degrees produced forminority students, scores of graduates on national examsNew Jersey 1999–2002 Graduation rates, cost efficiency, and diversification of revenuesNew Mexico 2005–Present (first funded in 2007) Graduation rates, retention, and research productivity (for research universities only)Continued7Table 1 (continued)Summary of Performance-Funding Policies and Performance IndicatorsState Years Policy Was in Effect Performance IndicatorsOhio 1998–Present Primarily focused on external research grants awarded and tuition, but also containsindicators for time to degree, and degree completion among at-risk studentsOklahoma 1997–Present (suspended for 1 yearin 2001 due to lack of funds)Graduation rates and retentionPennsylvania(PennsylvaniaState System ofHigherEducation only)2000–Present Indicators broken into four categories: (1) student achievement and success,(2) university and system excellence, (3) commonwealth service, (4) resourcedevelopment and stewardship. Indicators include graduation rates, retention,bachelor’s degrees awarded, faculty diversity, faculty productivity, student to facultyratio, and cost per FTE studentSouth Carolina 1996–2004 Total of 37 indicators, broken into nine categories: (1) graduate’s achievements,(2) quality of faculty, (3) instructional quality, (4) institutional cooperation andcollaboration, (5) administrative efficiency, (6) entrance requirements, (7) missionfocus, (8) user friendliness, and (9) research funding. Indicators include graduationrates, faculty teaching and research credentials, student to teacher ratios,administrative cost efficiency, SAT/ACT scores of entering freshmen, and externalresearch grants awardedTennessee 1979–Present Several indicators separated into four major categories: (1) student learning and access,(2) student, alumni, and employer surveys, (3) Achievement of state master planpriorities, and (4) assessment outcomes. Indicators and benchmarks are updated andrevised on 5-year cycles. Graduation rates, retention, minority student enrollment,and scores on learning assessment tests are generally among the major indicatorsTexas 1999–2003 Number of students defined as unprepared for college who successfully completeremedial courseworkVirginia 2005–Present Retention, access for underprivileged populations, tuition, external research grants,contribution to economic developmentWashington 1997–1998 Graduation rates, retention, undergraduate efficiency (ratio of credits taken to creditsneeded to graduate), faculty productivity, plus one unique indicator for eachuniversity8In addition to these input measures, I also include a number of variables that focus on researchproductivity (measured by the amount of money that the institution received ingrants and contracts), selectivity (as measured by Barron’s selector rating1), and statewidesupport of higher education (total state spending on higher education per full-time equivalentstudent). Aside from selectivity, all these measures, in addition to the dependent variable,are reported by the IPEDS, and I have valid data for years spanning from 1998 to 2009.Because I am interested in the impact that these measures have on state budgets and becausethere is often a delay between when this information is collected versus when it is reportedpublicly, I have lagged all the independent variables by 1 year (and my dataset thus spansthe 1999–2009 time period). Descriptive statistics for stage one are listed in table 2.I also employ several variables that measure university performance with respect tostudent outcomes. First, I include the 6-year (150% of normal time) graduation rate. Thisvariable is constructed by taking the revised cohort (removing students who die, aredeployed for military service, are part time, etc.) and counting the number of studentswho earned a degree within 6 years of entering college. For example, graduation ratesfor 2009 indicate the percentage of students who entered as first time full-time freshmenin the fall of 2003 that had earned a degree by the fall of 2009. Though not a perfect measureof performance, graduation rates have become an increasingly popular indicator amongthose who advocate the need for performance funding and is the metric most often usedin these accountability policies. I have valid data for this measure for the 1991–2003cohorts. As with the other independent variables, I have lagged this measure 1 year fromwhen the cohort graduated (or 7 years from when students enrolled as freshmen).Table 2Summary Statistics (Stage One)MeanStandardDeviation Minimum MaximumState appropriations (in $ millions) 101.8 114.5 3.11 696.0State higher education spending per full-time equivalentstudent (constant $1,000s)6.83 1.44 2.95 13.7Noncompetitive (Barron’s) 0.091 0.29 0 1Less competitive (Barron’s) 0.17 0.38 0 1Competitive (Barron’s) 0.48 0.50 0 1Very competitive (Barron’s) 0.19 0.39 0 1Highly competitive (Barron’s) 0.06 0.24 0 1Most competitive (Barron’s) 0.012 0.11 0 1Gifts, grants, and contracts per enrollment (constant $1,000s) 6.77 8.01 0.59 71.5Undergraduate enrollment (1,000s) 11.2 7.87 0.77 53.3Graduate enrollment (1,000s) 2.60 2.64 0 15.0Percent receiving federal aid 31.1 14.8 2 90Percent black students 12.7 19.3 0.14 97.8Percent Hispanic students 6.25 10.6 0 88.5Graduation rates (latest available information) 46.9 16.0 2.53 100Retention rate 74.3 10.2 16 97Bachelor’s degrees produced per enrollment 0.17 0.043 0.023 0.30Performance funding 0.21 0.41 0 11 Barron’s selector rating is based on a combination of SAT/ACT scores and the percentage of applicants who areaccepted. It ranges from noncompetitive to most competitive.Rabovsky Accountability in Higher Education 9In addition to graduation rates, I also include measures for 1-year student retention (thepercentage of students who return for their sophomore year) and bachelor’s degreesawarded per enrollment, as these are other popular indicators that states employ to trackstudent outcomes. As was the case with graduation rates, these variables are lagged 1 year.Because these three variables are strongly correlated with one another and because theyears for which I have valid data for each of them differ (IPEDS did not begin collectingretention rates until 2003), I run separate models for each, in addition to a combined modelwith all of them included (figure 2).Finally, while I include a measure for whether or not a state had a performancefundingpolicy, this variable is, taken on its own, relatively meaningless given the otherindependent variables that are included in the model. Instead, I am primarily interested ininteraction terms for this variable and various measures of performance. If performancefundingpolicies are effective at causing university appropriations to be based more onstudent outcomes and less on inputs, then the coefficient for the interaction betweenperformance funding and the outcome variables (graduation rates, retention, and degreeproduction) will be positive and statistically significant, whereas the interactions of performancefunding and the two enrollment indicators will be negative and statisticallysignificant. Furthermore, although most performance-funding policies are primarily drivenby a concern about student outcomes, some states have also used measures of studentdiversity, selectivity, and research productivity as dimensions of performance thatFigure 2Correlation Matrix for Stage One10 Journal of Public Administration Research and Theoryinstitutions are rewarded for improving, so I also include interactions for performancefunding with these variables.My dataset includes all public 4-year degree-granting institutions with a Carnegieclassification of bachelor’s or higher (excluding military academies and universities locatedin Washington, DC), with data from multiple years for each university. When dealing withdata that have both cross-sectional and time-series components such as these, one must becareful to address potential problems with serial autocorrelation and heteroskedasticitybetween panels (Greene 2003; Wooldridge 2002). Thus, in both stages, I follow theadvice of Beck and Katz (1995) and employ panel-corrected standard errors (PCSEs) withpanel-specific corrections for AR1 autocorrelation.The stage one model can be written as:Yit5a1ßStateSpendingst1ßSelectivityit11ßResearchit11ßUndergradit11ßGraduateit11ßPercBlackit11ßPercHispanicit11ßPercAidit11ßGradRateit11ßRetentionit11ßDegreesit11ßPFundingit1ßPFunding Performanceit11eit;where Yit is the amount of funding that an institution received in appropriations at time t, ais the constant, StateSpendingst is the amount of money that a state appropriated for highereducation in year t, Selectivityit-1 is a set of variables to reflect institutionalcompetitiveness, PFunding Performance represents a vector for the interaction termsfor performance funding and each dimension of performance, and eit is the error term.STAGE ONE—FINDINGSFigure 3 provides an exploratory look at the variation that exists among the states when itcomes to the relationship between funding and performance. Each dot represents an individualinstitution within a given state, and the lines show bivariate regression slopes ofgraduation rates on state appropriations. Observations in years where states have adoptedperformance funding are gray, whereas those in years without performance funding areblack. Although one should be cautious about drawing overly strong conclusions from thisdisplay alone, particularly given the lack of controls for confounding variables, there doesnot seem to be a very strong pattern in terms of performance-funding states having markedlycloser connections between student outcomes (at least in terms of graduation rates) andappropriations. Furthermore, in many cases where states had a policy for some of the yearsbut not all of them, there appears to be almost no difference in the strength of the relationshipbetween performance and institutional funding. With this in mind, I now turn to moresophisticated multivariate analysis of my stage one model in order to better understand thefactors that shape state appropriations.Results for stage one are listed in table 3, and there are several important findings. Asstated earlier, I ran four models in total (one for each student outcome variable separatelyand one combined model with all the outcome variables). In terms of the nonstudent outcome-related variables, the findings are generally consistent across all four models; however,because these models incorporate different time spans and because some of thestudent outcome variables are highly correlated with each other, some of the effects inthe first three models are no longer statistically significant in model 4.First, in terms of performance information, there is a positive and statistically significantrelationship between the latest information on each measure of student outcomes andRabovsky Accountability in Higher Education 11state appropriations (though for retention, this effect does not persist in the combinedmodel). Note that because of the interaction terms, these values represent the relationshipbetween various metrics of performance and appropriations in states that do not haveperformance-funding policies. Given the extent to which proponents of performance fundingbemoan the lack of incentives for improving student outcomes, this point is quite meaningfulfor substantive debates regarding the need for dramatic reforms in funding mechanismsfor public universities. Even in states without performance funding, there is a positive andstatistically significant relationship between performance information regarding studentoutcomes and institutional funding.Second, as expected, highly productive research universities and selective institutionsreceive considerably more in state appropriations than their peers. With regard to enrollments,both undergraduate and graduate enrollments are positively related to the amount ofmoney that institutions receive from state governments. For undergraduate enrollments, theeffect ranges from $7.0 million to $7.5 million per each additional 1,000 students, whereasa similar increase in the number of graduate students yields an expected increase of $7.7million to $8.7 million. With respect to disadvantaged student populations, the relationshipsbetween both the percentage of students who are black and the percentage of studentswho are Hispanic and state appropriations are negative and statistically