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The New Community College, CUNY’s Multimillion-Dollar Experiment in Education. For these students, college is not an assumption but an aspiration, a potential salvation from the poverty most grew up in.

The New Community College, CUNY’s Multimillion-Dollar Experiment in Education

Several would be the first in their families to attend college — some are the first to speak English — so they get no guidance from home about the leap to that alien plane. Most of them are applying to community college because they know, or suspect, that their high school grades and test scores are not good enough to get them into four-year colleges. All have applied for the first class ever admitted to the City University of New York’s new two-year college, set to open next month, and they are gathered at the college on this March night because of a requirement that applies to no other school within CUNY — indeed, few schools anywhere.

The system will not consider their applications until they have attended a lengthy information session, followed by one-on-one interviews with counselors, to be sure they understand just what they would be getting into. Mr. But Mr. Learning Communities, Student Success, and Real Pizza. The Benefits of Making It Harder to Learn - Do Your Job Better. By James M.

The Benefits of Making It Harder to Learn - Do Your Job Better

Lang In January 2011, a trio of researchers published the results of an experiment in which they demonstrated that students who read material in difficult, unfamiliar fonts learned it more deeply than students who read the same material in conventional, familiar fonts. Strange as that may seem, the finding stems from a well-established principle in learning theory called cognitive disfluency, which has fascinating implications for our work as teachers. As the researchers pointed out in their article in the journal Cognition, both students and teachers may sometimes judge the success of a learning experience by the ease with which the learner processes or "encodes" the new information. But learning material easily, or fluently, may sometimes produce shallower levels of learning. By contrast, "making material harder to learn," the authors wrote, "can improve long-term learning and retention. The subjects had 90 minutes to memorize as much of the material as they could.

James M. Common Core, ‘dubious causality’ By The horse race of international rankings in education is based on misconceptions that can lead countries such as the United States to consider sweeping reforms that probably won’t improve academic achievement, according to a new report.

Common Core, ‘dubious causality’

The 2012 Brown Center Report on American Education released yesterday by the Brookings Institution makes a case against Common Core standards – arguing that California’s current standards are superior – and cautions against placing too much weight on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and international comparisons. “We have to be careful when looking at test score data; it’s not the same thing as how many points did the New York Giants score versus the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

These tests have to be interpreted very carefully,” said author Tom Loveless in a video accompanying the study. Loveless is especially critical of using international exams, such as PISA, to rank countries’ educational systems. Let's change how we measure success—now. ​Oh, those graduation rates!

Let's change how we measure success—now

The misuse of them is the bane of all community colleges. The problem is that these troublesome rates do not accurately portray our performance. Whenever someone begins talking about community college graduation rates, please run—do not walk—to the nearest exit. Anyone who fixates on graduation rates obviously has little understanding not only of the rich mission and value of our community colleges, but also how deeply-flawed and inadequate those rates are as a principal assessment tool for community colleges. (An example of this misuse currently being spread around Massachusetts by the misnamed Coalition for Community Colleges was reported last week in a local newspaper.) Graduation rate calculations apply to a small fraction of our entire student population. Why would the BCC board of trustees, comprising business leaders, tolerate for even one more day such a dismal performance, if indeed it actually measured community college performance accurately?

A Third of Students Transfer Before Graduating - Students. By Jennifer Gonzalez One-third of all students switch institutions at least once before earning a degree, says a report released on Tuesday by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

A Third of Students Transfer Before Graduating - Students

The "traditional" path of entering and graduating from the same institution is decreasingly followed, the report says. Students transfer across state lines and institution types, and even "reverse transfer" from four-year to two-year colleges. The report—"Transfer and Mobility: A National View of Pre-Degree Student Movement in Postsecondary Institutions," published in partnership with Indiana University's Project on Academic Success—examines students' increasingly complex transfer patterns. It looks at nearly 2.8 million full- and part-time students of all ages, at all institutional types, over a five-year period beginning in 2006. Transfer rates are similar for full- and part-time students, 32.6 and 33.9 percent, respectively, the study found. Reverse Transfer. PB_AccessMatters_Exec_summary. The 2012 Brown Center Report on American Education.

