EdInsights stands in solidarity with demands for racial justice, and commits to actions to identify and dismantle white supremacy, structural racism, and oppression in public education. We will work to ensure that our education systems deeply value and provide meaningful learning opportunities for Black students. We take the President of Sacramento State’s charge to hold his colleagues responsible for action very seriously.
As someone who has studied career education (CE) in the California Community Colleges (CCC) for many years, I am concerned about the potential impact of proposed cuts to the CCC budget for 2020-21 on the students served by CE programs, and on the state’s workforce—especially at a time when some job sectors might collapse and people will need new skills. The CE mission of the CCC is critical to ensuring that Californians have opportunities to prepare for the many “middle skill” jobs the state’s employers have struggled to fill in recent years—jobs requiring more than a high school education but less than a bachelor’s degree (e.g., technicians in engineering, healthcare, advanced manufacturing).
Among the devastating effects of the COVID-19 crisis is the expected impact on California’s state budget, as revenues decline with shrinking financial markets and expenditures increase to cover unemployment claims and other vital government services. As prior economic contractions have demonstrated, this situation portends a challenging time ahead for higher education. The Great Recession brought significant cuts in state appropriations to the University of California (UC), California State University (CSU), and California Community Colleges (CCC). The UC and CSU replaced some of their lost revenue by raising tuition substantially, while the CCC cut class sections dramatically, making higher education both less affordable and less accessible at a time that the workforce skills gap was growing. State funding for higher education in California took a decade to fully recover.
The annual meeting of the American Education Research Association (AERA) was to be held in San Francisco this week, but, like all events, the in-person conference was cancelled so that its members could stay safe and focus on urgent transformations in their lives and work situations during this crisis.
The California Cradle-to-Career Data System Act created a process for developing a statewide longitudinal data system. As the design and planning move forward, EdInsights will weigh in now and then with thoughts about how the state can make progress with the data system. In this post, Colleen Moore shares findings from her recent policy brief on data quality considerations, and explains how creating a P20W data system could actually help improve the quality of the data the state already collects.
From Incarceration to College Graduation: How Colleges Can Support the Education Goals of Formerly Incarcerated Students
California has made significant strides in improving access to higher education for incarcerated individuals. Now is the time for colleges to examine and expand their efforts to provide services for this population. In this post, Breaunna Alexander provides examples of on-campus re-entry and support programs for this population and she presents resources and strategies to help those looking for more information about examining, evaluating, and reshaping their own practices to better serve formerly incarcerated students.
The California Cradle-to-Career Data System Act created a process for developing the state’s first statewide longitudinal data system. As the design and planning move forward, EdInsights will weigh in now and then with thoughts about how the state can make progress with the data system. In this post, Colleen Moore calls attention to ways a data system can help policymakers, education officials, and advocates make informed policy choices, and to the importance of ensuring adequate research capacity to use a statewide data system to address important policy questions.
Laying a Foundation for Equity Work on Campus: A Profile of the Chico State Team at the CSU Network’s Middle Leadership Academy
When a team from Chico State arrived at the CSU Network’s Middle Leadership Academy in 2018-19, the team members had ambitious plans but no specific project to address equity issues on campus. At the Academy, they examined student data and began to focus on correlations between equity gaps in graduation rates and DFW rates during students’ first two years. They found that historically underserved students, compared with other students, were more likely to get a DFW, even accounting for incoming high-school grade point averages. Back on campus, they decided that their first step was to lay a broad foundation to support equity work.
Before David Zeigler became chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Sacramento State University, he had not considered how remedial education policies might be an impediment to student success.
“We had a very draconian system,” Zeigler said. “It was not friendly at all to students. The tragic story is that it was our system and so I supported it.”
Zeigler’s “enlightenment,” as he calls it, came about through a series of professional development experiences, research, and conversations with peers, including participating in the Middle Leadership Academy. As chair, he began to attend cross-disciplinary gatherings associated with teaching and learning generally. That’s when he began to shepherd the department through a major transformation in how it supports incoming students in math.
Earlier this year, the CSU Student Success Network released the second report from Destination Integration, its series on academic advising. The studies explore the perspectives of students, advisors, and administrators on advising and advising reform on CSU campuses. In reviewing the authors’ findings, I am intrigued by how closely they mirror the conclusions of national studies of advising and student services, which means that the CSU is not alone in the challenges it faces in seeking to make advising a more integrated experience for students. And if the challenges are not unique to the CSU, then neither are the solutions.
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