significant in allfour models. Every 1% increase in black students is associated with $98,000–$132,000 lessin state appropriations, whereas a similar increase in the percentage of Hispanic studentsyields an expected $583,000–$721,000 drop in state support. For percentage of studentsFigure 3Exploring the Relationship between Performance and Funding by State12 Journal of Public Administration Research and TheoryTable 3Stage One Results (Dependent Variable, State Appropriations, in Constant $ Millions)(1) (2) (3) (4)State higher education spending per full-time equivalent student (constant $1,000s) 9.159*** 10.479*** 9.264*** 10.179***(0.44) (0.69) (0.45) (0.60)Undergraduate enrollment (1,000s) 7.382*** 7.315*** 7.519*** 7.004***(0.34) (0.38) (0.36) (0.37)Graduate enrollment (1,000s) 8.666*** 7.542*** 8.601*** 7.703***(0.96) (1.12) (1.02) (1.05)Less competitive (Barron’s) 1.526 5.285** 1.611 1.970(1.60) (2.01) (1.55) (2.04)Competitive (Barron’s) 23.821* 22.119 22.472 25.253*(1.69) (2.15) (1.58) (2.32)Very competitive (Barron’s) 6.069* 6.715* 7.421** 2.247(2.67) (3.28) (2.45) (3.36)Highly competitive (Barron’s) 13.632** 7.898 15.309*** 2.704(4.93) (6.28) (4.63) (6.15)Most competitive (Barron’s) 54.003** 79.143*** 59.715*** 70.847***(18.67) (19.37) (17.65) (19.55)Gifts, grants, and contracts per enrollment (constant $1,000s) 4.721*** 5.072*** 4.781*** 4.918***(0.28) (0.34) (0.26) (0.34)Percent receiving federal aid 0.090* 0.110* 0.084* 0.198***(0.04) (0.05) (0.04) (0.05)Percent black students 20.121*** 20.132*** 20.104*** 20.098**(0.03) (0.04) (0.03) (0.03)Percent Hispanic students 20.583*** 20.721*** 20.667*** 20.695***(0.06) (0.07) (0.06) (0.07)Graduation rates (latest available information) 0.365*** — — 0.257***(0.06) — — (0.07)Retention rate — 0.229** 20.037— (0.07) (0.06)Bachelor’s degrees produced per enrollment — — 131.567*** 125.882***Continued13Table 3 (continued)Stage One Results (Dependent Variable, State Appropriations, in Constant $ Millions)(1) (2) (3) (4)— — (18.36) (17.63)Performance funding 8.5741 8.107 9.9841 8.176(4.49) (10.59) (5.96) (9.95)Performance funding undergraduate enrollment 1.322*** 1.183* 1.331*** 0.9711(0.38) (0.50) (0.39) (0.50)Performance funding graduate enrollment 22.5061 22.093 22.4971 21.790(1.28) (1.86) (1.34) (1.89)Performance funding gifts, grants, and contracts 21.115* 21.3721 21.235** 21.195(0.48) (0.70) (0.46) (0.73)Performance funding less competitive 1.918 3.798 1.646 2.335(2.56) (2.98) (2.51) (3.02)Performance funding competitive 7.332** 10.393** 5.3441 9.139**(2.82) (3.28) (2.78) (3.45)Performance funding very competitive 4.274 3.034 1.538 5.447(4.39) (4.81) (4.37) (4.86)Performance funding highly competitive 25.417 28.895 28.905 20.061(7.69) (10.89) (7.72) (10.27)Performance funding most competitive 222.411 271.766* 220.922 275.237*(27.99) (32.13) (25.72) (33.36)Performance funding percent receiving federal aid 20.134* 20.096 20.128* 20.185*(0.05) (0.08) (0.05) (0.08)Performance funding percent black 0.172*** 0.088 0.177*** 0.092(0.05) (0.06) (0.05) (0.07)Performance funding percent hispanic 0.226*** 0.248** 0.293*** 0.291***(0.06) (0.08) (0.06) (0.08)Performance funding graduation rate 20.307*** — — 20.2111(0.08) — — (0.12)Performance funding retention rate — 20.186 — 0.046— (0.16) — (0.14)Continued14Table 3 (continued)Stage One Results (Dependent Variable, State Appropriations, in Constant $ Millions)(1) (2) (3) (4)Performance funding degrees per enroll — — 285.386** 231.335— — (32.02) (43.35)Constant 2106.117*** 2119.730*** 2114.520*** 2126.259***(4.93) (6.75) (5.53) (6.88)No. of observations 3,327 2,280 3,386 2,273No. of universities 423 398 425 397Years covered 1999–2009 2003–2009 1999–2009 2003–2009Wald x2 4,168.83*** 4,791.36*** 4,085.96*** 5,641.07***R2 0.878 0.926 0.883 0.935Note: PCSEs in parentheses.1p , .10, *p , .05, **p , .01, ***p , .001.15receiving financial aid, however, the coefficient is positive and statistically significant in allfour models.Turning now to the interaction terms, there are some conflicting results. The interactionfor performance undergraduate enrollment is positive and significant in all fourmodels, whereas the term for performance funding and graduate enrollment is negativestatistically significant in two of the models (models 1 and 3). As expected, this impliesthat states with performance funding actually place greater emphasis on undergraduateenrollments than nonperformance states when allocating resources to public universities.Similarly, the interaction terms for percent black and percent Hispanic are also positive andgenerally significant, which implies that performance-funding states are indeed providingsome rewards to institutions that increase student diversity.With respect to other metrics of performance, however, my findings suggest thatperformance-funding policies have generally been ineffective. First, note that the interactionfor performance funding and research revenues are negative and statistically significantin three of the four models, indicating that many of the states with these policies are lesslikely to reward highly productive research institutions than their peers. With regards toperformance funding and institutional selectivity, there is a positive interaction for schoolsthat are classified as competitive (the midpoint on Barron’s selectivity scale); the effect isreversed with those that are most selective. Finally, the interaction terms for graduationrates, retention, and degree production and performance funding are all either insignificantor significant and negative, which suggests that, contrary to what proponents argue, stateswith performance funding actually have a somewhat weaker link between student outcomesand institutional funding.The negative and statistically significant coefficients for the interactions betweenperformance funding and graduation rates bachelor’s degree production are particularlysurprising given the amount of attention that these policies have received from thosewho favor outcome-based accountability. One possible explanation for this unexpectedresult is that states adopt these policies when they perceive that public revenues are notbeing utilized appropriately but that the policies themselves are ineffective in terms of dramaticallychanging the budget process.Another possibility is that less formal mechanisms may be more powerful in shapingstate budgets. A closer examination of the relationship between state legislators, particularlythose who sit on committees responsible for allocating resources to higher educationand university campuses, may be a useful starting place to gain leverage on this topic. Forexample, McLendon, Hearn, and Mokher (2009) find a positive link between appropriationsto research universities within a state and the number of alumni from these institutionsthat are members of the state legislature. They argue that legislators tend to ‘‘privilege’’institutions that they have close ties to, and it may be the case that performance-fundingpolicies are simply unable to overcome these political biases. Regardless of the reasons fortheir ineffectiveness, it appears that performance-funding policies have not been successfulin transforming state budgets when it comes to higher education.STAGE TWO—DO PERFORMANCE-FUNDING POLICIES INFLUENCE UNIVERSITYPRIORITIES?In stage two, I move from considering the impacts of performance funding on state policymakersto understanding how they influence individual institutions. To do so, I rely on a set16 Journal of Public Administration Research and Theoryof measures that indicate the percentage of education-related expenditures2 that are allocatedto research and instruction. As previously discussed, some observers have argued thatresearch and undergraduate instruction are competing tasks, and many worry that heightenedemphasis on research will have negative impacts for student outcomes. Given the factthat student outcomes (graduation rates in particular) play a central role in virtually everyperformance-funding scheme, one might expect that universities located in performancefundingstates will spend less on research and more on instruction than they otherwisewould. On the other hand, despite much of the strong rhetoric that has often pitted researchagainst instruction, some performance-funding states actually adopted policies that encourageresearch productivity in addition to undergraduate education (though the findingsfrom stage one indicate that they have not effectively done so). This would suggest thatperformance-funding policies might lead institutions to shift more resources to research.Finally, given the multitude of other factors that influence institutional budgets, it may bethe case that performance-funding policies have little to no effect on institutional spendingin either direction. Descriptive statistics for stage two are listed in table 4.I use several independent variables to predict the amount of money that institutionsspend on research and instruction. First, I include measures for both total enrollment and thepercentage of students who are enrolled as undergraduates. Because graduate education isoften geared toward the production of research, with many students working as researchassistants, while undergraduate education is primarily focused on teaching and instruction,I expect that universities with a larger percentage of undergraduate students will expendmore money on instruction and less on research.I also include a set of measures for institutional selectivity (the same Barron’s selectivitymeasure that was employed in stage one) and mission (as measured by CarnegieTable 4Summary Statistics (Stage Two)Mean Standard Deviation Minimum Maximum% Expenditures on research 7.44 10.34 0 74.48% Expenditures on instruction 45.11 8.09 1.55 93.87Noncompetitive (Barron’s) 0.11 0.31 0 1Less competitive (Barron’s) 0.21 0.40 0 1Competitive (Barron’s) 0.46 0.50 0 1Very competitive (Barron’s) 0.15 0.35 0 1Highly competitive (Barron’s) 0.05 0.21 0 1Most competitive (Barron’s) 0.01 0.09 0 1Bachelor’s (Carnegie) 0.23 0.42 0 1Master’s (Carnegie) 0.47 0.50 0 1Research (Carnegie) 0.30 0.46 0 1Total enrollment (1,000s) 11 9.80 0.18 68.06% Undergraduate 85.19 11.27 0.07 100% Students receiving federal aid 33.94 16.33 0 100% Students who are part time 24 15.72 0.13 96.80% Full-time faculty 65.45 18.24 0.66 100Performance funding 0.15 0.36 0 12 Total education-related expenditures include money allocated to the following activities: instruction, research,academic support, student services, public service, institutional support, and expenditures for scholarships and grants.Rabovsky Accountability in Higher Education 17classification), with the expectation that more selective institutions and those that are classifiedas research universities will spend a larger percentage of their resources on researchactivities, whereas teaching institutions (those classified as either Bachelor’s degree grantingor Master’s degree granting) will spend more on instruction. Furthermore, I includemeasures for the percentage of students who are part time and the percentage who receivefederal aid. Because these students are generally the most vulnerable, in terms of their riskto drop out of school before they complete a degree, I expect that these variables will bepositively related to institutional expenditures on instruction. Finally, in addition to studentdemographics, I also include a measure for the percentage of faculty who are full-timeemployees with 9/10-month equated contracts, with the expectation that a higher percentageof faculty members who are full time will be positively related to research and negativelyrelated to instruction (figure 4).As was the case with stage one, I use PCSEs with panel-specific AR1 terms to correctfor autocorrelation within panels and heteroskedasticity between panels. My stage twomodels can be written as:Yit5a1ßSelectivityit1ßMissionit1ßEnrollmentit1ßPercUndergradit1ßPercAidit1ßPercPartTStudentsit1ßPercFullTFacit1ßPFundingit1eit;where Yit is the percentage of expenditures on instruction or research for an institution attime t, a is the constant term, Selectivityit is a set of variables to reflect institutionalFigure 4Correlation Matrix for Stage Two18 Journal of Public Administration Research and Theorycompetitiveness, Missionit is a vector of variables to reflect Carnegie classification,PFundingit represents a dichotomous variable for whether an institution was subject