This brief discusses the role and responsibility of public universities to provide supports specifically for racial minorities and low-income students, including need-based financial aid, leadership opportunities, and learning communities. In doing so, the brief provides strategies from three public universities that effectively address the barriers of these demographics and improve retention and graduation rates among them.
This report discusses the outcomes of a longitudinal study, conducted to investigate the profile of low-skill adults entering community or technical colleges in Washington State and to identify the points at which this demographic commonly drops out or fails to achieve. The study findings indicate that technical and community colleges should establish goals for low-skill adults to earn a credential and take a year’s worth of college-level courses to improve opportunities for achievement via college entry or career-path employment.
This guide introduces the model for the Diploma Plus high schools. The schools are small, alternative high schools run by districts, or charter schools, and some alternative programs supported by community colleges in partnership with school districts. The students served are primarily those who are over-age, under-credit, and at-risk for dropout. The guide provides a detailed explanation of how Diploma Plus high schools function, an explanation of their effectiveness, and easy-to-use charts and lists to understand the components of the school system and curriculum.
The past decade has witnessed impressive growth in and commitment to helping more students graduate, fueled in part by a growing body of research on barriers to achievement of a diploma or credential. The 2014 Building a GradNation Summit was energized by the news that our national on-time graduation rate had reached 80% for the first time, growing ever closer to the GradNation campaign’s goal of a 90% on-time graduation rate by 2020.
This paper examines the benefit of performance-based scholarships on short-term academic outcomes, longer-term academic outcomes, the variation of amount and duration on academic outcomes, and which students are most benefitted by scholarships. Using a random assignment research design, 4,921 students were assigned to either a program group, eligible to earn performance-based scholarships, or a control group. The authors found most students met the academic benchmarks for one or more semesters and increased the number of credits earned during the first year.
This paper investigates the economic benefits of obtaining an Associate Degree prior to transferring to a four-year college. Data on student credit accumulation, award receipt, and labor market returns for students enrolled in the North Carolina Community College System were all taken into consideration. The author found students who transfer to four-year colleges before obtaining an Associate Degree frequently do not graduate and thus leave school with no credential.