What’s Wrong with the  Completion Agenda—And What We Can Do About It. This article addresses the broad-based reform movement led by state and federal policy makers and designed to increase dramatically the number of students graduating from our nation’s colleges and universities.

What’s Wrong with the  Completion Agenda—And What We Can Do About It

This movement—known as “the completion agenda”—aims to collect more and better data about students’ educational progress toward degrees, to enact new policies that incentivize increased graduation rates and improve the efficiency of degree production, and to tie funding to increased completion rates. Rooted in the increasingly tight linkage between educational attainment and success in the global economy, external pressure on higher education to increase the numbers of college graduates has been building for decades. As part of this pressure, President Obama (2009) set an ambitious goal in his very first State of the Union address: “By 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.” Completion initiatives The quality shortfall. CCCSE - Center for Community College Student Engagement.

The Center for Community College Student Engagement, a research and service initiative of the Program in Higher Education Leadership in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin, provides important information about effective educational practice in community colleges.

CCCSE - Center for Community College Student Engagement

The Center assists institutions and policymakers in using information to promote improvements in student learning, persistence, and attainment. Surveys & Related Projects The Center conducts a collection of national surveys: The Center also operates several related initiatives. Quick Links Here are some other links you might find helpful: For more information about Center projects, select one of the tabs in the upper-left corner of the website. See more video clips on the Center's YouTube Channel. Center Releases Special Report on Strengthening the Role of Part-Time Faculty The Center’s work on strengthening the role of part-time faculty has been generously supported by MetLife Foundation. Read more... Close. A_Matter_of_Degrees_02-02-12. Community-College Study Asks: What Helps Students Graduate? - Students.

By Jennifer Gonzalez Community colleges are brimming with programs and policies designed to help students complete their studies.

Community-College Study Asks: What Helps Students Graduate? - Students

Practices like requiring orientation and establishing early-academic-warning systems have sprouted since 2009, when President Obama announced that he wanted to make the United States the best-educated country in the world by 2020. Now the questions for the nation's community colleges are: Which of the practices work and why? And perhaps most important, how do colleges expand them to cover all students?

A new, multiyear project led by the Center for Community College Student Engagement will attempt to get some answers. Kay M. The first of three reports, "A Matter of Degrees: Promising Practices for Community College Student Success" was released last week. The strategies specified in the report are not new. Also, 42 percent of part-time students and 19 percent of full-time students work more than 30 hours per week. Requiring Success.

Committing%20to%20quality. Lumina Unveils a National Framework for Measuring Student Learning - Government. By Sara Hebel National conversations about the quality of higher education, as well as efforts to measure what students learn in their college careers, could be aided by developing a common understanding of what degrees mean in the United States, officials at the Lumina Foundation for Education say.

Lumina Unveils a National Framework for Measuring Student Learning - Government

To that end, the foundation released today a suggested framework for defining the knowledge and skills students need to acquire before earning an associate degree, a bachelor's degree, and a master's degree. Lumina's framework, which it is calling the Degree Qualifications Profile, spells out reference points for what students should be learning and demonstrating at each degree level in five areas: broad, integrative knowledge; specialized knowledge; intellectual skills; applied learning; and civic learning. Lumina officials say the degree profile is intended to help define generally what college graduates should know and be able to do, regardless of their majors or fields of study. Community college association releases voluntary accountability measures. Community colleges have long argued they are fundamentally different from four-year institutions and should be judged by different yardsticks.

Community college association releases voluntary accountability measures

Now the sector has created what it says are fair measures of its members' performance, with the release Wednesday of the Voluntary Framework of Accountability from the American Association of Community Colleges. The accountability standards are a starting point for a “common language” on what works at community colleges, said Kent Phillippe, associate vice president for research and student success at the association. But to be effective, he said they also need to show where colleges are falling short. “They have to be rigorous,” he said. The standards arrive as community colleges face increasing pressure to improve graduation rates and to be more open about their performance.

The association developed the voluntary framework over 18 months, vetting it with administrators, researchers and governing boards. “We really have to do this,” said Johnson. Community Colleges Take Major Step in Defining Role, Effectiveness. New National Accountability Measures Drill Down on Unique 2-Year Mission WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following 18 months of intensive research, analysis and pilot testing, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and its partners today launch the first-ever custom framework to measure how 2-year colleges perform in serving their more than 13 million students.

The Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA), along with its newly-minted Metrics Manual v. 1.0 (, will give community colleges what many believe has long been lacking in reporting their successes to the public and policymakers: specific metrics that assess how they do in areas such as student progress and achievement, implementation of career and technical education programs (credit and noncredit) and transparency in reporting outcomes. "We believe the VFA can be the foundational accountability framework for our colleges for now and into the future," said Bumphus. Nuancing of Access and Success. Because the nation is rightly fixed on improving degree completion rates, the discussion about America’s higher education agenda is at risk of becoming so pedestrian that terms like access and success lose their meaning. In similar fashion, once everyone and everything became “green” it was less clear to me what was meant by a “green economy,” “green jobs” or “green politics.”

Presently about 39% of the nation’s adult population has a college degree. Yet, the two fastest growing populations (Latinos and African Americans) remain the least likely to earn a college degree. If America has any chance of returning to number one in the world for the proportion of college-educated adults its higher education system must produce approximately 40 million new degree holders over the next 15 years. This is virtually impossible without dramatically improving access and completion rates among low-income and minority students who collectively face the greatest difficulties completing college.

Big Study Links Good Teachers to Lasting Gain. Study on Teacher Value Uses Data From Before Teach-to-Test Era. Report suggests approach to improving graduation rates. Colleges may be able to improve their graduation rates by gaining a better understanding of the students they enroll, according to a report being released today. The report, from the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles, brings together data from the "freshman survey" by UCLA’s Cooperative Institutional Research Program and graduation numbers from the National Student Clearinghouse and aims to help colleges determine if they have actually improved retention rates or if they have simply attracted better students.

Linda DeAngelo, assistant director for research at UCLA’s Cooperative Institutional Research Program, said the study could eventually help in improving graduation rates. Officials said the new data tell colleges how well they are doing with respect to the students they are bringing in. Without such analysis, colleges may think they are improving their graduation rates when they really are only enrolling better-prepared students. Physicists Seek To Lose The Lecture As Teaching Tool. The lecture is one of the oldest forms of education there is. "Before printing someone would read the books to everybody who would copy them down," says Joe Redish, a physics professor at the University of Maryland. But lecturing has never been an effective teaching technique and now that information is everywhere, some say it's a waste of time. Indeed, physicists have the data to prove it. When Eric Mazur began teaching physics at Harvard, he started out teaching the same way he had been taught.

"I sort of projected my own experience, my own vision of learning and teaching — which is what my instructors had done to me. He loved to lecture. "For a long while, I thought I was doing a really, really good job," he says. But then in 1990, he came across articles written by David Hestenes, a physicist at Arizona State. Hestenes had a suspicion students were just memorizing the formulas and never really getting the concepts. The two balls reached the ground at the same time. NCAT Homepage. Khan Academy ponders what it can teach the higher education establishment. As a fledgling voice of reform in higher education, Salman Khan is an oddity. He cannot name any higher education accrediting agencies off the top of his head.

He advocates for competency-based credentialing, but has never heard of Western Governors University. He is capable of talking on the phone for a full hour without using the word “disruptive” once. Until recently, he was an analyst for a hedge fund. Here is what Khan does know: algebra, statistics, trigonometry, calculus, computer science, biology, chemistry, astronomy, physics, economics, and finance -- well enough, at least, to demonstrate the concepts via brief video tutorials on Khan Academy, his free learning website.

Many have lauded Khan’s natural skill as a teacher. But Khan and his 20-person team -- refugees from hedge funds, consulting firms, software companies, and tech start-ups -- say the videos are hardly the most innovative work they are doing. Khan Academy’s explicit goal is to teach people fundamental concepts. A 'Moneyball' Approach to College - Technology. Community_college_summit_report. A culture of assessment promotes student success. AspenCCPrizeOverview. White_House_Summit_on_Community_Colleges_Fact_Sheet. CUNY Offers Intensive Remediation Program. Colleges Err in Placing Many on Remedial Track, Studies Find.