Teachers College, Columbia University

All Publications

MARCH 2021

College Acceleration for All? Mapping Racial/Ethnic Gaps in Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment Participation

This paper estimates the patterns and sources of White–Black and White–Hispanic enrollment gaps in Advancement Placement (AP) and dual enrollment programs across several thousand school districts and metropolitan areas in the United States.


Stratified Trajectories: Charting Equity Gaps in Program Pathways Among Community College Students

Using nine years of data from one state, this paper tracks completion and transfer outcomes to examine when gaps between Black, Hispanic, and White community college students occur, and it estimates the benefits of reaching early milestones for such students.


The Dual Enrollment Playbook: A Guide to Equitable Acceleration for Students

Based on research conducted in three states, this report identifies five principles that undergird the strategies and practices of equitable dual enrollment partnerships.

JUNE 2020

Unpacking Program Enrollments and Completions With Equity in Mind

This guide presents a set of example data analyses colleges can replicate to examine whether underserved groups of students are equitably represented in programs that lead to higher opportunity outcomes for employment and/or baccalaureate transfer.

JULY 2019

Early Momentum Metrics: Leading Indicators for Community College Improvement

In this brief, the authors examine how well nine measures of students’ progress in their first year predict student completion in subsequent years, and thus how suitable these early momentum metrics are as leading indicators of the effectiveness of institutional reforms.


Building Guided Pathways to Community College Student Success: Promising Practices and Early Evidence From Tennessee

This report describes the guided pathways reforms taking place at the 13 community colleges in the Tennessee Board of Regents, along with promising trends in first-year momentum among entering students.

JUNE 2018

Strengthening Transfer Paths to a Bachelor’s Degree: Identifying Effective Two-Year to Four-Year College Partnerships

Using National Student Clearinghouse data, this paper introduces a two-stage, input-adjusted, value-added analytic framework for identifying partnerships of two- and four-year institutions that are particularly effective in enabling students to transfer and earn bachelor’s degrees.

APRIL 2018

What We Are Learning About Guided Pathways

This practitioner packet describes the guided pathways reform model; presents case studies of how colleges are approaching key pathways practices, with promising evidence on student success from early adopters; and outlines steps and a timeline for implementing guided pathways reforms.


Are Community College Transfer Students “A Good Bet” for 4-Year Admissions? Comparing Academic and Labor-Market Outcomes Between Transfer and Native 4-Year College Students

Using detailed administrative data from Virginia, this journal article examines whether community college “vertical transfer” students who resemble “native four-year” students in their accumulated college-level credits and performance at their point of entry into the four-year sector perform equally well in terms of both academic and labor market outcomes.


Using Data Mining to Explore Why Community College Transfer Students Earn Bachelor’s Degrees With Excess Credits

This CCRC working paper uses data-mining techniques to analyze student transcripts from two states and identify variables associated with excess credits among bachelor’s degree completers who started at a community college.


Tackling Transfer: A Guide to Convening Community Colleges and Universities to Improve Transfer Student Outcomes

This guide aims to help state entities organize workshops for two- and four-year institutions to improve transfer and graduation outcomes for their students through data analysis and self-reflection of institutional practices and the development of action plans.


How to Measure Community College Effectiveness in Serving Transfer Students

This guide provides instructions for community colleges that want to use National Student Clearinghouse data to assess their own effectiveness and that of particular transfer partnerships in helping students to transfer and complete bachelor’s degrees.


Takes Two to Tango: Essential Practices of Highly Effective Transfer Partnerships

This journal article offers a set of essential transfer practices culled from national fieldwork to two- and four-year institutional transfer partnerships identified using NSC data as highly effective in supporting transfer student success.


What Happens to Students Who Take Community College "Dual Enrollment" Courses in High School?

This report uses student enrollment and degree records from the National Student Clearinghouse to examine who enrolls in community college dual enrollment courses and what happens to them after high school.


Building Blocks: Laying the Groundwork for Guided Pathways Reform in Ohio

This report describes how Ohio’s two-year colleges are approaching guided pathways reforms, focusing on innovations they have implemented in recent years that can serve as building blocks as they seek to transform their policies, practices, and culture following the guided pathways model.

JUNE 2017

What Do Students Think of Guided Pathways?

Using interview data from first-year students at City Colleges of Chicago (CCC), this brief describes students’ reactions to important components of CCC’s recent guided pathways reform efforts.

MAY 2017

Is It Really Cheaper to Start at a Community College? The Consequences of Inefficient Transfer for Community College Students Seeking Bachelor’s Degrees

Using data from two state systems, this paper examines whether it is more efficient for bachelor’s degree seekers to start at a two-year college.

APRIL 2017

Implementing Guided Pathways: Early Insights From the AACC Pathways Colleges

This report provides insight into how colleges are planning and implementing “guided pathways” reforms based on the early work of 30 colleges participating in the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) Pathways Project.


Policy Levers to Strengthen Community College Transfer Student Success in Texas

Based on three sets of analyses, this report to the Greater Texas Foundation recommends ways that state policy could help to improve outcomes for community college transfer students in Texas.


A Longitudinal Analysis of Community College Pathways to Computer Science Bachelor’s Degrees

This report investigates the national landscape of computer science students at community colleges in order to better understand student behaviors and institutional characteristics that support or hinder community college students’ efforts to attain a computer science bachelor’s degree.

MAY 2016

The Transfer Playbook: Essential Practices for Two- and Four-Year Colleges

This playbook is a practical guide to designing and implementing a key set of practices that will help community colleges and their four-year college partners improve bachelor’s completion rates for students who start at community colleges.


Tracking Transfer: New Measures of Institutional and State Effectiveness in Helping Community College Students Attain Bachelor’s Degrees

This report uses five metrics to measure the effectiveness of two- and four-year institutions in enabling community college students to transfer to four-year institutions and earn bachelor’s degrees.


What We Know About Transfer

This research overview reviews findings on transfer from community colleges to four-year colleges, including student outcomes, barriers to transfer, the economic benefits of transfer, and potential benefits to four-year colleges.