Tag Archives: community colleges

American Association of Community Colleges President to Lead Panel Discussion at MACC Completion Summit

Dr. Walter G. Bumphus, President and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges and Chair of the 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges, will lead a panel discussion at MACC’s third annual Summit on Completion, to be held December 7, 2012, at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) Catonsville. The panel, slated to include two 21st Century Commission members from Maryland, will examine how the state’s community colleges are progressing with completion initiatives such as those found in the 21st Century Commission’s report, Reclaiming the American Dream: Community Colleges and the Nation’s Future.

In addition to examples of what Maryland’s two-year colleges are already doing to redesign students’ educational experiences for greater success, the panel will assess opportunities, external challenges and limitations, and recommend policies that, if put in place, could further enhance completion efforts.

MACC sponsored the first in the nation Completion Summit in December 2010 to build on President Barack Obama’s October 2010 White House Summit on Community Colleges and to galvanize a statewide focus on meeting Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s completion challenge that at least 55% of state’s adult population has a degree credential by 2025.

“Although Maryland community colleges remain diversified in our missions to serve many different types of students, we are committed more than ever to successfully assisting those who do come to our institutions for degree attainment,” said Dr. Guy Altieri, President of Hagerstown Community College and Chair of the Maryland Council of Community College Presidents.

Promise to Act

At the 2010 summit, all 16 community college presidents signed a Promise to Act, collectively pledging to significantly increase degrees and credentials awarded  by 2025. Since then, Maryland’s community colleges have increased associate degree attainment by 20% and certificate credentials by over 30%, according to data recently submitted for fiscal years 2009 to 2011 by the Maryland Higher Education Commission to StateStat, the Governor’s performance measurement office for state agencies.

“These additional degrees, combined with a significant increase in the number of community college students who transfer to public and private four year institutions, including those within the University System of Maryland, will make a substantial contribution toward achieving and surpassing the 55 percent goal,” said Dr. Bernard Sadusky, Executive Director of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges.

Over 400 Maryland community college faculty and staff from across the state are expected at this year’s Completion Summit. In addition to the panel discussion, attendees will also participate in a series of professional development workshops to share best practices and new strategies for serving students so that they move through a community college on an even clearer pathway to completing a high quality degree or certificate.

Student Advocacy Day: Hundreds Turn Out to Annapolis to Make Voices Heard for State Funding!

Much of the 90-day Maryland General Assembly session in Annapolis can be grueling for state legislators and advocates alike. But few days, if any, are as inspiring to all involved as the annual Community College Student Advocacy Day, which brings together each year hundreds of students from all 16 community colleges for the annual trek to the state capital.

The event is aimed at urging legislators to provide adequate state funding for community colleges, which now serve half of all undergraduate students in Maryland each year. This year’s Student Advocacy Day, held on Thursday, Feb. 9, was an overwhelming success – reminiscent of the theme that the colleges highlighted in their advocacy for additional state funding: “SUPPORT = SUCCESS!”

After arriving to Annapolis in busloads from the various campuses around the state, students took part in a morning rally that featured enlightening speeches from a variety of legislators and community college leaders, and a selected student speaker. This year, it was a young man named Taren Nance, from Wor-Wic Community College, who drew a rousing ovation after sharing his powerful, personal story, which began with the words: “Simply put, community college saved my life.” Taren’s full story, and those of students from all the colleges, is found on the MACC website.

After the rally, each college’s group of students ventured out to meet with various State Senators and Delegates from their county delegations in Annapolis. In these smaller groups, they have the chance to have a dialogue with their elected officials about the difference that their community college is making in their lives and the importance of providing enough state funding to keep tuition affordable and preserve critical student services.

Here are a couple of wonderful news articles about the Student Advocacy Day event…

  • The Baltimore Sun featured two articles, one on the statewide event and a second piece highlighting the story of an extraordinarily brave Howard Community College student, who has battled back from brain injury suffered in a car accident to pursue his education at HCC.
  • A Patch.com story showcasing an enthusiastic group of Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) students (who, incidentally, were sporting some very nifty “SUPPORT = SUCCESS!” Student Advocacy Day shirts).

The advocacy work and the 90-day legislative session winds on for the community colleges, but Student Advocacy Day 2012 will go down once again in the books as a day to remember! Thanks to all who participated! Keep up the good work and keep in touch with our elected officials to let them know how important it is that they provide strong support for our community colleges.