toa performance-funding policy at time t, and eit is the error term.STAGE TWO—FINDINGSResults for stage two are listed in table 5. Turning first to the percentage of expenditures onresearch, there are a number of interesting findings. As expected, total enrollment is positivelyrelated to the research expenditures, and every 10,000 student increase in total enrollmentis associated with a 0.89 percentage point increase in expenditures on research.Similarly, institutions that are classified as highly or most competitive spend 1.90 and 1.71percentage points more on research than their noncompetitive peers, whereas Research andDoctoral degree-granting universities spend 14.78 percentage points more than those classifiedas baccalaureate colleges. Conversely, the percentage of students who are undergraduatesis negatively related to research spending, and every 10 percentage point increase inundergraduate students yields a 0.77 percentage point decrease in research expenditures.A similar increase in the percentage of students who are part time is associated witha 0.61 percentage point decrease. With regard to the variable of interest, performance fundingis negatively related to research expenditures, and institutions located in states withperformance-funding policies spend 0.34 percentage points less of their educational expenditureson research than they would, all else equal, in nonperformance-funding states.In terms of instructional expenditures, similar patterns emerge. Somewhat surprisingly,competitive and very competitive institutions spend more on instruction than dothose on either end of the selectivity scale. Research and Doctoral degree-granting universitiesspend 4.13 percentage points less on instruction than do other schools, whereas institutionsclassified as Master’s degree granting spend 2.18 percentage points more oninstruction than do Bachelor’s degree only granting schools. Similarly, as the percentageof faculty who are full time and the percentage of students who receive federal financial aidincrease, expenditures on instruction decrease. Finally, performance funding is positivelyrelated to the proportion of expenditures that are allocated to instruction, with institutions inperformance-funding states spending about 0.89 percentage points more on instruction thanthose in nonperformance states, all else equal.Although performance-funding policies appear to work in the desired direction forboth expenditures and instruction, the effects are minimal. In both instances, the differencesbetween institutions with performance funding versus those without are less than 1 percentagepoint. Given the previously discussed findings that indicate little effect of accountabilitypolicies on state budgets (and thus institutional incentives), it is perhaps unsurprisingthat we observe such minimal effects when examining institutional priorities. As state governmentsare increasingly incapable of subsidizing higher education in the same capacity ashas traditionally been the case (Mumper 2003; Weerts and Ronca 2006), public universitieshave come to rely more and more on private sources of revenue (including competition forresearch funding). Nevertheless, given that current performance-funding efforts havelargely been ineffective at reshaping state budgets, the fact that these policies have hadeven minimal impacts on institutional spending is a notable and somewhat surprising finding.These results leave open the potential for these policies to have considerable effects onadministrative behavior if policymakers could more effectively tie larger incentives toinstitutional performance.Rabovsky Accountability in Higher Education 19One important question that remains about the influence of performance-fundingpolicies on institutional behavior is whether or not there are differential impacts. Giventhat large research universities are often times considerably more visible than nonresearchuniversities, one might speculate that performance-funding policies would have a greaterimpact on their priorities. On the other hand, these institutions have greater access to outsiderevenues and are often times portrayed as less reliant on state funding than other institutionsin their state (Ehrenberg 2006). Thus, performance-funding policies on spendingpriorities could also conceivably be less influential for research universities than otherinstitutions.In order to test whether the influence of performance funding was different based oninstitutional mission, I reran the analysis from stage two separately for research institutionsTable 5Stage Two Results% Expenditure on Research % Expenditure on InstructionLess competitive (Barron’s) 20.178 0.429(0.17) (0.29)Competitive (Barron’s) 20.158 0.688*(0.17) (0.27)Very competitive (Barron’s) 0.283 1.040**(0.25) (0.33)Highly competitive (Barron’s) 1.904*** 0.364(0.40) (0.58)Most competitive (Barron’s) 1.710** 0.097(0.61) (0.73)Master’s (Carnegie) 21.426*** 2.183***(0.36) (0.47)Research (Carnegie) 14.779*** 24.134***(0.62) (0.80)Total enrollment (1,000s) 0.089*** 20.028(0.02) (0.03)% Undergraduate 20.077*** 20.011(0.01) (0.02)% Students receiving federal aid 0.003 20.041***(0.00) (0.01)% Students who are part time 20.061*** 0.007(0.01) (0.01)% Full-time faculty 20.006 20.0121(0.00) (0.01)Performance funding 20.342** 0.890***(0.12) (0.21)Constant 11.062*** 47.393***(1.47) (2.07)No. of observations 5,490 5,490No. of universities 490 490Years covered 1998–2009 1998–2009Wald x2 6,673.57*** 688.64***R2 0.786 0.943Note: PCSEs in parentheses.1p , .10, *p , .05, **p , .01, ***p , .001.20 Journal of Public Administration Research and Theoryversus nonresearch institutions (tables 6 and 7). In both cases, it appears that the effect ofperformance-funding policies is greater for research universities than it is for nonresearchuniversities. In the case of expenditures on research, performance-funding policies havea negative and statistically significant influence on institutional spending, but they arenot significant in the model for nonresearch universities. For instruction, performancefundingpolicies are positive and statistically significant in both cases, but the magnitudeof the effect for research universities is more than double that for nonresearch institutions(1.34 versus 0.59). Although performance-funding policies are generally aimed at all publicinstitutions in a state, it appears that they may be more influential on research universities.CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSIONOverall, the results from both stage one and stage two failed to find any substantial evidencethat performance-funding policies have had significant impacts on state budgets orTable 6Differential Impacts of Performance Funding on Percentage of Expenditures on Research: Researchversus Nonresearch UniversitiesNonresearch Universities Research UniversitiesLess competitive (Barron’s) 20.258 21.251**(0.20) (0.44)Competitive (Barron’s) 20.3821 20.106(0.20) (0.40)Very competitive (Barron’s) 20.5681 0.602(0.32) (0.43)Highly competitive (Barron’s) 20.356 2.169***(0.54) (0.56)Most competitive (Barron’s) 0.817 1.3031(0.81) (0.78)Total enrollment (1,000s) 20.036* 0.151***(0.02) (0.03)% Undergraduate 20.058*** 20.148***(0.01) (0.04)% Students receiving federal aid 0.010** 20.027***(0.00) (0.01)% Students who are part time 20.025*** 20.201***(0.01) (0.02)% Full-time faculty 0.0071 20.0161(0.00) (0.01)Performance funding 0.042 20.852**(0.12) (0.30)Constant 7.824*** 33.417***(1.15) (3.65)No. of observations 3,599 1,891No. of universities 327 163Years covered 1998–2009 1998–2009Wald x2 125.30*** 448.86***R2 0.202 0.804Note: PCSEs in parentheses. Dependent Variable, % expenditures on research.1p , .10, *p , .05, **p , .01, ***p , .001.Rabovsky Accountability in Higher Education 21institutional priorities. One interesting finding that has implications for both the performancemanagement literature and the broader literature on performance and publicorganizations is that the link between performance information and funding may alreadybe more substantial than many observers are currently aware. Performance-funding policiesare largely based on the premise that university administrators do not currently placeenough emphasis on student outcomes because they have few incentives to do so. Thisanalysis finds that institutions do face meaningful financial incentives for improvingperformance and that performance-funding policies have done little (if anything) to makethese incentives any more powerful than they already are.Moreover, Zhang (2009) found that state appropriations have a positive impact oninstitutional graduation rates, so it may be the case that most institutions are already highlyconcerned with student outcomes and that they simply need more resources from stategovernments in order to produce results. If this is the case, then a shift toward fundingTable 7Differential Impacts of Performance Funding on Percentage of Expenditures on Instruction: Researchversus Nonresearch UniversitiesNonresearch Universities Research UniversitiesLess competitive (Barron’s) 0.702* 20.7151(0.36) (0.43)Competitive (Barron’s) 0.848* 20.093(0.34) (0.38)Very competitive (Barron’s) 1.949*** 20.179(0.43) (0.45)Highly competitive (Barron’s) 2.182** 21.043(0.82) (0.74)Most competitive (Barron’s) 1.750 21.308(1.72) (0.84)Total enrollment (1,000s) 0.200*** 20.154**(0.03) (0.05)% Undergraduate 0.003 20.0801(0.02) (0.04)% Students receiving federal aid 20.053*** 20.002(0.01) (0.01)% Students who are part time 20.0211 0.020(0.01) (0.03)% Full-time faculty 0.002 20.017(0.01) (0.01)Performance funding 0.586* 1.343***(0.24) (0.33)Constant 45.928*** 51.694***(1.71) (4.66)No. of observations 3,599 1,891No. of universities 327 163Years covered 1998–2009 1998–2009Wald x2 227.75*** 99.35***R2 0.946 0.931Note: PCSEs in parentheses. Dependent Variable, % expenditures on instruction.1p , .10, *p , .05., **p , .01, ***p , .001.22 Journal of Public Administration Research and Theorypolicies that effectively punish those institutions that are underperforming may actuallywork to undercut progress toward improving student outcomes and alleviating achievementgaps. Rather than responding with desired shifts in administrative priorities (i.e., smallerclass sizes and more full-time faculty who are heavily involved in undergraduate education),institutions may instead react to these policies by simply raising admissions criteriaand reducing access for at-risk students (Fryar 2011).Second, although performance-funding policies do not appear to have dramaticallyaltered institutional spending priorities, it is interesting to note that they had some minimalinfluence. If these policies do not effectively restructure financial incentives (as the findingsfrom stage one indicate), why do institutions respond to them at all? One explanationmay be that university administrators perceive that accountability policies will potentiallyhave a major impact on their institutions at some point in the near future, even if they are notvery effective right now. Given the highly charged political rhetoric that has surroundedthese policies, universities may feel that they need to at least give an appearance ofdoing something proactive, lest their political principals get even more upset and adoptan aggressive accountability policy in the years ahead. This may also help explain the differentialimpacts of performance funding across institutional types. Research universitiesare often the most visible institutions in the state, and thus, they may feel greater pressurefrom state policymakers to demonstrate a renewed commitment to undergraduate education.Additionally, the fact that these policies have indeed impacted institutional prioritiesdespite their limited scope suggests that future performance-funding efforts might havesubstantial effects on administrative behavior if policymakers are able to connect moremeaningful incentives to various metrics of performance.Finally, there are considerable variations in the nature and content of the performancefundingpolicies that states have adopted. For example, some states such as Tennessee andPennsylvania have developed performance-funding structures that have been lauded as encouragingexcellence while maintaining differentiation between institutions with variedmissions and student populations. By comparison, other states, like South Carolina, havebeen criticized for adopting benchmarks that are so easily attainable as to pose