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Levers of Change: Role of Financial Aid and Institutional Reform in Promoting Student Success at California Community Colleges

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Title: Levers of Change: Role of Financial Aid and Institutional Reform in Promoting Student Success at California Community Colleges


1
Levers of ChangeRole of Financial Aid and
Institutional Reform in Promoting Student Success
atCalifornia Community Colleges
  • Nancy Shulock
  • Presentation to College Access Foundation
  • San Francisco, CA
  • May 20, 2008

2
Key Points
  • California has a serious education problem
  • Community Colleges are key to solving it degree
    completion must increase
  • Financial aid is a key part of solution, but
  • Institutional reforms, coupled with aid, can lead
    to systemic change

3
Percent of Adults with an Associate Degree or
Higher by Age GroupLeading OECD Countries, the
U.S., and California
Source Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development, Education at a Glance 2007 Not
shown on the graph are Belgium, Norway, Ireland
and Denmark, which also rank ahead of the U.S. on
attainment among young adults (attainment is
increasing for younger populations as in the
other countries)
4
Californias Performance is Lagging
  • Preparation
  • 35th and 49th in high school students taking
    advanced math and science
  • Bottom 1/5 in 8th graders scoring proficient in
    all subject areas of the NAEP
  • Participation
  • 11th in percent of 18-64 year olds enrolled in
    college
  • 40th in direct to college from high school
  • 48th in full-time college enrollment
  • Completion
  • 46th in degrees per 100 undergraduates enrolled

5
California Community CollegesSize and Governance
  • 109 community colleges in 72 districts
  • 2.6 million students per year most part-time
  • Over 70 of public undergraduates
  • Locally elected boards collective bargaining
  • Weak state-level governance
  • Highly regulated
  • Highly politicized and resistant to change
  • Multiple missions
  • Low funding/lowest fees in the nation

6
Community Colleges Enroll Most Undergraduates
and Large Portion of Latino and Black Populations
1,094,650
344,472
162,975
7
Incoming CCC Students 1999-2000
Policies to Promote Access
520,407 Students
Non-Degree-Seekers 40
Degree-Seekers 60
206,373 Students
Basic Skills 9
Job Skills 49
314,034 Students
Policy Barriers to Completion
Personal Enrichment 42
Complete Certificate, Degree or Transfer within 6
Years 24
75,682 Students
238,352 Students
Do Not Complete within 6 Years 76
8
Highest Completion Among Degree-Seekers
9
Completion Rates Worse for Certain Groups
  • 33 for Asian students
  • 27 for white students
  • 18 for Latino students
  • 15 for black students
  • 27 for students age 17-19
  • 21 for students in their 20s
  • 18 for students in their 30s
  • 16 for students age 40 or older

10
Enrollment Patterns Matter Especially Full-Time
11
Financial Needs Are Great
  • Serious affordability problem despite low fees
  • Fees only 5 of college costs
  • Low rates of financial aid receipt
  • About 25 - mostly just BOG fee waiver
  • Only 11 receive Pell grants (mostly full-time)
  • 100,000 eligible students apply but do not get
    Pell
  • State Cal-Grant program does not meet needs
  • Remaining need after all aid
  • 58 of CCC students
  • 5,097

12
Students Work too Much
  • Full-time attendance increases engagement, social
    integration
  • Working gt 15-20 hours lower GPA, fewer credits,
    less persistence
  • 81.5 of CCC students work, 43 full time
  • Average 32 hours per week

13
Time to Completion for CCC Students
Source IHELP analysis of 1999-00 cohort of
first-time CCC students represents time to
completion for students who completed a
certificate, degree, or transfer within 6 years
full-time defined as students who enrolled in
12 units in the majority of terms they attended.
14
Policy Reforms are Needed
  • State policy
  • System policy
  • Institutional policy and practice

15
Successful Student Behaviors that Could be
Encouraged by Financial Aid Conditions
  • Complete FAFSA (for federal aid)
  • Enroll in orientation/college success course
  • Meet with counselor, make academic plan
  • Take assessment tests on initial enrollment
  • Enroll for a minimum number of units
  • Register for courses on time
  • Maintain continuous enrollment
  • Make forward academic progress

16
Reforms to College Financial Aid Practices That
Would Increase Student Success
  • Incentives to students for completing FAFSA
  • Financial aid application linked to enrollment
    process
  • Services and materials in multiple languages
  • More evening office hours experienced staff at
    front desk
  • More staff support for FAFSA follow-up
  • Collaboration among faculty and student services
    staff
  • Better information to students
  • Loans benefits of full-time

17
Reforms to Other College Policies/PracticesThat
Would Increase Student Success
  • Assess all degree-seeking students for college
    readiness
  • Encourage early enrollment in remediation
  • Require orientation class for all degree-seekers
  • Require students to declare program goal by
    certain point
  • Lay out clear pathways to credentials
  • Give all students academic plans
  • Institute early alert system
  • Enact policies to encourage good academic
    patterns (timely registration, course add/drop,
    book vouchers/loans)

18
Theory of Change
  • Financial aid grants leverage institutional
    change at campus level
  • Campuses push to remove system constraints
  • System understands need for state-level policy
    changes
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