Now for the hard part: translating vision for community colleges into student success

On July 18, 2017, EdSource reported, “Now for the hard part: translating vision for community colleges into student success.” The article reports on a new document titled “Vision for Success,” adopted by California’s Community College system.

Here’s an excerpt from the report:

“Despite some modest gains in student outcomes, the community college system is not performing at the level needed to reliably provide students with opportunities for mobility and to meet California’s future workforce needs.”

The article continues:

The report sets a number of goals for the system, such as increasing by 20 percent the number of community college students who end up with associate degrees, or obtain certification for “specific skill sets that prepare them for an in-demand job.”

It sets a target of increasing by 35 percent the number of community colleges who transfer each year to UC and CSU. It calls for reducing the average number of units a community college student accumulates from 87 units to 79 units.

Individual colleges are urged to do more to encourage students to attend full time, especially younger students who are not responsible for supporting family members. Students should be encouraged to complete 30 units per year.

However, the community colleges face substantial challenges in realizing the ambitious and worthy goals outlined in the report. The community colleges comprise a decentralized system in which campuses are organized into 72 districts overseen by locally elected boards of trustees. As a result, edicts from Sacramento will not have their desired outcomes unless there is buy-in at a local level.

Read the complete article on the EdSource website.