no real threatto university budgets (Aldeman and Carey 2009; Zumeta 2001). Understanding the ways inwhich these differences matter is beyond the scope of the current article but remains a taskthat warrants considerable attention in the future. As we move forward, these differences inpolicy design are likely to play a central role in the debate regarding accountability reformand performance funding.Performance-based accountability is predicated on a causal logic that requiresadministrators and institutions to alter behavior and activities in ways that improvestudent outcomes. Although there has been considerable attention paid to the potentialimplications of these policies and to the ways in which they represent a shift in oversightrelationships between higher education and state governments, there has been littleempirical work to investigate the impacts that these policies have on either managementor student outcomes. This article marks an initial step toward building a better understandingof the ways that these policies impact management and institutions. The findings,which suggest that performance-funding policies have generally been ineffective intheir attempts to influence either state budget arrangements or institutional spending preferences,highlight the need to better understand the mechanisms by which accountabilityoperates.Rabovsky Accountability in Higher Education 23Ultimately, the goal behind performance initiatives is to improve the educationalexperience for students so that they emerge from college with a degree that adequatelyprepares them for the challenges of the modern economy. With this in mind, it is vitallyimportant that policymakers pay more attention to the causal linkages between policy designand administrative responses as they seek to devise improved accountability structuresand that scholars invest greater resources to empirically investigate these connections asthey seek to understand governance and organizational performance.REFERENCESAbernathy Scott Franklin. 2007. No child left behind and the public schools. Ann Arbor, MI: Univ. ofMichigan Press.Aldeman, Chad, and Kevin Carey. 2009. Ready to assemble: Grading state higher education accountabilitysystems. Washington, DC: Education Sector.Archibald, Robert, and David Feldman. 2008. Explaining increases in higher education costs. The Journalof Higher Education 79:268–95.Banta, Trudy W., Linda B. Rudolph, Janice Van Dyke, and Homer S. Fisher. 1996. Performance fundingcomes of age in tennessee. The Journal of Higher Education 67:23–45.Beck, Nathaniel, and Jonathan N. Katz. 1995. What to do (and not to do) with time-series cross-sectiondata. The American Political Science Review 89:634–47.Behn, Robert D. 2003. Why measure performance? Different purposes require different measures. PublicAdministration Review 63:586–606.Booher-Jennings, Jennifer. 2005. Below the bubble: ‘Educational Triage’ and the Texas accountabilitysystem. American Educational Research Journal 42:231–68.Burke, Joseph C. 2001. Paying for performance in public higher education. In Quicker, better, cheaper?Managing performance in American government, ed. Dan Forsythe, 417–51. Albany, NY: RockefellerInstitute.Burke, Joseph C. 2002. Funding public colleges and universities for performance: Popularity, problems,and prospects. Albany, NY: Rockefeller Institute.Burke, Joseph C., and Andreea M. Serban. 1998. State synopses of performance funding programs. NewDirections for Institutional Research 25:25–48.Burke, Joseph C., and Henrik P. Minassians. 2003. Performance reporting: ‘‘Real’’ accountability oraccountability ‘‘lite’’? Albany, NY: Rockefeller Institute.Carey, Kevin. 2008. Graduation rate watch: Making minority student success a priority. Washington, DC:Education Sector.Casper, Cheryl A., and Myron S. Henry. 2001. Developing performance-oriented models for universityresource allocation. Research in Higher Education 42:353–76.Chubb, John E., and Terry M. Moe. 1990. Politics, markets, and America’s schools. Washington, DC:Brookings Institution.Complete College America. 2010a. The path forward. http://www.completecollege.org/path_forward/.Complete College America. 2010b. The alliance of states. http://www.completecollege.org/alliance_of_states/.Dougherty, Kevin J., and Rebecca S. Natow. 2009. The demise of higher education performance fundingsystems in three states. CCRC Working Paper No.17, Community College Research Center,Teachers College, Columbia University. http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno5ED505707.Dougherty, Kevin J., Rebecca S. Natow, Rachel J. Hare, and Blanca E. Vega. 2010. The political origins ofstate-level performance funding for higher education: The cases of Florida, Illinois, Missouri, SouthCarolina, Tennessee, and Washington. New York, NY: Community College Research Center,Teachers College, Columbia Univ.24 Journal of Public Administration Research and TheoryDougherty, Kevin J., Rebecca S. Natow, and Vega Blanca. Forthcoming. 2012. Popular but unstable:Explaining why state performance funding systems in the United States often do not persist.Teachers College Record 114. http://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentId516313.Doyle, William R., and Brian Noland. ‘‘Does Performance Funding Make a Difference for Students?’’Paper presented at the Association for Institutional Research Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, May2006.Ehrenberg, Ronald G. ed. 2006. What’s happening to public education? Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.Figlio, David N., and Lawrence S. Getzler. 2002. Accountability, ability and disability: Gaming thesystem? NBER Working Paper.Fryar, Alisa Hicklin. ‘‘The Disparate Impacts of Accountability—Searching for Causal Mechanisms.’’Paper presented at the 11th Public Management Research Conference, Syracuse, NY, 2011. http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/uploadedFiles/conferences/pmrc/Files/HicklinFryar_TheDisparateImpactsofAccountabilitySearchingforCausalMechanisms.pdf.Gansemer-Topf, Ann, and John Schuh. 2006. Institutional selectivity and institutional expenditures:Examining organizational factors that contribute to retention and graduation. Research in HigherEducation 47:613–42.Gilmour, John B., and David E. Lewis. 2006a. Assessing performance budgeting at OMB: The influence ofpolitics, performance, and program size. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory16:169–86.Gilmour, John B., and David E. Lewis. 2006b. Does performance budgeting work? An examinationof the office of management and budget’s PART scores. Public Administration Review 66:742–52.Greene, William H. 2003. Econometric analysis, 5th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Grunig, Stephen D. 1997. Research, reputation, and resources: The effect of research activity on perceptionsof undergraduate education and institutional resource acquisition. Journal of HigherEducation 68:17–52.Heilig, Julian Vasquez., and Linda Darling-Hammond. 2008. Accountability Texas-style: The progressand learning of urban minority students in a high-stakes testing context. Educational Evaluation andPolicy Analysis 30:75–110.Huisman, Jeroen, and Jan Currie. 2004. Accountability in higher education: Bridge over troubled water?Higher Education 48:529–51.Hunt, Lester H. 2008. Grade inflation: Academic standards in higher education. New York, NY: StateUniv. of New York Press.Jacob, Brian A. 2005. Accountability, incentives and behavior: The impact of high-stakes testing in theChicago public schools. Journal of Public Economics 89:761–96.Jacob, Brian A., and Steven D. Levitt. 2003. Rotten apples: An investigation of the prevalence andpredictors of teacher cheating. Quarterly Journal of Economics 118:843–77.Joyce, Phillip G. 1999. Performance-based budgeting. In Handbook of government budgeting, ed. Roy T.Meyers, 597–619. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Kelly, Andrew P., Mark Schneider, and Kevin Carey. 2010. Rising to the challenge: Hispanic collegegraduation rates as a national priority. Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute for PublicPolicy Research.Kettl, Donald F. 2000. The global public management revolution: A report on the transformation ofgovernance. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.King, Roger. 2007. Governance and accountability in the higher education regulatory state. HigherEducation 53:411–30.Liefner, Ingo. 2003. Funding, resource allocation, and performance in higher education systems. HigherEducation 46:469–89.Long, Edward, and Aimee L. Franklin. 2004. The paradox of implementing the government performanceand results act: Top-down direction for bottom-up implementation. Public Administration Review64:309–19.McLendon, Michael K., James C. Hearn, and Christine G. Mokher. 2009. Partisans, professionals,and power: The role of political factors in state higher education funding. The Journal of HigherEducation 80:686–713.Rabovsky Accountability in Higher Education 25McLendon, Michael K., James C. Hearn, and Steven B. Deaton. 2006. Called to account: Analyzing theorigins and spread of state performance-accountability policies for higher education. EducationalEvaluation and Policy Analysis 28:1–24.Melkers, Julia E., and Katherine G. Willoughby. 1998. The state of the states: Performance-basedbudgeting requirements in 47 out of 50. Public Administration Review 58:66–73.Moynihan, Donald P. 2008. The dynamics of performance management. Washington, DC: GeorgetownUniv. Press.Mumper, Michael. 2003. The future of college access: The declining role of public higher education inpromoting equal opportunity. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science585:97–117.Neill, Monty. 2003. Leaving children behind: How no child left behind will fail our children. The Phi DeltaKappan 85:225–28.Osborne, David E., and Ted Gaebler. 1992. Reinventing government: How the entrepreneurial spirit istransforming the public sector. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Pub.Radin, Beryl A. 2000. The government performance and results act and the tradition of federal managementreform: Square pegs in round holes? Journal of Public Administration Research andTheory 10:111–35.Radin, Beryl A. 2006. Challenging the performance movement: Accountability, complexity, and democraticvalues. Washington, DC: Georgetown Univ. Press.Robst, John. 2001. Cost efficiency in public higher education institutions. The Journal of Higher Education72:730–50.Ryan, John F. 2004. The relationship between institutional expenditures and degree attainment at baccalaureatecolleges. Research in Higher Education 45:97–114.Sanford, Thomas, and James M. Hunter. ‘‘Impact of Performance on Retention and Graduation Rates.’’Paper presented at the 2010 Association for the Study of Higher Education Conference, Indianapolis,IN, November 2006.Smith, Peter. 1990. The use of performance indicators in the public sector. Journal of the Royal StatisticalSociety. Series A (Statistics in Society) 153:53–72.Volkwein, J. Fredericks, and David Tandberg. 2008. Measuring up: Examining the connections amongstate structural characteristics, regulatory practices, and performance. Research in Higher Education49:180–97.Weerts, David J., and Justin M. Ronca. 2006. Examining differences in state support for higher education:A comparative study of state appropriations for research I universities. The Journal of HigherEducation 77:935–67.Weisbrod, Burton A., Jeffrey P. Ballou, and Evelyn D. Asch. 2008. Mission and money: Understanding theuniversity, 1st ed. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge Univ. Press.Wellman, Jane V. 2001. Assessing state accountability systems. Change 33:46–52.Wilson, James Q. 1989. Bureaucracy: What government agencies do and why they do it. New York, NY:Basic Books.Wooldridge, Jeffrey M. 2002. Econometric analysis of cross section and panel data. Cambridge, MA: MITPress.Zhang, Liang. 2009. Does state funding affect graduation rates at public four-year colleges anduniversities? Educational Policy 23:714–31.Zumeta, William. 2001. Public policy and accountability in higher education: Lessons from the past andpresent for the new millennium. In The states and public higher education policy: Affordability,access, and accountability, ed. Donald E. Heller, 155–97. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Univ.Press.26 Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Read Full Excerpt

