Presentation at EPI Education Week on September 30, 2014 that presents new research on an understudied and often overlooked institutional type, 4-year broad access institutions (BAIs). The presentation discusses findings from a study conducted to describe the salient characteristics of 4-year BAIs and identify institutional factors that serve to predict graduation rates. Findings are relevant to researchers, administrators, and policy makers seeking to
improve retention and graduation rates at 4-year BAIs.
The purpose of the study is to measure the impact of co-enrollment on success outcomes among a national sample of traditional age community college students. Results demonstrate that, even after controlling for observable selection bias and variables previously shown to influence success outcomes for community college students, co-enrolling at more than one institution during a given semester significantly increases the odds that community college students will succeed.
The present study uses data from the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS: 04/09) to measure the impact of developmental education on community college students’ odds of persistence and vertical transfer after controlling for enrollment in remediation and institutional-level variables. Propensity score matching results reveal that students who enroll in developmental courses are systematically different from community college students who do not remediate in gender, ethnicity, first-generation status, academic preparation and experiences during high school, and delayed college entry. Moreover, post matching hierarchical generalized linear modeling (HGLM) findings demonstrate that developmental education may overall serve to decrease community college students’ odds of successfully transferring to a 4-year institution, with negative impacts on students enrolled in English and mathematics courses.
A narrative review was developed to add to the discussion and dissemination of research on community colleges. The review adds to existing work by synthesizing and critiquing the empirical research to date specific to three of the most prevalent programmatic efforts presently seen on community college campuses: (a) learning communities, (b) student success courses, and (c) supplemental instruction. Empirical investigations or evaluations of student success programs from academic journals, conference presentations, dissertations, unpublished policy reports, and book chapters were identified, summarized, and critiqued. The review concludes with a proposed research agenda to advance research on program effectiveness at community colleges and implications for practice.
This study examined the impact of a set of theoretically-derived predictor variables on the persistence and transfer of Hispanic community college students. Early models of student persistence have been validated primarily among 4-year college students. While the constructs have been well-established, the relationships of those relevant factors remain unexamined among community college transfer students, and specifically, among Hispanic students enrolled in developmental coursework and planning to transfer from a community college to a 4-year institution. Logistic regression analysis was used to test the hypothesized conceptual framework on an existing set of quantitative persistence data drawn from a national sample of Hispanic students.
This chapter highlights the retention issues facing today’s community colleges. We begin with an introduction of the community college context followed
by a description of the characteristics and functions of community colleges and the typologies of students. Recent national data comparing community
college and two-year retention rates are then provided in preface to a brief explanation of the discrepancies in success outcomes and a discussion of what we feel are the major issues facing community colleges with regard to retention. We conclude with an acknowledgment of the limitations in measuring retention among community college students.