Upcoming Presentations

Council for the Study of Community Colleges Fall Webinar Series

Stronger State Finance Policy as a Lever for Equitable Student Success

October 4, 2023, 12:00–1:00 PM EST

For community colleges to reach their full potential as drivers of prosperity and equity, research partners HCM Strategists and the Community College Research Center (CCRC), argue that states must create strong, stable, coherent finance systems that enable and incentivize colleges to better meet pressing state interests and student needs. To do so, policymakers need clear, comprehensive and state-specific pictures of how current finance systems operate. College leaders need sufficient resources that can be deployed in service of their institutional priorities, including equitable attainment.

This presentation will share insights and recommendations from research that maps the community college finance systems in California, Ohio and Texas. These states vary in terms of location, demographics, and the size and structure of their community colleges, yet each has recently seen notable efforts to change aspects of their community college finance system. HCM identified and analyzed the policies that control each state’s major revenue streams, their implications for institutional behavior, and their effects on equity. Additionally, CCRC researchers will present findings from an institutional analysis conducted at 8 community colleges across California, Ohio, and Texas that examined institutional funding and choices leaders made about how limited resources should be allocated. It also analyzed the colleges’ student success initiatives–how they operate, who they serve, and their resource requirements–with a focus on the ways institutional policy and practice is affected by the local and state economic and political context.


Martha Snyder, Managing Director of Postsecondary Education Transformation, HCM Strategists

Stephanie Murphy, Director of Postsecondary State Policy and Research, HCM Strategists

Nikki Edgecombe, Senior Research Scholar, CCRC

Maria Cormier, Senior Research Associate, CCRC

Taylor Odle, Assistant Professor of Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

2023 NACEP National Conference

October 23–24, 2023
St. Louis, MO

Elevating the Student Voice to Advance Equitable Dual Enrollment

October 23, 10:45–11:30 AM CT

As college and K12 leaders work to strengthen the potential of dual enrollment (DE) to increase college access and success, it is essential to center the voices of students from communities underrepresented in higher education to guide reforms. During this session, presenters will share key takeaways for educators working to advance equity in dual enrollment drawing on new research from DE student focus groups and a multi-institutional survey of DE student experiences. Presenters from the Community College Research Center and Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE) will focus on the experiences of Black, Hispanic, and low-income DE students, and how educators can ensure their DE programs are responsive to these students’ primary concerns and requests. Implications for practice will be discussed and presenters will share focus group protocols and survey information to support program evaluation and improvement.


Aurely Garcia Tulloch, Research Assistant, CCRC

Emilio Delboy, Survey Operations Coordinator, Center for Community College Student Engagement

Diving DEEP: A Research-Based Framework for Broadening the Benefits of Dual Enrollment

October 24, 9:00–10:30 AM CT

In this session, John Fink from CCRC will review research on the potential of dual enrollment and present a research-based framework for reform called—‘dual enrollment equity pathways’ or DEEP—that addresses concerns around ‘learning loss’ due to COVID, offers a strategy for colleges to build back enrollments, and is increasingly important for building robust talent supply chains to support regional economies. To illustrate the DEEP framework, leaders from K12/college dual enrollment partnerships with exceptional student outcomes will detail how dual enrollment can be transformed from ‘programs of privilege’ and ‘random acts’ to purposeful models that aim to broaden access and increase quality in college coursework aligned to postsecondary degrees in fields of interest to students.


John Fink, Senior Research Associate and Program Lead, CCRC

Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) 2023 Fall Conference

November 9—11, 2023
Atlanta, GA

A Long-Term Look at Multiple Measures Assessment: Impact Findings from a Randomized Controlled Trial

November 9, 3:30 PM ET

The results previewed here further support the use of MMA as compared to traditional test-based systems, with a few specific lessons for policy and practice. First, findings from the current study suggest that increased access to college-level courses improves students’ chances of completing college-level math and English courses. In other words, MMA’s potential to improve student outcomes is explained by the redistribution of students from developmental courses to college-level courses. Secondly, although research has shown that many students will succeed in college-level courses when given the chance to enroll in them, we find that the impact of MMA on student outcomes decreases over time. Therefore, to bolster long-term student success, MMA should be implemented alongside additional student supports. Finally, MMA has the potential to address disparities by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender if placement systems are designed with inclusive placement measures and implemented alongside targeted support programs post-placement to meet the needs of specific populations as they navigate college.


Elizabeth Kopko, Senior Research Associate, CCRC

College Costs and Student Decisions–Understanding the Benefits and Challenges of Working During College

November 10, 8:30–10:00 AM ET
Embassy H, Hyatt Regency Atlanta

Using data from an original survey conducted at 16 campuses (including both community and four-year colleges) within a large, urban public higher education system, over 25 student interviews and administrative data, we describe patterns of behavior associated with working. Specifically, we answer the following research questions:

  • What are the benefits and tradeoffs associated with working during college?
  • How does working while enrolled, and the associated benefits and tradeoffs, vary by student characteristics, campus sector and employment type?

We find that students do make decisions about courses and campus engagement to accommodate their work schedule. For example, 68 percent of the students we surveyed report choosing a class or classes to accommodate their work schedule and 38 percent report that they spend less time on campus because of work. These types of tradeoffs could have long-run impacts on students, forcing them to take longer to graduate or reducing the likelihood they choose a course-intensive major, such as those in the STEM fields. On the other hand, we find that students also report benefits from working including widening their professional networks and improving their people skills.