Integrating basic skills and career-technical instruction: Findings from a field study of Washington State’s I-BEST model

Wachen, J., Jenkins, D., & Van Noy, M. (2011). Integrating basic skills and career-technical instruction: Findings from a field study of Washington State’s I-BEST model, Community College Review, 39(2), 136-159.

The Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-Best) program was developed in the State of Washington to integrate basic skills instruction with professional skills. The purpose of this program is to increase the rate that basic skills and English as-a-second-language students’ progress into occupational programs and into the workforce. Participating colleges offer college-level occupational coursework that are co-taught by basic skills and professional/occupational faculty. I-BEST c...
The Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-Best) program was developed in the State of Washington to integrate basic skills instruction with professional skills. The purpose of this program is to increase the rate that basic skills and English as-a-second-language students’ progress into occupational programs and into the workforce. Participating colleges offer college-level occupational coursework that are co-taught by basic skills and professional/occupational faculty. I-BEST colleges must illustrate that their coursework leads to career opportunities that are in demand in the local labor market. All of Washington State’s 34 community and technical college offer I-Best programming. To assess the implementation effectiveness of the program, interviews were conducted with professionals at 34 colleges, a total of 126 interviews. The researcher's also conducted site visits and developed field reports. In addition, observations and focus groups were also undertaken. The researchers report data using descriptive statistics, mostly count data and percentages.  The authors present information regarding faculty selection, integrated instruction, and support services employed by I-BEST programs. Study findings illustrated that several findings, including: a) a need for greater financial support for students, especially given the higher cost of I-Best courses in comparison to basic skills classes; 2) a need to integrate basic skills instruction with technical instruction; and 3) a need for colleges to identify quality staff who can successfully collaborate to meet students’ needs. Overall, findings from this study illustrate the success of merging college’s occupation and remedial activities to provide enhanced outcomes for students. The primary limitation of this study is that there is a lack of discussion regarding trustworthiness and reliability measures employed (e.g., intercoder reliability, member checks, auditing). As noted in the study, future scholarship is needed to investigate cost-effectiveness of the I-BEST model in order to understand whether the model is sustainable. 
Read Full Excerpt

