Introduction to the CCRC Assessment of Evidence Series

Bailey, Thomas R.; Jaggars, Shanna; Jenkins, Paul Davis

Community colleges play an important role in the U.S. economy, providing access to higher education for low-income young people, a path to higher-earning employment for low-income workers, and a supply of well-trained employees for local industry. In order to remain competitive with other major economies, however, the U.S. must sharply increase its supply of educated workers over the coming decade. Accordingly, policymakers and private foundations have set ambitious goals for improving the rate at which Americans earn college credentials. To meet these goals, community colleges will have to increase both the number of students they serve and the rate at which those students graduate. Improving student graduation rates will not be an easy task, particularly for community colleges, which disproportionately serve low-income, first-generation, and academically underprepared students. These students struggle with a variety of challenges, including job and child care responsibilities, transportation difficulties, financial limitations, poor high school academic preparation, and a lack of information about how to successfully navigate college. The goal of the CCRC Assessment of Evidence Series is to help community colleges identify concrete strategies that have the potential to improve student success on a scale needed to meet national goals for increased postsecondary attainment.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Community College Research Center
Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
March 28, 2014