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College and Career Readiness and Success

Use Drives Quality: Considering Data Quality Issues in California’s Pursuit of a Cradle-to-Career Data System

These briefs address important data quality considerations as California takes steps toward building a longitudinal student data system to support efforts to improve student progress and outcomes from preschool through higher education and into the workforce. It is an addendum to EdInsights’ four-part series examining California’s approach to student-level data, aimed at supporting the state’s Cradle-to-Career Data Workgroup and other stakeholders as they make critical decisions about the structure and function of this important resource for educators, researchers, and students and their families.

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Destination Integration: Perspectives of Students and Advisors about Improving Academic Advising

In this second of our two part series exploring advising practices on five CSU campuses, we expand on the previous study by bringing in the voices of advisors and students at these five campuses, and summarizing the perspectives of faculty advisors, professional staff advisors, and students in the context of campus efforts to improve advising. Through this research advisors and students brought to light several areas that may need more attention and targeted improvement efforts as campuses move forward to improve the integration and efficiency of advising.

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Destination Integration: Strategies to Improve Academic Advising

Many campuses across the California State University (CSU) system are seeking to improve academic advising as part of their efforts to increase student progress and graduation rates. In this exploratory study of efforts to improve academic advising at five CSU campuses, researchers at the Education Insights Center (EdInsights) working on behalf of the CSU Student Success Network identified a focus across the participating campuses on better coordinating advising services across colleges, divisions, and departments and improving their integration with other campus units, such as tutoring, career centers, and financial aid. Through their efforts, these campuses seek to better leverage their limited advising resources to improve student outcomes. This report, based on in-depth interviews with 36 administrators involved in improving advising, describes the campuses’ efforts and the context in which they are occurring.

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“Get Me from point A to Point B:” Student Perspectives on Barriers to Timely Graduation at the California State University

Nearly all students enter the California State University system intending to graduate “on time,” and graduation rates are increasing systemwide. Currently, less than a quarter of incoming freshmen graduate within four years and a third of community college transfer students graduate in two years. This study investigates the personal and institutional obstacles that students experience as they navigate through college on the pathway to timely graduation.

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Supporting High School Teachers’ College and Career Readiness Efforts: Bridging California’s Vision with Local Implementation Needs

This brief shares the perspectives and concerns of high school teachers in two districts regarding implementing the Common Core State Standards, specifically as the Common Core pertains to preparing more students for college and well-paying careers. The brief also makes state policy recommendations for ways to support teachers in their efforts to increase students’ college and career readiness, including through fostering alignment between K-12 and postsecondary and workforce partners.

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How the EWD Program Aims to Meet Workforce Needs

After the California State Legislature reauthorized EWD in 2012, the CCCCO created a new structure for the program based on seven geographic regions. Each region selected five rapid-growth, high-demand industry/business sectors, and EWD services in each region were targeted to those sectors. This brief outlines perceived strengths and weaknesses of this restructured program and offers recommendations for improvement. The information is drawn from an evaluation of the EWD program, Aiming to Meet Workforce Needs: An Evaluation of the Economic and Workforce Development Program.

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Roles for County Offices of Education to Support College and Career Readiness: Bridging California’s Vision with Local Implementation Needs

This brief focuses on the potential role of County Offices of Education (COEs) in bridging the state’s vision for college and career readiness with the implementation needs of local districts and schools. After summarizing the work of 10 COEs that are known for supporting districts in increasing college and career readiness, the brief raises questions and outlines concerns in this area for COEs across the state.

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Aiming to Meet Workforce Needs: An Evaluation of the Economic and Workforce Development Program

California’s dynamic economy depends on having a large and skilled workforce; consequently, the state must continually support and refine efforts to provide workers with employer-valued competencies. Given the wide range of regional and state needs across this vast state, ensuring that the workforce has the training to keep up with labor market demands is difficult. The California Community Colleges’ (CCC) Economic and Workforce Development Program (EWD) aims to support the development of a workforce that will promote California’s economic development by connecting employers and educators. This report summarizes the findings of an independent evaluation conducted on EWD.

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Co-Design, Co-Delivery, and Co-Validation: Creating High School and College Partnerships to Increase Postsecondary Success

Co-authored by Andrea Venezia and Joel Vargas at Jobs for the Future, is part of a series, “Ready or Not: It’s Time to Rethink the 12th Grade.” The introductory paper in the series suggests a “shared transition zone,” in which secondary and postsecondary education systems and institutions would collaborate in key ways to bridge existing gaps and substantially increase the percentage of youth prepared for college and careers. While high schools and colleges have their own distinct roles in educating students—and are trying to make improvements in their respective systems—their shared interest in student success comes closest to converging at the end of high school and the beginning of college. The aim of this paper is to frame how educators can build upon this momentum to increase collective responsibility and solutions across systems.

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Leveraging the Common Core to Support College and Career Readiness in California

The report compares state policy leaders’ expectations for and high school educators’ early experiences with the Common Core. As the state passes the five-year milestone in implementation, the report recommends ways to better leverage California’s “college and career readiness standards” to help improve outcomes for graduating students.

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Innovations Designed for Deeper Learning in Higher Education

This report examines technology-enabled innovations at seven postsecondary institutions in the Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) Building Blocks for College Completion grant program. Using the Hewlett Foundation’s definition of Deeper Learning as a reference point, this report analyzes the innovations and approaches of the grantees in promoting Deeper Learning and student engagement in higher education. The grantees adopted various innovations including supplementing existing courses, supporting the adoption of blended learning and complete course redesign. The brief’s findings indicate that students need support to transition to the more active role in their own learning that Deeper Learning demands and that faculty need support, training, and time to create, implement, and sustain the technology-enabled reforms.

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State Policy Leadership in Higher Education – Six Case Studies

This report provide six mini-case studies of higher education policy reforms enacted in other states, exploring the important role that state policy leadership played in developing, promoting, and implementing these policies aimed at improving higher education outcomes, and discussing the relevance of each reform effort for California. This report follows two reports: an update of California higher education performance, Average Won’t Do, and A New Vision for California Higher Education, an effort to engage stakeholders around a vision more suited to today’s students and economic conditions than the 1960 Master Plan. Together, the reports underscore the urgency of efforts to improve leadership and policy for higher education in California, and offer ideas for how this might be accomplished.

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