July Articles of Interest for Higher Education Professionals

The Association for Institutional Research shared the following publications of interest for higher education professionals. Click on each of the titles to access full articles. The synopsis of each article is credited to the Electronic AIR Newsletter (June edition).

Remediation: Higher Education’s Bridge to Nowhere (Alice Van Ommeren)

Remediation: Higher Education’s Bridge to Nowhere, a report from Complete College America, finds that more than one-half of students entering community colleges and about 20% of students entering four-year institutions are placed in remedial classes. The report cites the large numbers of students in remedial classes as a significant barrier to certificate/degree completion. Fewer than 1 in 10 students who start in remedial courses graduate from a community college in three years and only about one-third complete a bachelor’s degree in six years. Instead of traditional remediation, the report suggests four steps states can take to increase student success: (1) strengthen high school preparation; (2) place students with deficiencies in redesigned college-level courses with built-in, co-requisite support; (3) build extra support around gateway courses; and (4) encourage students to enter programs of study when they first enroll. The report provides Common Completion Metrics data from 31 states as well as examples of successful initiatives.

Going the Distance in Adult College Completion: Lessons from the Non-Traditional No More Project (Melodie Christal)

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) report, Going the Distance in Adult College Completion: Lessons from the Non-Traditional No More Project, summarizes policies and practices targeted at increasing adult degree completion. WICHE worked with Arkansas, Colorado, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, and South Dakota to identify and eliminate barriers keeping adult learners with a significant number of college credits from returning to college to complete their degrees. The report addresses five areas in which barriers were identified and promising strategies were designed to better serve the adult learner. The report recommends that institutions offer a single point of contact for returning adults to help them through the readmission process and increased flexibility regarding policies and practices.

College Enrollment and Work Activity of 2011 High School Graduates (Melodie Christal)

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has published a report providing information on 2011 high school graduates (16 to 24 years old) and their educational attainment and work activity. As of October 2011, 68.3% of 2011 high school graduates were enrolled in postsecondary education, with women enrolling at a higher rate than men (72.3% vs. 64.6%). The enrollment rate of Asians (86.7%) was higher than whites (67.7%), blacks (67.5%), and Hispanics (66.6%). Recent high school graduates who were not enrolled in college in October 2011 were more likely to be working or looking for work than those who were enrolled in college – 68.7% compared with 38.8%.

Condition of Education 2012 (Melodie Christal)

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Condition of Education 2012 report presents 49 indicators on the status and condition of education covering all levels of education from early childhood through postsecondary education. This year’s report examines how demographic and policy changes have impacted high schools over the past 20 years.

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