The Value of Student Right-to-Know Data in Assessing Community College Performance
Traditionally, community colleges were judged on their number of enrollments and their ability to provide postsecondary education to a wide variety of students. Recently, however, state and federal policymakers have become increasingly concerned with student outcomes, and some states have even begun to consider linking the funding of community colleges to their performance on student outcome measures. In 1990, Congress passed the Student Right-to- Know (SRK) and Campus Security Act. It requires that all colleges report graduation rates to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in order for their students to receive federal financial aid. These Student Right-to-Know graduation rates are part of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The SRK rates are the only performance measures available for virtually every undergraduate institution in the nation, including community colleges, but critics assert that the rates understate the success of community colleges in several important ways.
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