The Power of the Program: How the Academic Program Can Improve Community College Student Success

Nitecki, E. (2011). The power of the program: How the academic program can improve community college success. Community College Review, 39(2), 98-120.

This article examines the structure and practices of two career focused programs that help to promote college success and retention at Fairview Community College (FCC), which serves the metropolitan area in the northeastern United States. This study utilizes qualitative case study methodologies along with organizational theory and Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) bioecological model to examine two program...
This article examines the structure and practices of two career focused programs that help to promote college success and retention at Fairview Community College (FCC), which serves the metropolitan area in the northeastern United States. This study utilizes qualitative case study methodologies along with organizational theory and Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) bioecological model to examine two programs: the Paralegal Program and the Early Childhood Education Program, which both exhibit higher-than average graduation and transfer rates. During a 10 month time period, the author conducted data analysis, faculty interviews, student interviews, and classroom observations. The findings highlight institutional challenges which led to diminishing student aspirations. More apparent, the strength of these two programs center on the faculty-student interaction and the quality of these relationships. The elements of each individual program provide a positive environment for students to succeed and to gain professional preparation. The intentional connection between coursework and a clear pathway to employability kept these students engaged at this institution. In many ways, this learning community scaled down the institution to a smaller size which made the navigational process easier for students to connect with the curricula and to the faculty. The author urges policymakers to review articulation and transfer agreements, which is largely focused on the liberal arts course rather than the courses related to students’ area of study. While the author notes the small sample size and context as limitations of this study, the programmatic antidotes can be used by other two-year institutions to inform their own practice, development, and evaluation of retention programs. The study can shed light on the growing trend of centralizing retention efforts within community colleges. The author encourages equitable support services with a program area which yields a higher financial investment.
Read Full Excerpt

Learning outcomes assessment in community colleges

Nunley, C., Bers, T., & Manning, T. (2011, July). Learning outcomes assessment in community colleges (NILOA Occasional Paper No.10). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. Retrieved from http://learningoutcomesassessment.org/occasionalpaperten.htm

The authors examine community colleges in the United States as these institutions respond to national calls for student learning outcomes information. Given that the mission of these institutions calls for them to educate students with a variety of backgrounds and with different educational goals, community colleges may have difficulty assessing that learning to speak broadly about the outcomes. ...
The authors examine community colleges in the United States as these institutions respond to national calls for student learning outcomes information. Given that the mission of these institutions calls for them to educate students with a variety of backgrounds and with different educational goals, community colleges may have difficulty assessing that learning to speak broadly about the outcomes. This study is multi-faceted. First, the authors provide descriptive information about the current context for community colleges and student learning outcomes assessment. Second, they identify what processes are being used at community colleges, by using survey data from two national surveys, commissioned by: the National Community College Council for Research and Planning (NCCCRP) and the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA). The challenges to assess student learning at community colleges is addressed. Finally, the authors provide examples of promising practices. Findings in this study suggest that community colleges are under the same pressure as four-year institutions in regards to the pressures from accreditation organizations and governments to assess student learning and most are using the assessment results to answer these calls for accountable information on student learning. In addition, most assessment activity is occurring at the program level rather than at the institutional level.  According to the American Association of Community Colleges 2012 Community College Fast Facts, forty-four percent of US undergraduates attend community colleges. Other sources suggest that this number is over 50%. Clearly, this is an education sector that will continue to grow given the college completion goals set forth by the current Education Department administration. Understanding how this sector is addressing the issue of assessing student learning and using those results for accountability and institutional improvement is critical when one considers the broad range of studentsthat these institutions might influence. This report is one of the only comprehensive reports on community colleges assessment, and it provides the context for this work, a study of current activities, and a set of institutional examples. 
Read Full Excerpt

Benchmarking equity in transfer policies for career and technical associate’s degrees

Chase, M. (2011). Benchmarking equity in transfer policies for career and technical associate’s degrees. Community College Review, 39(4), 376–404.

