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State and System Policy

August 2011 | Colleen Moore and Nancy Shulock

This report examines the importance of declaring and entering an academic program of study for community college student success and completion. Researchers track an entering cohort of community college students over a six-year period through programs of study to completion of a certificate, associate degree or transfer to a university. The study used student course patterns to identify those who entered a program of study in 21 program areas across the liberal arts and sciences and career technical education, and found that entering a program of study is an important milestone on the path to college completion.


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February 2011 | Nancy Shulock, Colleen Moore, and Jeremy Offenstein

This report examines four high-wage, high-need career pathways in the California Community Colleges as a basis for exploring the career technical education mission and its role in the college completion agenda. The study found that the potential of CTE to help meet the state’s completion, workforce, and equity goals is not fully realized due to a lack of priority on awarding technical certificates and degrees and an absence of clear pathways for students to follow in pursuing those credentials. The report offers recommendations to strengthen the CTE function. 


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November 2010 | Colleen Moore and Nancy Shulock

This report applies the approach used in Divided We Fail to the nine colleges of the Los Angeles Community College District. The study tracked the 2003-04 entering cohort of degree- and certificate-seeking students over six years, analyzing their progress along a series of intermediate milestones and completion outcomes by race/ethnicity. The report points out the risks posed by racial/ethnic disparities and offers recommendations for changes to policy and practice with a goal of improving student success, especially among underrepresented minority populations.


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October 2010 | Colleen Moore and Nancy Shulock

This report analyzes the progress and outcomes of degree- and certificate-seeking students in the California Community College system. The study tracked the 2003-04 entering cohort over six years, analyzing their progress along a series of intermediate milestones and completion outcomes by race/ethnicity. The report emphasizes that low completion rates and continued racial/ethnic disparities pose serious risks to the state’s future prosperity and offers recommendations for changes to policy and practice with a goal of improving student success, especially among underrepresented minority populations.


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September 2010 | Jeremy Offenstein and Nancy Shulock

This report, sponsored by Jobs for the Future, examines system, state and multi-state efforts and multi-institution initiatives to develop and use intermediate measures of student success as a tool to improve accountability and guide institutional efforts to improve student success. The report distinguishes between milestones that must be attained in order to get to completion and success indicators that increase a student’s chances of completion. The report analyzes the differences in approach, definitions and uses of the data on intermediate measures and offers recommendations on the collection, reporting and effective use of the data and the need for common practices and definitions.


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