Adela Soliz, Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Public Policy, Vanderbilt University

Veronica Minaya, Senior Research Associate and Program Lead, CCRC

Amy E. Brown, Research Associate, CCRC

Joseph Hille, Research Assistant, CCRC

An Unprecedented Investment: Analysis of Pandemic Recovery Funds at Community Colleges

November 11, 12:00–1:30 PM ET

Hyatt Regency

To date, there is no clear picture of how community colleges have used federal recovery funds, what institutional and student needs are being addressed by funds, and what needs are unmet. We do know that how much money each institution received depended on a variety of factors but was ultimately based on student enrollment levels. Unfortunately, the funding formula for the initial round of HEER funds disfavored community colleges with their high enrollments of both part-time students and distance learners. The subsequent funding acts adjusted their funding formulas to additionally include both non-distance and distance headcount enrollment of both full- and part-time students, with non-distance headcount enrollment (all full- and part- time students taking classes on-campus) weighted equally to full-time equivalent enrollment.

In this study, we collected data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Education Stabilization (ESF) Fund Transparency Portal and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Systems (IPEDS) to analyze how much community colleges have spent of their pandemic relief funds and to illuminate patterns by institutional and student characteristics. P

This analysis provides current and vital information on what has actually happened during the turbulence of the last three years, as well as providing assessments on how well critical policies have served their intent. Through this work, we inform policymakers, practitioners, and other researchers on funding and spending trends, drawing lessons to inform pandemic recovery efforts and to plan for future public health or other emergencies.


Tia Monahan, Senior Research Assistant and PEAR Fellow, CCRC

ASHE General Conference 2023

November 15–18, 2023
Minneapolis, MN

Equity Through Assessment?: The Differential Impacts of Multiple Measures Assessment on Student Subgroups

This interactive paper session examines the state of developmental (aka, remedial) education policy and aims to understand its effects on college success for marginalized students. Given recent policy reforms and research showing effect heterogeneity, these four papers further examine how varied forms of developmental education are experienced by marginalized students.


Elizabeth Kopko, Senior Research Associate, CCRC

Hollie Daniels, Research Associate, CCRC

48th Annual POD Network Conference

November 14–17, 2023

November 16–19, 2023
Pittsburgh, PA

A Framework for Designing Online Courses to Support Student Success

November 16, 3:30–4:45 PM ET
Room 302

Online courses extend access to higher education but also place a significant burden on students to manage their own learning processes. Students report feeling isolated and unsure how to get help, and students historically underserved by higher education are especially likely to struggle in this format. Meanwhile, faculty are seeking new approaches to help students succeed. In this session, researchers and educational developers will share their work codesigning instructional strategies to help diverse students build motivational mindsets, metacognitive skills, and applied learning strategies. Participants will be invited to offer input on the framework and supports faculty will need to implement.


Rebecca Griffiths, Senior Principal Researcher, SRI Education

Amy E. Brown, Research Associate, CCRC

Joshua D. Kanies, Director of Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, Palm Beach State College

Katie Surber, Coordinator, Instructional Design & Development, Wake Technical Community College

Implementing the Federal Work-Study Program: A Resource Utilization & Cost Study

What do community colleges and universities need to spend to administer and operate the Federal Work-Study Program (FWS)?

The FWS program is one of the oldest federal policy tools intended to promote college access and persistence for low-income students, pre-dating Pell Grants and Stafford Loans. Unlike other forms of federal student aid which are awarded to students on a formula basis, FWS allocations are granted in aggregate to institutions, which then have significant flexibility in implementing the program, including determining who receives an award and how much, and how students are connected to available jobs. Thus, the full resource cost for institutions to administer and operate FWS is quite different from the institutional allocation of FWS funds, and how much it actually costs institutions to administer and operate FWS is unknown.

We investigate what resources are required to administer and operate the FWS program at the City University of New York (CUNY), the single largest recipient of FWS funds nationally. This investigation is based on collected survey data and information from interviews at six CUNY’s community and senior colleges and student payroll records regarding the number of FWS jobs. We interviewed financial aid directors, FWS coordinators, and others involved in the implementation of the program at CUNY Central and at each participating institution. We analyze this evidence using the ingredients method where each resource is priced out to determine total resource cost.

To administer and operate FWS, institutions must commit resources to the following tasks: (1) accounting, compliance, and auditing of the FWS program; (2) program admission, placement and hiring; (3) overseeing and supervising FWS employment; and (4) processing contracts and payroll; and (5) manual packaging and distribution of discretionary funds. These resources include personnel, technology platforms and software, training, and materials. Since institutions have flexibility in terms of how they manage and operate FWS, the annual cost varies by institution and depending on the number of FWS students.

Institutions with relatively large numbers of FWS students have a FWS coordinator working full-time for the program with the support of at least two financial aid administrators with 60% of their work dedicated to FWS. These institutions also spend on a FWS software package used for online placement and hiring, electronic timesheet submission, tracking student earnings, managing the waitlist for the distribution of discretionary funds, and auditing and compliance. Institutions with fewer FWS students also have a FWS coordinator but that person typically works part-time for the program and without administrative support. At these institutions, FWS coordinators do not have access to a FWS software, which can make their job substantially more labor intensive.

The pandemic caused a few likely permanent changes in FWS training. Financial aid staff at all six institutions stopped attending in-person FWS trainings and workshops. FWS student and supervisor orientations are now delivered virtually at most institutions.

In this first-of-its-kind FWS cost study, we will calculate the full resource cost for institutions to administer and operate FWS and express this amount as total and net cost per student and per dollar of FWS allocation. The net cost will represent the amount of resources committed by the institution from participating in the FSW program.


Senior Research Associate and Program Lead
Community College Research Center
Research Associate
Community College Research Center

Associated Project(s)