Community College News

Lots of stuff this week has been piling up on my Instapaper page and Google Reader as the semester’s grading has piled up to a critical point (right exactly when my sinus cavities filled up with snot and phlegm, of course), but there’s no time like now for procrastinating, so here’s some reading for you!

~Apparently there’s now data to support something we all know well:

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.

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.

John Hader sent The Chronicle article on the study along with a note that said, “Preaching to the choir…”, which was a much more generous and kind evaluation of it than my reaction (which was to file the findings under “No Sh*t Sherlock!”). h/t to John for the pointer.

~In other news that we already knew, apparently there is now also some data to suggest that placement tests are not entirely reliable. Reading this made me think of Chris Sabino’s tenure project (if I’m recalling correctly) that explored and described the tremendous ineptitude of Compass placements for our math students and the work that Rosie and Moody and company did on the new English placements and how likely they were to misplace our students AND the presentation by the Davis Jenkins at the first DWFDW where he said that if he were in charge of placement he would dump all the tests and ask the students a handful of questions that would likely lead to better placements and less cost.

~And then today’s NY Times had this on Community Colleges and Workforce Development.

~Finally, there’s this, courtesy of Todd Heldt (Library). I’ll let you decide what it all means in isolation and together, but I’d suggest that the appropriate responses are to either  be either very, very freaked out or completely and totally calmed and satiated by the idea explained in the video. h/t to Todd for the pointer.

Carry on.

Possible Source for Transfer Data?

I was reading the Tribune last week, when I saw an article on McHenry County Community College hitting a record for enrollment. Skimming through it, I came upon this paragraph down toward the end:

According to statistics compiled by the Illinois Shared Enrollment and Graduation Consortium’s database, MCC students who transferred to a four-year school in 2007-08 had an average grade-point average of 2.98, as compared with an average 2.91 GPA earned by students who began their postsecondary education at a four-year school.

“What’s this?” I thought. Data on transfers? So I did a little searching for the Illinois Shared Enrollment and Graduation Consortium and I think I found them, but I couldn’t manage to get to any useful data (or even comprehensible data) about either Harold Washington or the City Colleges of Chicago. Anybody out there want to give it a try?

Let us know what you find out…