Washington Post Article: Community Colleges ‘Draw More Affluent Students’

‎”Middle-class and affluent students are enrolling in community colleges because it is a good value.” So reports the Washington Post today, in an article by the Post’s higher education reporter, Dan de Vise. Read the article here and find out what students and families are saying about the academic quality and value they find at community colleges!

One notable excerpt from the piece: Community colleges, many with two-year honors programs, are competing with four-year schools for the accomplished high school graduate. Their top students can transfer to prestigious universities and finish their education at reduced expense.

Do you have a great story to share about a student or students who are choosing community colleges as their first choice and starting place for the pursuit of their college degree(s)? We’d love to hear from you.

National Study Shows Community College Degree and Certificate Attainment is Far Outpacing Enrollment Growth

The American Association of Community Colleges recently released a revealing policy brief that examines trends in the educational attainment of community college students. And it bears out some good news. Over the past 20 years, during a time of rapidly rising enrollments, the number of credentials awarded to community college students has risen at double the pace of enrollment — and at an even higher rate for students of color.

More good news from the study: actual student transfer rates are much higher than have been commonly reported in the past. The full document, entitled “The Road Ahead: A Look at Trends in the Educational Attainment of Community College Students,” is available on the American Association of Community Colleges web site.

Baltimore Sun Article: “Four-year Schools Courting Community College Graduates”

Four-year universities and colleges are not only accepting more community college transfer students, they are actually now “courting” their graduates, as noted in a major article that just ran in The Baltimore Sun (“Four-year Schools Courting Community College Graduates”). In the article, Maryland’s Interim Secretary for Higher Education, Danette Howard, notes: “We have some very ambitious statewide goals for college completion.” Highlighting Governor Martin O’Malley’s goal that at least 55 percent of the state’s residents between ages 25 and 64 will hold at least one college degree by 2025, she adds: “To meet that goal we have to serve our transfer student population.”

Kudos to Anne Arundel Community College, Carroll Community College, and Howard Community College — whose students were featured prominently in the piece. The article also featured comments from four-year university admissions officers and presidents — including Dr. Freeman Hrabowski of UMBC and Dickinson University President William Durden.

Articles like this are helping to get the word out about the high quality of Maryland’s 16 community colleges and their graduates. The best news of all is that universities are increasingly awaiting the arrival of these students, as they look to transfer to complete higher degrees. Great work by Nancy Gainer of Howard Community College, in reaching out to Sun reporter Joe Burris, who wrote the story!

Let’s Analyze Student Completion Rates in Proper Context

Apples and oranges comparisons are never very helpful, and that’s exactly the problem with many studies that are coming out these days in analysis of student completion rates on America’s college campuses. Dr. Craig Clagett, Vice President of Planning, Marketing and Assessment at Carroll Community College, does a great job of tackling this issue in a recent article that was published in Inside Higher Education, following the release of  Complete College America’s “Time is the Enemy” report.

In the piece, Dr. Clagett points out why any useful measurement of community colleges’ success with student completion must fully take into account the many differences between the students served in our open access institutions, as compared to those attending selective four-year colleges and universities.

Notes Dr. Clagett in the article: “Our current national completion measures for community colleges underestimate the true progress of students, presenting a misleading picture of the performance of these open-admissions institutions.” In the piece, he calls for a new set of metrics to more effectively track student completion rates and notes how Maryland’s community colleges are leading the way in providing a successful measurement model.

Maryland’s Community Colleges: Confronting ‘Completion’

For decades, Maryland’s 16 community colleges have been in the forefront of providing high-quality, affordable and accessible higher education for students.

They serve a most diverse population with an equally diverse range of academic and career-preparation programs for students of all ages, income levels and backgrounds.

And today, our community colleges are more committed than ever to ensuring that students succeed in completing their educational goals. For some, this may mean completion of an associate’s degree or a certification. For others, it may mean a more seamless transfer to a four-year institution, paving the way for completion of a higher degree.

Fully engaged in the nationwide commitment to the “completion agenda,” Maryland’s community colleges are undertaking a wide variety of initiatives that will ensure more students succeed in earning their degrees or certifications. And they are working closely with the state’s four-year institutions to eliminate barriers that can get in the way of a successful transfer process, which is so pivotal to students achieving their goal of completing a bachelor’s degree.

On this site, we invite you to keep track of the important work that our colleges are doing in this arena. And we’ll keep you posted on other efforts regionally, and nationally, that are helping to advance the “completion agenda.”

Maryland’s community colleges strongly believe that “Support = Success!” We pledge to do all we can to support the ultimate success of the hundreds of thousands of students we are privileged to serve each year.