The CTE Champions blog now has it’s very own url. You can type in and set a new bookmark. You no longer need the “wordpress” in the url. The old url will still work, but we are happy to have our very own.


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Two New Reports by The National Center for Postsecondary Research

Breaking New Ground: An Impact Study of Career-Focused Learning Communities at Kingsborough Community College by Mary G. Visher and Jedediah Teres, with Pheobe Richman

The low completion rates of students in community colleges have been well documented. Among students who enroll in community colleges hoping to earn a credential or transfer to a four-year institution, only about half achieve this goal within six years. Many factors contribute to these low success rates, including lack of financial support, lack of motivation and direction, competing demands from family and jobs, and inadequate college-readiness skills. In an effort to address some of those barriers and to increase the number of students who achieve their education and career goals, community colleges are turning increasingly to learning communities — in which cohorts of students are coenrolled in two or sometimes three courses that are linked by a common theme and are taught by a team of instructors who collaborate with each other around the syllabi and assignments.

Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, New York, is a leader in the learning community movement. The college, which has run learning communities for many years and has a long history of implementing innovative programs for its students, is one of six colleges participating in the National Center for Postsecondary Research’s Learning Communities Demonstration, in which random assignment evaluations are being used to determine the impacts of learning communities on students’ academic achievement. This report presents findings from an evaluation of Kingsborough’s unique Career-Focused Learning Communities program, the latest iteration in a series of learning community models designed and implemented by the college. It consisted of two courses required for a specific major and a third course called the “integrative seminar” that was designed to reinforce the learning in the two other courses and to expose students to information about careers in their selected major.

Download the Full Report or the Executive Summary.


Does Remediation Work for All Students? How the Effects of Postsecondary Remedial and Developmental Courses Vary by Level of Academic Preparation (An NCPR Brief) by Angela Boatman and Bridget Terry Long

This Brief summarizes an NCPR Working Paper of the same title that addresses the impact of remedial and developmental courses on students with a range of levels of preparedness. Using a regression discontinuity (RD) research design, the study provides causal estimates of the effects of placement on a number of short-, medium-, and long-term student outcomes, including persistence, degree completion, and the number of total and college-level credits completed. Results of the study suggest that remedial and developmental courses do differ in their impact by level of student preparation.

Download the Brief or the Working Paper.

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A Call to Action on College Completion

College access and affordability has been a key area of focus for the Middle Class Task Force over the last two years.  On this blog, we have frequently updated you on our Administration’s commitment to expanding student aid through Pell Grants and the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

Providing every American child with the opportunity to go to college is critically important, but we can’t stop there.  We need more American students to graduate from college. The President has set a clear goal: By 2020, America will have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.  Right now we are ninth.

70 percent of students go on to pursue some kind of postsecondary education after high school, but less than half actually get a degree or certificate within 6 years.  Why is this so important? Because more than half of all new jobs created in the next decade will require a postsecondary degree.  And college graduates make more money and are less likely to be unemployed than individuals with only a high school diploma.  Ensuring that more students graduate from college is essential to maintaining a strong middle class.

Today the Vice President challenged every Governor to host a state college completion summit, and promised that the Department of Education would help any state develop a plan to boost completion.

The Vice President also announced the release of a new “College Completion Tool Kit,” produced by the Department of Education.  The tool kit includes information on seven low-cost or no-cost strategies that states can use to boost completion.

Read more.

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Boxer To Co-Chair Senate Afterschool Caucus

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is replacing Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) as a co-chair of the Senate’s Afterschool Caucus.

Boxer was one of the original founders of the caucus in 2005, which advocates for increased funding for afterschool programs. The bipartisan caucus also works to raise awareness of the need for afterschool care and enrichment at the federal level. Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) will continue to serve as the Senate group’s other co-chair in the 112th Congress. A similar bipartisan caucus exists in the House.

“As co-chair of the Afterschool Caucus, I will keep fighting to increase funding for vital afterschool programs because too many children still come home to empty houses in the afternoon and too many families cannot afford to pay for afterschool care,” Boxer said in a statement.

Boxer, a senator since 1993, helped establish the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program, which supports afterschool programs that provide academic support for at-risk youths. Boxer was also an author of the afterschool funding portion of the No Child Left Behind Act.

“This is a crucial time for afterschool programs, as our country fights its way out of an economic crisis and begins the hard task of reducing our deficit,” Dodd said in a statement regarding his replacement. Dodd retired in December after a 30-year congressional career. “I’m confident that Senator Boxer will continue her incredible work on this important issue as the next co-chair of the Afterschool Caucus.”

As of 2009, the Afterschool Alliance reported that the federal government contributed 11 percent to the cost of afterschool programs. Twenty-nine percent of children in these programs are low-income and in need of federal aid, the Alliance said.

via Education Week

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