Blog

How Are Two-Year Colleges Supporting their First-Year Students?
A Question Worth Answering

Ithaka S+R and Two Year First Year (TYFY) recently launched a research collaboration to expand our knowledge of institutional practices to support first year students in two-year degree programs across the country. We asked Brad Bostian, president of TYFY and director of first year experience at Central Piedmont Community College, to describe why he started TYFY and the importance of understanding the needs of first-year community college students. –Rayane Alamuddin People…

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Blog

Ithaka S+R and Two Year First Year (TYFY) Launch National Study
Exploring Programming for First-Year Students in Two-Year Programs

To help incoming college students succeed, many institutions offer First-Year Experience (FYE) programs. But most of the research on the scope and effectiveness of these programs centers on four-year colleges and universities. This is a significant oversight given that 38 percent of all postsecondary students are enrolled at community colleges or other two-year programs. To begin to fill this research gap, Ithaka S+R and Two Year First Year (TYFY) recently launched a research…

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Blog

Re-Thinking the Case for Free College

I’m all about college opportunity and success and love the idea of swinging the doors wide open. At first I was taken aback, to put it mildly, by the notion of “free college,” but my thoughts are evolving. The idea may be worthwhile for what it’s doing to galvanize public attention to higher education finance. Whether it is viable public policy, from a practical political standpoint or a social equity…

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Blog

Community College Library Support for Student Success
Ithaka S+R and Northern Virginia Community College Launch New Research Project

Ithaka S+R regularly and extensively studies the perspectives, practices, and needs of faculty and students at four year colleges and universities to inform future roles for the academic library. Today, we are excited to announce that we will be expanding this work over the next 18 months to partner with seven community colleges in assessing and improving library support of student success within a community college context. We are grateful…

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Training for a Tough Job: The Community College Presidency Pipeline

To say that the community college presidency is in flux is no overstatement. Many existing community college presidents have been reaching retirement age at a time when both the traditional presidential pipeline and rigorous leadership training programs have narrowed. At the same time, there has been a wave of community college president resignations and terminations, leading to warranted concerns about a shortage of qualified candidates who can tackle the increasingly…

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Designing Libraries to Support Community College Students

Among the growing number of ethnographic studies of college students, only a tiny number look at students on community college campuses, and even fewer look specifically at how these students do their academic work and use the library. But community college students constitute an enormous and important group. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 7.2 million of the 20.5 million undergraduates in the US are enrolled in…

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Publication

Reflections on Ethnographic Studies in a Community College Library System

Montgomery College, the community college of Montgomery County, Maryland, has made an enormous contribution to the study of libraries in community colleges with a series of reports about ethnographic studies on all three of its campuses.[1] Tanner Wray, Director of College Libraries and Information Services, led the studies, which gathered information from students and faculty members on how …


Event

Collaborative Libraries Assessment Across a Multi-Campus College
A Session at the Library Assessment Conference

At the Library Assessment Conference, Nancy Fried Foster, joined by Montgomery College's Tanner Wray and Cynthia Pfanstiehl, will talk about a multi-year, multi-campus assessment project that Montgomery College undertook with Ithaka S+R. Details: Library Assessment Conference Arlington, Virginia Monday, October 31, 1:30 -3:15 pm  


Blog

A “How To” Guide to Effective Transfer Pathways

While a large majority of community college students aspire to a bachelor’s degree, only 14 percent will earn one within six years. But that deeply disappointing overall statistic hides a lot of variation: in some contexts, the pathway through two-year and four-year colleges to a bachelor’s degree is a much easier one. Often, the difference is not the students themselves or the resources, but how institutions work with students and…

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Will Easing the Financial Burden of Dual Enrollment Improve College Outcomes for Low-Income Students?

As I’ve noted previously, the percentage of low-income (family income in the bottom 20 percent) high school graduates that have enrolled in two- and four-year institutions declined from 55.9 percent in 2008 to 45.5 percent in 2013. Studies examining dual enrollment programs—in which students take courses for college credit while still in high school—have found that participating in such programs increases the likelihood of college degree attainment, especially for low-income…

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