Student Success MATTERS to Jobs and the Economy
Community colleges and K-12 public schools throughout California collect and analyze a variety of data to measure student success. These student outcome data, also known as standardized common metrics, enable comparisons across programs and answer questions such as:
- How are career technical education (CTE) students achieving their postsecondary and workforce goals over time?
- Which CTE programs are the most effective at helping students achieve their postsecondary and career goals?
- How can we improve programs to better prepare students for success in college and the workforce?
- How can returning adults, including veterans, better take advantage of community colleges to reskill and upskill?
Best Practices Around the Nation:
- Cornerstones of Completion: State Policy Support for Accelerated, Structured Pathways to College Credentials and Transfer, Lara Couturier, Jobs for the Future, November 2012
- The Learning That Maturity Brings: An Analysis of the Value of Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) for Mature Learners, CAEL, February 2012
- Employer Views on the Value of Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), Research Brief, CAEL, February 2012
- Academic Credit for Prior Learning in Washington Postsecondary Education: Proposed Policies and Recommendations, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, Submitted to the Washington State Legislature, December 2010
- Education Dept. Catalogs Ideas for Improving Students' Success in College - descriptions of the several dozen examples the US Dept of Education has received from colleges and other organizations describing programs they offer to help students succeed in college. The ideas include programs for outreach to high-school students, approaches to remedial education, and strategies to reduce students' time to complete degrees.
California's K-12 and community college systems currently collect and analyze student outcome data independently of one another. Working separately, these two entities have been able to measure pockets of student success in both the classroom and the workforce, but to a limited degree. Still unknown are important indicators of student success, such as what community college CTE program a high school student has chosen, and where and in what capacity programs completers are now employed.
To answer these types of student-outcome questions accurately and consistently, K-12, community college and the state's Employment Development Department (EDD) data systems must no longer be isolated from one another, but in fact must be bridged.
Push for regional entities with certain skills sets to attain greater sophistication around data mining, convening and curriculum knowledge, and building capacity for the future.
- Adopt common metrics and skills panels in CCCCO Regional Funding Areas.
- Strengthen regions with four skill sets: data mining, convening, technology, and curriculum approval. Regions are using the 2012-13 Perkins Work Plan process to prepare for and discuss plans on how to surround leaders with these skills.
The high return on college education for students and for California
Students who earn a degree or certificate from a California community college nearly double their earnings within three years. What’s more, attending or graduating from a community college doubles an individual’s chance of finding a job compared to those who failed to complete high school.
And the students aren’t the only ones who benefit. In 2005, UC Berkeley researchers concluded that every dollar invested in producing a college graduate will generate three dollars in additional revenue for the state.
Even more impressive is the fact that the California Community Colleges is the state’s most cost-effective system of education. While the revenue needed to support one full-time community college student is slightly more than $5,000 per year, the cost is approximately $7,500 in the K-12 system and $11,000 and $20,000 at the California State University and University of California, respectively. Clearly, community colleges are a good deal for students and the state’s economy.