Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Increasing graduation rates, job one at city colleges

While the blog has largely been focused on the remap, that doesn't mean we can't take a brief look at other issues affected our community. 

For example, I'm going to share an article from Inside Higher Education about the Chicago City Colleges. For those who are truly into the education system in our city, this probably isn't news to them. They're probably keeping a serious eye on this as well.
So how bad are graduation rates at City Colleges?

The 7 percent number cited by Emanuel is the graduation rate metric used by the Department of Education, which looks at full-time, first-time students over a period equal to 150 percent of the time it would take to earn a credential – 3 years for an associate degree. That rate lags far behind the national average of 22 percent for public, two-year colleges. But only 35 percent of the 127,000 students who attend City Colleges count toward that graduation measure, because many have studied elsewhere or enroll only part-time.

Shortly after arriving, Hyman called for a closer look at the system’s performance. The resulting research tried to be more representative of the student population. What they found wasn’t pretty.

When part-time students are included, the graduation rate bumps up a tick to 8 percent. And when time to degree is doubled, to six years, still only 13 percent of City College students make it to graduation.

Any way you cut it, the system has a problem with completion. More than half of degree-seeking students (54 percent) leave City Colleges after just six months, and only 16 percent of students transfer to four-year institutions.

The chancellor is hardly shy about touting unflattering numbers. Transparency, she says, is also part of the reinvention.

Improving graduation and transfer rates won’t be easy, in part because of the preparation of students who come to City College. More than 90 percent need remediation, and 36 percent are under the poverty line.
Read the whole thing when you get a chance!

Via Newsalert!

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