A panel that spent a year examining low success rates at the state's 112 community colleges will recommend Monday that the statewide Board of Governors take swift action to boost dismal figures in several key areas. In its report, the task force calls the 22 recommendations "a vision for our community colleges in the next decade."
Among the suggestions:
• Design statewide tests to determine each entering student's competence in math and English. As it stands, each of the state's 72 college districts is responsible for coming up with its own tests, meaning students who take classes at more than one campus may need to take several exams on the same subject."California has the second-lowest high-school graduation requirements in the nation," said Michael Kirst, a Stanford University professor and president of the California State Board of Education. "It's a ticket to remediation if you follow the minimum requirements."….
• Require students to choose a major. Studies have shown that students who choose a major their first year have much higher graduation rates.
• Require first-year students to start remedial work immediately. Fewer than half the students who need only a single remedial math course ever complete their community college work.
• Work with other statewide systems to track students from elementary school through college to better guide them toward a degree. California's K-12 schools, colleges and
• universities all track their own students, but the state has no comprehensive database linking the systems.
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Who Comes First? (Inside Higher Ed)
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Amid this bleak financial backdrop, a state task force is seeking to boost student success. In a report finalized last month, the group called for the system to be more intentional about “rationing” access. Students who are most likely to earn a degree or certificate should have enrollment priority, the task force said, while those who meander or accumulate large numbers of credits without a degree should go to the back of the line….