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This set of policy briefs and fact sheets is intended to inform the work of advocates and policymakers, particularly at the federal level, as they craft policies on rebuilding the workforce, supporting community colleges, improving graduation and transfer rates, addressing student debt, and more.

Policy Briefs

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April 2021

Investing in Student Success at Community Colleges: Lessons from Research on Guided Pathways

This brief discusses why whole-college, guided pathways reforms hold promise for improving student success on a large scale, what they cost, and how the federal government can support their adoption.

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April 2021

Strengthening Community College Workforce Training

This brief describes the substantial role community colleges play in workforce education, what innovative colleges are doing to improve programming and labor market outcomes for participants, and how the federal government can support these efforts.

Fact Sheets

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July 2021

An Introduction to Community Colleges and Their Students

CCRC offers a short primer on the multiple missions of these institutions, what kinds of students they enroll, what outcomes they produce, and some of the major issues they face.

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July 2021

Participation in Federal Work-Study

This fact sheet outlines how the Federal Work-Study program works, its effects on academic and labor market outcomes, and why so few community college students receive Federal Work-Study aid.

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July 2021

Community College Transfer

This fact sheet outlines challenges in supporting successful student transfer from community colleges to four-year institutions and considerations for improving the transfer process.

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February 2022

Public Funding of Community Colleges

This policy fact sheet discusses revenue streams for community colleges, disparity in resources relative to public four-year colleges, and federal spending, including COVID-19 relief funding.

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July 2021

Community Colleges and Student Debt

This fact sheet discusses the rate of borrowing among students in different sectors, how community college students can benefit from access to loans, and the wide disparities in default by race and income.

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July 2021

Developmental Education

This fact sheet describes how traditional developmental education may have unintended consequences for students and the growing body of research evidence on promising reforms.

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July 2021

Advising and Student Supports at Community Colleges

This fact sheet describes the importance of academic and nonacademic services, particularly for underserved students, and how students that receive targeted, intensive support experience improved outcomes.

For more thoughts on state and federal policy questions that impact community colleges and their students, visit our blog.