California’s Community College system encompasses a broad-ranging vision for higher education. Yet, the conversation about what constitutes success often focuses on those outcomes that can be counted easily. Completion — defined as the attainment of degrees and certificates or transfer to a four-year institution — is increasingly becoming the yardstick for effectiveness.
But does completion capture the full impact of community colleges? Further, if community colleges desire to demonstrate their effect on students more broadly, what should they be measuring?
This LearningWorks project looks at the question of completion through the lens of course-taking behavior, based on a study by University of Michigan’s Peter Riley Bahr, conducted for the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.
Bahr identified several types of pathways that California Community College students tend to take, where these pathways are more likely to lead, and characteristics of students who were more likely to be in each group.
LearningWorks was founded by the Career Ladders Project for California Community Colleges, the RP Group, and the California Community Colleges Success Network (3CSN) to facilitate, disseminate and fund practitioner-informed recommendations for changes at the system and classroom levels, infusing these strategies with statewide and national insights.
RP Group Lead
Kathy Booth, Terrence Willett, MS
California Community College Chancellor's Office
Peter Bahr, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Michigan
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