Questions for Reinvention Task Force Members

Just a reminder that at least one Task Force member, Theresa Carlton, will be at our local Faculty Council meeting tomorrow (hopefully more will be there, too), and she’s looking for questions that she can get in time to track down (and bring back) answers to our college.

Put up your questions here, if you have any. Any and all questions are welcome.

4 thoughts on “Questions for Reinvention Task Force Members

  1. I did have a general question, but I asked via the twitter account and got some feedback (“we’re working on it.”)
    A big thanks to Theresa for meeting with FC.

  2. The Reinvention process is predicated on the notion that we are failing miserably; this despite the fact that we just got 10 years of accreditation from people who actually know something about education. Yet, according to our chancellor, we are failing because only 7% of our students graduate. So which of these is true? Are we doing so well that we deserve the highest level of accreditation, or are we doing so poorly that we have to be immediately reinvented?

    A look at some facts might give us a better idea. The first “fact” on which this whole house of cards is built is that only 7% of our students graduate. This, however, is untrue. What the Chancellor MEANT to say was that 7% of our students finish an AA degree within 2 years. According to Bailey, Crosta, and Jenkins, though, after 3 years of community college, the individual graduation rate is 19.7%, while at six years, it is 39.5%. You can read the full report here: If these statistics hold true for HWC, and I believe they do, that is quite a difference. Yet, no one at the Chicago Tribune has asked the chancellor about this. Could that be because of the huge PR budget the board passed in September?

    So, we see that the percentage of students who are graduating from community colleges is victim of some misrepresentation. Our students typically go part time, work, raise kids, and so on. They may withdraw for a year to work, and then come back. It makes sense that they would need longer to complete a degree. It is time that the Chancellor be honest about that consideration.

    But then, we must grapple with the fact that, even after double the time, only 39.5% of our students get an AA degree. Doesn’t that represent a failure of 60.5% of our students? Because, gosh, shouldn’t all of our students be part of the economic engine of Chicago (C)?

    In short: no. According to the _January 2011 Enrollment and Completions report for fiscal year 2010 from the Illinois Community College system_, “Nearly one-half (47.7 percent) of the fiscal year 2010 credit students enrolled in the colleges indicated that they were not pursuing a degree, but attending to complete one or several courses.”
    You can read the full report here:

    According to this, only 52.3% of the students who go to community colleges in Illinois intend to get an AA degree.

    I believe that these two concepts change the discussion considerably, and I would ask that my colleagues do what they can to sound their barbaric yawps across the editorial pages of the world.
    So 1/2 of Illinois community college students don’t want an AA, and 39% of community college students take 6 years to get an AA degree.

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