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.
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.