With the continuing evolution of community colleges, Odessa College has become part of Unlocking Opportunity, a network of 10 two-year colleges partnering with Aspen Institute and CCRC to focus on postgraduate outcomes.
Institutions are helping learners select programs of study through meta-majors, which Hana Lahr described to Higher Ed Dive as a useful tool to help colleges map their offerings. According to Lahr, incorporating them into other onboarding processes maximizes their utility.
John Fink told Inside Higher Ed that the process of transferring is generally an uphill battle: “Sometimes I think about it like a DIY transfer pathway, students are really sort of on their own to figure this out.”
Two four-year universities announced plans to launch two-year colleges on their campuses. Tom Brock responded to these plans in Inside Higher Ed, saying this model could be a “great experience for a small number of students” with valuable ripple effects for them, but “investing in community colleges still needs to be the larger emphasis for public policy."
The release of the data aims to motivate institutions to measure and improve their transfer outcomes, reports Inside Higher Ed. John Fink commented that the data have limits but their release is a “huge step forward.”
In an interview for Marketplace, John Fink discussed why transfer students often get lost, and how strengthening communication two- and four-year institituions could help. “I think our conventional approach with transfer students, why we’re getting these low outcomes, is ‘We’ll just start taking courses at a community college and figure it out later.'"
Only a portion of community college students obtain bachelors degrees. “Right now, the status quo is that supports and advising for transfer students is too little, and too late, and really too absent the presence of the four-year partner,” John Fink told EdSurge.
A report released earlier this month found dual credit programs often end up “random acts of dual credit,” meaning those courses on paper could fit into a wide variety of degree programs. John Fink told EdWeek, “We need to not just offer any dual-enrollment courses, but high-quality dual-enrollment courses that are well taught and aligned to students’ interests after high school.”
Inside Higher Ed reports on a recent CAPR study that shows that using multiple measures to decide whether students belong in remedial coursework, instead of using standard placement exams, results in more students taking and succeeding in college-level English and math courses.
According to enrollment data from the National Student Clearinghouse, total college enrollment rates are up for the first time since 2020, especially at community colleges. Thomas Brock told Inside Higher Ed that some of the more dramatic increases can be attributed to two-year institutions climbing out of the deep post-pandemic hole. The 74 also reported on the data.