New name, new identity

A Florida community college is changing its name — and offering 10 bachelor’s degrees, dorms,  intercollegiate athletics and study-abroad opportunities. The newly named Florida SouthWestern State College also will recruit “brighter” applicants and out-of-state students. State universities aren’t happy about the competition.

Text ‘nudges’ boost persistence

Text-message reminders about applying for financial aid boosted second-year enrollment rates for community college students at a cost of $5 per student.

‘I saw college as a foreign country’

Karina Madrigal “thought college would be too challenging,” perhaps “impossible.” Her parents, Mexican immigrants, hadn’t made it past middle school. “I saw college as a foreign country.” But then, as a high school student, she took a community college class, earning dual enrollment credits — and a new perspective. It was her first step to a PhD.

Gamers grow up to be developers

Community college students who’ve grown up playing video games are flocking to game development programs that teach programming and design. Many plan to transfer to earn a four-year degree, but some game companies are hiring students before they complete a two-year degree.

Early transfers risk debt but no degree

Most community college students who transfer to a four-year college or university haven’t completed a two-year degree. That lowers their chances of completing a bachelor’s degree, a new study finds. Early transfers often find many of their credits won’t count — or won’t help them complete a major. Often they end up with debt but no degree.

UC plans to streamline transfers

Making it easier for community college students to transfer will expand opportunity and improve diversity at the University of California, argues a task force report.

Students do well on fast track to college English

Fast-tracking remedial reading and writing — offering a more rigorous one-semester course — raised success rates at a California community college. Compared to students in the two-semester course, fast-tracked students earned more credits and higher grades and were more likely to complete college English, earn a certificate or degree and transfer to a four-year college or university.

Online learning is hard, but helpful

California community college students are taking more courses online, but completion rates are lower in online courses, according to a new report. Online learning appears to help stronger students complete their degrees.

Making the transfer dream a reality

Eighty percent of community college students say they plan to transfer and earn a four-year degree, but only 15 percent will earn a bachelor’s degree in six years. Now colleges and universities are working harder to make the transfer dream a reality.

High-achieving, low-income community college transfers can succeed at very selective four-year colleges and universities, according to a study for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

Keep the door open to higher ed

It’s hard to measure community colleges’ value, writes an English professor. For many students, a low-cost, open-access community college is their only shot at higher education and job training.