In light of growing demands for workers with baccalaureate degrees and a need to close the racial achievement gap in an increasingly diverse nation, Chase explores technical program transfer policies in Texas, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Washington. Using a critical policy analysis framework, she analyzes credit-hour requirements for associate’s degrees as well as state legal codes, policies, and accountability documents in order to determine the extent to which technical students, who are often s...
In light of growing demands for workers with baccalaureate degrees and a need to close the racial achievement gap in an increasingly diverse nation, Chase explores technical program transfer policies in Texas, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Washington. Using a critical policy analysis framework, she analyzes credit-hour requirements for associate’s degrees as well as state legal codes, policies, and accountability documents in order to determine the extent to which technical students, who are often students of color, have equitable access to transfer opportunities. Chase finds that formal state policies may impede the ability of students to transfer. Although legal codes in Ohio and Washington try to ease the transfer process for technical students, in Wisconsin they present obstacles. Moreover, very few technical school units are accepted at four-year institutions in any of the four states, and in three of the four there is no accountability for the number of technical students who transfer to baccalaureate institutions. Drawing from her findings, Chase develops a set of benchmarks for equity in technical transfer policy and concludes that none of the four states is meeting all benchmarks, pointing to a need for more focused policy measures that ease transfer between technical programs and four-year institutions and better use of data toward this end. Chase’s study is limited in its inability to measure the actual impact of the legal codes and policies included in the analysis. Moreover, future research should include other types of documents, including articulation agreements, which can facilitate transfer, as well as a larger sample of states to capture the diversity of policies in the United States. Interviews with stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, and administrators, would also provide a more thorough understanding of the issues at hand.
Read Full Excerpt

Leveraging workforce development and postsecondary education for low-skilled, low-income workers: Lessons from the Shifting Gears initiative.

Bragg, D. D., Dresser, L., & Smith, W. (2012). Leveraging workforce development and postsecondary education for low-skilled, low-income workers: Lessons from the Shifting Gears initiative. New Directions for Community Colleges, 157, 53–66.

Shifting Gears, funded by the Joyce Foundation, is based on the idea that strategic funding and technical assistance can rapidly advance the adoption of state policy and programs that enable low-skilled, low-income adults to become workforce-ready. The initiative exists in six Midwest states and focuses on changing policy, utilizing data, engaging stakeholders, and maintaining strategic com...
Shifting Gears, funded by the Joyce Foundation, is based on the idea that strategic funding and technical assistance can rapidly advance the adoption of state policy and programs that enable low-skilled, low-income adults to become workforce-ready. The initiative exists in six Midwest states and focuses on changing policy, utilizing data, engaging stakeholders, and maintaining strategic communication to cultivate support for change. Drawing from state-level quantitative and qualitative research on Shifting Gears in Wisconsin and Illinois, the authors present the goals and strategic approaches of the project, as well as lessons for practitioners in other regional workforce initiatives. At 10 community colleges in Illinois, two Shifting Gears models were initially implemented—one to move students from developmental education to college-level work, and another to transition students from adult education (including ESL) to postsecondary education. Certain aspects of these bridge programs were identified as especially valuable, including instructional innovations (like team teaching and nontraditional pedagogy), contextualized instruction, supportive college leadership, clear expectations, and transition supports such as advisement and transportation. New models emerged on individual college campuses, as sites sought to meet the particular needs of ESL and working students, for example. At the same time, there were persistent organizational and policy barriers that impeded implementation, including placement exams that did not pinpoint basic skills needs, limited student support services, limited structural supports for bridge program implementation, and misalignment of systems, funding streams, and policy and program requirements. Wisconsin’s workforce initiative, named Regional Industry Skills Education (RISE), focuses on career pathways. It is designed to benefit low-income adults (through skills and jobs), employers (through the provision of skilled workers), and workforce training and education (through better alignment of resources). Although no formal evaluation has been conducted, a statistical profile of the RISE target population has informed program development, advanced policy discussions, and improved data collection and usage. The RISE Steering Committee has also developed a set of guidelines for workforce policymakers and practitioners to identify key elements of career pathways, provide the state with a foundation from which to strengthen outcomes, and increase buy-in. The experiences of Illinois and Wisconsin with Shifting Gears demonstrate that states can play a critical role in identifying and prioritizing the needs of low-skill, low-income adults. Bragg, Dresser, and Smith note that clear and compelling descriptions of policies and program innovations help to focus, align, and mobilize reform efforts, and research and evaluation must be used to show effects. Although their analysis is limited by its reliance on internal research and evaluation and by its focus on only two states, future studies that include primary data collection and a more diverse sample of programs could allow the voices of key stakeholders to inform the identification of broadly applicable themes.
Read Full Excerpt

Broadening the Benefits of Dual Enrollment: Reaching Underachieving and Underrepresented Students with Career-Focused Programs. New York: Community College Research Center.

Hughes, Katherine L., Olga Rodriguez, Linsey Edwards & Clive Belfield (2012). Broadening the Benefits of Dual Enrollment: Reaching Underachieving and Underrepresented Students with Career-Focused Programs. New York: Community College Research Center.

·         This report examines the Concurrent Courses Initiative funded by The James Irvine Foundation from 2008-2011.  Funding of $4.75 million was provided to examine the feasibility of using secondary-postsecondary dual enrollment partner programs in California to promote college and career pathways for youth who are often underrepresented in higher education.&...
·         This report examines the Concurrent Courses Initiative funded by The James Irvine Foundation from 2008-2011.  Funding of $4.75 million was provided to examine the feasibility of using secondary-postsecondary dual enrollment partner programs in California to promote college and career pathways for youth who are often underrepresented in higher education.  In total, 10 colleges and 21 high schools were a part of the initiative, with 40 percent of participating students from non-English speaking homes, and 60% of students from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. ·         The researchers used data from student surveys from 2008-2010, district and institutional administrative data, and qualitative data collected during site visits.  They used regression and propensity score matching to examine outcomes for students who graduated from high school in 2009 and 2010. ·         The results suggest that students who participated in dual enrollment programs were more likely to be high school graduates, less likely to need to take developmental courses in college, more likely to enroll in 4-year compared to two-year colleges, and more likely to accumulate more credits and persist in postsecondary education. ·         Policy recommendations related to these findings include: removing funding penalties for high schools, colleges, and students who participate in dual enrollment, make opportunities for dual credit earning portable and that students automatically earn dual credit, and to encourage broad access and expand student eligibility. ·         Recommendations for practice include: Strong partnerships between high schools and postsecondary institutions, locating classes where it is most feasible for students, and consideration of appropriate course selection and timing of classes.  
Read Full Excerpt

Career and technical education pathway programs, academic performance, and the transition to college and career.

