Abstract: Community colleges play a key role in educating the large number of non-traditional, low-income, and under-prepared students who have entered higher education in the past several decades. Despite increased access, community colleges are struggling to graduate students. Most, if not all, strategies provided by scholars to improve college completion rates assume increased student engagement will enhance persistence and success. Existing theories of persistence overlook the dynamic influence of job markets for the students community colleges serve. Using National Center for Education Statistics and the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, this article draws on Tinto’s theory of persistence and proposes a new framework that acknowledges the role of job opportunities and of work–family–schooling quandaries in community college students’ choices about persistence. Our model builds on the following relevant notions: (a) human capital theory, (b) social integration, and (c) socio-academic integration. Our model has important implications for leaders who aim to better align students’ college experiences with their desired careers and available jobs.


Read the full article here.

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Category:CCR -- posted at: 4:35pm EDT

Elleke Boehmer, Dominique Davies, Charne Lavery and Priyasha Mukhopadhyay discuss a special issue, due to publish in March 2015 and guest-edited by Elleke Boehmer, on Leonard Woolf’s novel “The Village in the Jungle”. Posted May 2014.

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This study examines the relationship between community college enrollment patterns and student outcomes—credential completion and transfer to a 4-year institution—introducing a new way of visualizing the various attendance patterns of community college students. Patterns of enrollment intensity (full- or part-time status) and continuity (enrolling in consecutive terms or skipping one or more terms) are graphed and then clustered according to their salient features. Using data on cohorts of first-time community college students at five colleges in a single state, the study finds astounding variation in student enrollment patterns. Clustering these patterns reveals two relationships: the first is a positive association between enrollment continuity and earning a community college credential, and the second is a positive association between enrollment intensity and likelihood of transfer.

Direct download: CRW_Podcast_with_Peter_Crosta_2014.mp3
Category:CCR -- posted at: 4:57am EDT