Open door can be a revolving door

Community colleges offer an open door that often turns out to be a revolving door. Colleges are trying to scale up completion initiatives.

No silver bullet for remedial woes

Reformers are transforming — sometimes eliminating — remedial education at community colleges, but fixing remedial ed will be “vastly more complex” than they think, argues Hunter R. Boylan, who runs the National Center for Developmental Education.

Virginia’s community college system raised success rates for unprepared students by lowering math demands for non-STEM majors. Carnegie’s Pathways reforms focus on statistics and quantitative reasoning rather than advanced algebra.

CCs add 4-year degrees, but face pushback

Community colleges in 22 states now offer four-year degrees — usually in technical and vocational fields — but universities are fighting the trend.

Online ed’s success gap narrows

Online enrollment is growing at community colleges, even as traditional enrollment declines, reports the Instructional Technology Council. “The retention gap” between online and traditional students  ”has narrowed dramatically” in the past nine years, according to ITC.

Biden: Give college credit for apprenticeships

 Giving college credit for apprenticeships will boost graduation rates and develop skilled workers, said Vice President Joe Biden at the American Association of Community Colleges’ annual convention.

CCs host ‘corporate colleges’

Employer-funded “corporate colleges” provide job skills for workers and revenue for community colleges.

Community colleges are working more closely with employers on job training.

The answers are online

Community colleges are using technology to provide information and advice to students. It’s a lot cheaper than hiring counselors.

Colorado tries ‘game-based learning’

Colorado’s community colleges are using “immersive game-based learning” as a teaching tool. For example, microbiology students follow a series of augmented reality scenarios to track a potential epidemic to its source.

California eyes 4-year degrees at 2-year colleges

California may let community colleges offer low-cost bachelor’s degrees, if they don’t compete with state universities. Credential inflation is making it harder for two-year graduates in fields such as nursing and respiratory therapy to find jobs. But there are few places in programs at state universities. Twenty-one states now have bachelor’s programs — almost always vocational — at community colleges.

Twenty-eight percent of community college students in Indiana complete a certificate or degree in six years, the state estimates.

Colleges fail older, part-time students

Recent high school graduates enrolled full-time at residential colleges make up only 15 percent of college students.  Colleges are failing their older, working, part-time students who make up the “new majority.”

Community college leaders worry that President Obama’s college ratings system will penalize open-access schools. Part-time students, who make up the majority at community colleges, aren’t tracked by the federal data system. Some students — nobody knows how many — say they’re seeking a degree to qualify for federal aid when they’re really trying to learn a job skill.