Community colleges have been judged by the graduation rates of first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students, even though they’re the minority on campus. To evaluate colleges’ performance, the U.S. Education Department named a group of policy experts to develop new measures of success that include the academic and employment outcomes for part-timers, returnees and transfers, reports CollegeBound.
The Committee on Measures of Student Success released its draft report last week.
Changes in reporting student outcomes are needed to take into account the broad mission and multiple role of community colleges, the committee concluded.
For instance, students often see community college as a stepping stone to a four-year institution and transfer before getting a degree. Also, workers come to campus to take a few classes to upgrade their skills. And more than half now attend part time.
The federal Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) reports graduation rates only for full-time students. Students who transfer to a four-year college or university before completing an associate degree are considered drop-outs.
Among the preliminary recommendations:
-Report graduation rates of part-time, degree-seeking students;
-Distinguish between remedial and nonremedial students in IPEDS graduation rates;
-Create a reporting category that reflects students who transfer to other institutions;
-Voluntarily collect, disclose, and report measures of student learning and employment.