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Entries for 2011

October 2011 | Colleen Moore

This brief discusses the findings of a report from the American Association of Community Colleges titled, The Road Ahead: A Look at Trends in the Educational Attainment of Community College Students. The brief offers an analysis of the AACC report’s claims that the investments made in a community college education are “paying off” due to the higher increase in certificates and degrees awarded by community colleges than in total enrollment. While there is cause for celebration with respect to increases in enrollment and college completions, a closer look at the data shows some reasons for caution related to the prominence of short-term certificates among the increased awards and to minority rates of improvement that lag the improvement rate among white students.


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September 2011 | Nancy Shulock, Jeremy Offenstein, and Camille Esch

This report uses data from the Delta Cost Project to analyze revenue and spending patterns across California higher education. The report compares patterns across California’s three public higher education systems (University of California, California State University and the California Community Colleges), documents changes over a seven-year period for which data are available (2002-2009), and compares California to the rest of the nation. Researchers conclude that policymakers’ traditional approach to fiscal planning is inadequate for today’s challenges and recommend greater transparency in spending and revenues and a more strategic and state-wide approach to financing higher education.


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

This report uses national data to take an in-depth look at California higher education performance in relation to other states and by region and by race/ethnicity. It analyzes California’s postsecondary performance in the categories of preparation, participation, affordability, completion, benefits and finance, finding that the state’s performance is average, at best, and trending downward. This report is the fourth in a series of reports previously titled The Grades are In, which followed the publication of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education’s bi-annual Measuring Up reports that graded the 50 states on their higher education performance.


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July 2011 | IHELP

This one-page brief highlights the findings regarding Latinos in California in the IHELP report, Divided We Fail: Improving Completion and Closing Racial Gaps in California’s Community Colleges. It was prepared at the request of Excelencia in Education to complement their series of reports on Latino college completion.


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