What a difference a year can make. In February 2017, Katie Hern, co-founder of the California Acceleration Project, spoke with the inaugural cohort of the California Education Policy Fellows Program about the challenges of reforming developmental education statewide from the bottom up—after working campus by campus for almost a decade to spur changes in a system of 114 California Community Colleges. When she met with the second cohort of EPFP Fellows a year later, the policy landscape had completely changed.
Many CSU campuses over the past few years have created senior-level campus-wide positions charged with improving student success. The trend is not unique to the CSU or to California, and the number of online job postings for senior-level positions focusing on “student success” has more than tripled nationally since 2010. No matter which university you call home, refocusing campus structures and culture around student learning and success can be challenging. In the following story, Elizabeth Boretz shares some of her experiences helping CSU Fullerton strengthen its campus-wide approach to student success.
In May 2017, the CSU Student Success Network convened, and Fresno State hosted, a one-day meeting focused on data use. The convening drew participation from teams of faculty and staff from ten CSU campuses. Afterwards, the team from CSU San Marcos (CSUSM) decided to create a data fellows program to improve their campus’ capacity to use data in decision-making. This is their story of why—and how—they created their program.
Understanding Professional Learning Opportunities in California’s Community Colleges: Emerging Themes from Institutional Effectiveness Evaluations
EdInsights has been evaluating the sweeping changes in the California Community Colleges for the past five years. “That’s an exciting lens for us,” says EdInsights Faculty Fellow Su Jin Jez, “helping community college educators examine the effects of their work and ways to refine it, while also contributing to the state’s own understanding of its investments.” In our newest blog post, Dr. Jez shares key themes that surfaced from these evaluations and signals ways that other capacity-building efforts in higher education can improve student learning, engagement, progression, and completion.
A new cohort of California Education Policy Fellows met recently at Asilomar for three days of conversations about challenges facing education. The 20 Fellows, all education policy professionals in California, heard from luminaries in the field who shared their wisdom about the conditions necessary for effective policy change and new ideas about competition in the marketplace for ideas.
When it comes to implementing College and Career Readiness (CCR), our research over the past two years tells us that educators do not want to reinvent the wheel. They want local control of key decisions, but they also want guidance from the state about which models to consider. In this blog, EdInsights Executive Director, Andrea Venezia, and K-16 Research and Policy Director, Laura Jaeger, consider the challenges that Educators are facing as they try to find a balance between local control, on the one hand, and state guidance on the other, so as to support equitable opportunities for all students statewide.
Student voices can provide powerful insights to inform education improvement, and yet too often evaluations of education programs overlook students’ perspectives and experiences. In this blog Connie Tan, Evaluations Director at EdInsights, shares her observations from four years of evaluating a range of education programs. Rather than craving a college experience full of academic and career exploration, students are hungry for guidance in identifying a suite of courses that match their interest, followed by supports and structure that puts them on a path to graduate or transfer. These lessons can serve as an impetus for action and improvement at the campus and system levels.
California collects expansive data about students in its systems of public education, but the data are collected and maintained in systems that are not connected, were designed for different purposes, are subject to different regulations, and often use different data definitions. Colleen Moore, assistant director at EdInsights and author of California’s Maze of Student Information: Education Data Systems Leave Critical Questions Unanswered, writes about how these disjointed systems contribute to fragmented education programming and policy making.
In the new vision statement of the California Community Colleges—adopted last month by the Board of Governors—Chancellor Eloy Oakley committed to lead the work of partnering across systems. In this blog, Andrea Venezia, Executive Director of EdInsights, reflects on the importance of this commitment and suggests that it could signal new ways in which California’s education system can work together—and that students could reap the benefits.
California’s K-12 and postsecondary systems have little connection through governance, finance, or data systems, and few incentives to develop, track, or meet cross-system goals for students. There’s a powerful role for networks to bridge gaps in education, which is why EdInsights launched two this year: California EPFP and the CSU Student Success Network.
In this blog, Jodi Lewis, co-director of California EPFP, reflects on the value of network-based approaches to build capacity to improve student success.
EdInsights Publications and Presentations
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