What’s Completion Got To Do With It? Using Course-Taking Behavior to Understand Community College SuccessJun 25th, 2012
” . . a third of first-time students engaged in skills-building behavior—enrolling in a small number of courses over a few years. Although they passed these courses 94% of the time, this group did not go on to achieve a degree, certificate or transfer. This is a significant because colleges do not have a consistent way to capture the positive impacts of short-term course-taking, and because this large group is regarded as failing when using the completion yardstick.”
What’s Completion Got To Do With It?
Using Course-Taking Behavior to Understand Community College Success
This inquiry guide applies the findings of Peter Riley Bahr of the University of Michigan for the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office study, within the context of attaining degrees, certificates and transfer, and includes discussion questions that can help relate the results to key concerns in community colleges. It is intended to support conversations on college campuses and in the policy arena on:
1) how to better understand students’ goals by examining their course-taking behavior
2) the types of measures that would help better assess community college impact
3) how colleges could allocate resources to yield greater student success
4) the potential impacts of current reform efforts
A related guide, “Segmentation Model for Assessing Course-Taking Patterns: Research Methodology and Discussion Guide,” provides a simplified methodology to replicate Bahr’s study at individual college campuses, as well as sample discussion questions on how to use these results to build a deeper understanding of student course-taking behavior and its relationship to student success.
To download the Completion Brief click here.
To download the Segmentation Model Dissussion Guide click here.