The Effects of Institutional Factors on the Success of Community College Students

Bailey, Thomas R.; Calcagno, Juan Carlos; Kienzl, Gregory S.; Leinbach, D. Timothy; Jenkins, Paul Davis

Community colleges are the gateway to higher education for many students who would otherwise have limited access to college, particularly those who are from low-income households or are ethnic minorities, first generation college students, or immigrants. Yet only about one-third of all community college students receives any degree or certificate even eight years after initial college enrollment. And credit accumulation and completion rates are even lower for minority and low-income students. Meanwhile, community college student outcomes, as measures of college effectiveness, are of increasing concern for institutional accountability. The Bush administration and many legislators in Congress would like to hold postsecondary institutions to higher standards of accountability, just as they have done with elementary and secondary schools. Institutional reporting requirements to the Department of Education now include data for graduation rates overall and broken out by gender and race/ethnicity. More than half of all states take into account the performance of public colleges when determining higher education appropriations.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Community College Research Center
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University
CCRC Brief, 24
Published Here
March 6, 2013