REFERENCESAdelman, C. (1999). Answers in the tool box: Academic intensity, attendance patterns, and bachelor’s degree attainment. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement.Adelman, C. (2005). Moving into town—and moving on: The community college in the lives of traditional-age students. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.Adelman, C. (2006). The toolbox revisited: Paths to degree completion from high school through college. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education.Bailey, T. R., Hughes, K. L., & Karp, M. M. (2003, March). Dual enrollment programs: Easing transitions from high school to college (CCRC Brief No. 17). New York: Columbia University, Teachers College, Community College Research Center. Retrieved April 25, 2007, from http://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/Publication.asp?UID=86Bailey, T., & Karp, M. (2003, November). Promoting college access and success: A review of credit-based transition programs. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education.Barnett, E., Gardner, D., & Bragg, D. (2004, March). Dual credit in Illinois: Making it work.Champaign, IL: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Office of Community College Research and Leadership.Bottoms, G. (n.d.). Putting lessons learned to work: Improving the achievement of vocational students. Retrieved on April 25, 2007, from the Southern Regional Education Board Web site: http://www.sreb.org/programs/hstw/publications/briefs/00V43_Lessons_Learned.pdfBradby, D., & Hoachlander, G. (1999). 1998 revision of the secondary school taxonomy (Working Paper No. 1999-06). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Bragg, D. D. (2001). The new vocationalism in American community colleges (New Directions for Community Colleges No. 115). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Bragg, D., Kim, E., & Barnett, E. (2006, Fall). Creating access and success: Academic pathways reaching underserved students. In D. D. Bragg & E. A. Barnett (Eds.), Academic pathways to and from the community college (New Directions for Community Colleges No. 135) (pp. 5–20). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Bragg, D., Loeb, J., Gong, Y., Deng, C., Yoo, J., & Hill, J. (2002, November). Transition from high school to college and work for Tech Prep participants in eight selected consortia. St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota, National Research Center for Career and Technical Education.Bureau of Labor Statistics. (1999). Report on the American Workforce. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved April 25, 2007, from http://www.bls.gov/opub/rtaw/pdf/rtaw1999.pdfBureau of Labor Statistics. (2002-03, Winter). Occupational Outlook Quarterly online. Retrieved April 25, 2007, from http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/ooqindex.htm Calcagno, J. C., Crosta, P., Bailey, T. R., & Jenkins, D. (2006, October). Stepping stones to a degree: The impact of enrollment pathways and milestones on older community college student outcomes (CCRC Brief No. 32). New York: Teachers College, Columbia CTE Pathway Programs, Academic Performance, and the Transition to College and Career68 National Research Center for Career and Technical EducationUniversity, Community College Research Center. Retrieved April 25, 2007, from http://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/Publications.asp?UID=449Callan, P. M., & Finney, J. E. (2003, June). Multiple pathways and state policy: Toward education and training beyond high school. Boston, MA: Jobs for the Future. Retrieved April 25, 2007, from http://www.highereducation.org/reports/multipath/Multipathstate.pdfCarnevale, A., & Desrochers, D. M. (2002). The missing middle: Aligning education and the knowledge economy. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.Carriuolo, N. (1996). School-college collaboration: A way of redesigning the educational pipeline (The Freshmen Year Experience Monograph Series No. 16). Columbia, South Carolina: South Carolina University, National Resource Center for the Freshmen Year Experience and Students in Transition.Castellano, M., Stringfield, S., Stone, J., & Wayman, J. (2003). Early measures of student progress in schools with CTE-enhanced whole school reform: Math course-taking patterns and student progress to graduation. St. Paul: University of Minnesota, National Research Center for Career and Technical Education.Castellano, M., Stone III, J. R., Stringfield, S., Farley, F. N., & Wayman, J. C. (2004). The effect of CTE-enhanced whole-school reform on student coursetaking and performance in English and science. St. Paul: University of Minnesota, National Research Center for Career and Technical Education.Catron, R. K. (2001). Dual enrollment in Virginia. In P. F. Robertson, B. G. Chapman, & F. Gaskin (Eds.), Systems for offering concurrent enrollment at high schools and community colleges (New Directions for Community Colleges No. 113) (pp. 51–58). San Francisco:Jossey-Bass.Clark, R. W. (2001). Dual credit: A report of programs and policies that offer high school students college credits. Seattle, WA: Institute for Educational Inquiry.Cohen, A., & Brawer, F. (2003). The American community college (4th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Dare, D. E. (2006). The role of career and technical education in facilitating student transitions to postsecondary education. In D. D. Bragg & E. A. Barnett (Eds.), Academic pathways to and from the community college (New Directions for Community Colleges No. 135) (pp. 73–80). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.DeLuca, S., Plank, S., & Estacion, A. (2006). Does career and technical education affect college enrollment? St. Paul: University of Minnesota, National Center for Career and Technical Education.Elliott, B. G., & Statelman, T. M. (2000). Tech Prep: Building a framework for future research, evaluation and program practice. Research Triangle Park, NC: Research Triangle Institute and U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education.Ewell, P. T., Jones, D. P., & Kelly, P. J. (n.d.) Conceptualizing and researching the educational pipeline. Boulder, CO: The National Information Center for Higher Education. Retrieved April 25, 2007, from http://www.higheredinfo.org/suppinfo/Pipeline%20Article.pdfFincher-Ford, M. (1996). High school students earning college credit: A guide to creating dualcredit programs. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to examine the relationship between student participation in CTE transition programs, secondary student matriculation to two selected/partnering community colleges, and performance and retention in postsecondary education and family sustaining wage careers. The two selected CTE transition programs were located in different parts of the country. One offered Information Technology/ Computer Information Sciences (IT/CIS), whil...
The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to examine the relationship between student participation in CTE transition programs, secondary student matriculation to two selected/partnering community colleges, and performance and retention in postsecondary education and family sustaining wage careers. The two selected CTE transition programs were located in different parts of the country. One offered Information Technology/ Computer Information Sciences (IT/CIS), while the other offered both Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Patient Care Assistant (PCA) programs. High school partners were differentiated as “high engaged” (which were those that implemented a career pathway program for all students) and “medium engaged” (schools that implemented CTE programming in more traditional ways—i.e., as distinct programs within the school). Transcript analysis revealed that medium engaged schools were more conducive to increasing math & science course-taking.  Similarly, students at medium engaged schools reported higher development of skills during high school. Thus it seems that more purposeful/ relatively individualized (versus generalized) programming seems to garner better results. The postsecondary study revealed a modest 33% of IT and about 30% of the EMT students transitioning to community college. It is hard to determine the role of CTE in facilitating this transition given lack of non-participant comparison data. The CTE programs did seem to play a role in retaining students with high remediation needs, even when remediation was needed in the areas of math and science. This is a critical finding, given the role of math proficiency in promoting college persistence. The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to examine the relationship between student participation in CTE transition programs, secondary student matriculation to two selected/partnering community colleges, and performance and retention in postsecondary education and family sustaining wage careers. The two selected CTE transition programs were located in different parts of the country. One offered Information Technology/ Computer Information Sciences (IT/CIS), while the other offered both Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Patient Care Assistant (PCA) programs. High school partners were differentiated as “high engaged” (which were those that implemented a career pathway program for all students) and “medium engaged” (schools that implemented CTE programming in more traditional ways—i.e., as distinct programs within the school). Transcript analysis revealed that medium engaged schools were more conducive to increasing math & science course-taking.  Similarly, students at medium engaged schools reported higher development of skills during high school. Thus it seems that more purposeful/ relatively individualized (versus generalized) programming seems to garner better results. The postsecondary study revealed a modest 33% of IT and about 30% of the EMT students transitioning to community college. It is hard to determine the role of CTE in facilitating this transition given lack of non-participant comparison data. The CTE programs did seem to play a role in retaining students with high remediation needs, even when remediation was needed in the areas of math and science. This is a critical finding, given the role of math proficiency in promoting college persistence. Dual credit facilitated persistence and accelerated progress. This component can be offered as part of the CTE and beyond. What is not discussed (and appears to require further study) is the clear tracking of students on a vocational and community college (non-four year degree) trajectory. Drawing from the study finding, one possible way of opening up different possibilities (specifically to 4-year college) might be to create dual credits between the same community colleges with 4-year colleges. This would build on the already familiar and effective dual degree programming to open up and encourage aspirations to pursue a B.A. degree.
Read Full Excerpt