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Are Community Colleges Underprepared for Underprepared Students?: New Directions for Community Colleges, Number 144

Pam Schuetz (Editor), Jim Barr (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-470-46147-1
112 pages
January 2009, Jossey-Bass
Are Community Colleges Underprepared for Underprepared Students?: New Directions for Community Colleges, Number 144 (0470461470) cover image
This volume steps outside entrenched habits of viewing the underprepared student as the central problem in improving student outcomes and highlights new questions and approaches that focus on addressing the reality of student needs. Chapters discuss:
  1. Overview of Foundational Issues
  2. Developing a Theory-Driven Model of Community College Student Engagement
  3. Focus on the Front Door of the College
  4. Organizational Culture as a Hidden Resource
  5. Tiered Mentoring to Leverage Student Body Expertise
  6. Do Institutional Attributes Predict Indidivuals' Degree Success at Two-year Colleges?
  7. Information Networks and Integration: Institutional Influences on Experiences and Persistence of Beginning Students
  8. The California Basic Skills Initiative
  9. Institutional Efforts to Address Disadvantaged Students: An "Up-So-Down" View
  10. Transmuting Resistance to Change

If community colleges can find the courage and willingness to appreciate that they are as underprepared for their students as these students are for the college-level curriculum, it would signal the beginning of a major paradigm shift and a new universe of possibilities.

This is the 144th volume of the Jossey-Bass higher education quarterly report series New Directions for Community Colleges. Essential to the professional libraries of presidents, vice presidents, deans, and other leaders in today's open-door institutions, New Directions for Community Colleges provides expert guidance in meeting the challenges of their distinctive and expanding educational mission.

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EDITORS'NOTES (Pam Schuetz, Jim Barr).

1. Overview of Foundational Issues (Jim Barr, Pam Schuetz)
Student outcomes may be improved if interactions between students and their campus environments are examined and adapted to serve student needs.

2. Developing a Theory-Driven Model of Community College Student Engagement (Pam Schuetz)
This mixed methods study develops and tests a new conceptual model to help sculpt campus environments in support of student success.

3. Focus on the Front Door of the College (Sanford C. "Sandy" Shugart, Joyce C. Romano)
Valencia Community College emphasizes successful student experiences at the front door of the college. This chapter describes the new Atlas online learning community and portal that connects students to tools needed to succeed, enabling them to stay connected with the essential business of being a student.

4. Organizational Culture as a Hidden Resource (Dennis McGrath, Susan Tobia)
This chapter illustrates how campus culture can serve as a resource to better support and assist underprepared students. It concludes with recommendations for the development of culturally sensitive institutions through professional development for faculty, staff, and senior managers.

5. Tiered Mentoring to Leverage Student Body Expertise (Faisal Jaswal, Teresa McClane Jaswal)
Bellevue Community College has started a new tiered mentoring program, linking students with peers, faculty, staff, and administrators via a tiered structure whereby first-year students are mentored by upperlevel students who, in turn, are mentored by professionals in the students' field of study.

6. Do Institutional Attributes Predict Individuals' Degree Success at Two-year Colleges? (Lisbeth J. Goble, James E. Rosenbaum, Jennifer L. Stephan)
Quantitative analysis using the National Education Longitudinal Study Restricted Use File and other national data suggest that the institutional graduation rate varies by different subpopulations of students.

7. Information Networks and Integration: Institutional Influences on Experiences and Persistence of Beginning Students (Melinda Mechur Karp, Katherine L. Hughes)
Results of a qualitative study of longitudinal student persistence in community colleges indicate that institutional structures can foster or hinder information networks that are important to students' sense of belonging and success.

8. The California Basic Skills Initiative (Barbara Illowsky)
This chapter describes the development and implementation of California's Basic Skills Initiative through its three phases to date.

9. Institutional Efforts to Address Disadvantaged Students: An "Up-So-Down" View (John S. Levin)
Results of field research in 13 community colleges and 9 states describe institutional efforts and individual efforts to accommodate and nurture disadvantaged students in community college. The chapter advances recommendations for better institutional treatment of disadvantaged students.

10. Transmuting Resistance to Change (Pam Schuetz, Jim Barr)
Achieving meaningful educational reform in community colleges requires a transmutation of internal power struggles in favor of shared creation and execution of a vision of college goals that transcends bureaucratic boundaries.

INDEX.

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