It’s the learning, stupid

Orlando’s Valencia College graduates nearly thee times more students than the average at large urban community colleges. How do they do it?

College instructors need to design courses to meet the needs of “new traditional” students, adults who’ve been out of high school for years, writes a community college professor.

Costly dropouts

Federal, state and local taxpayers spend billions of dollars on community college dropouts, I write in U.S. News.

Fewer than 45 percent of college-ready students and just 20 percent of remedial students earn a certificate or degree in four years at Valencia College in Orlando, Fla. That’s “nearly three times the rate” of similar urban community colleges and impressive enough to earn Valencia the first Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, awarded Dec. 12 in Washington, D.C.

In short, even at one of the most successful community colleges, most students don’t complete a certificate or degree.