Plus 50 Programs in Practice

How AACC’s Plus 50 Initiative is Helping Community Colleges Transform Programs and Services for Adults Age 50 and Over

January 16, 2015

AACC’s Plus 50 Initiative is designed to support colleges as they create or expand campus programs engaging students age 50 and over, supporting them to complete college credentials and advance their careers. Since 2008, Plus 50 has made grants to 138 colleges, which collectively have enrolled 37,494 plus 50 students in workforce development programs. This brief tells the story of Plus 50, from 2008 through 2014.

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Using Student Tracking Data to Improve College Access Programs

Lessons from the GO College Program 1

January 13, 2015

This practice brief, issued by the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) discusses effective ways for College Access Programs to use student tracking data to improve their own effectiveness and to increase the chance of students persisting and completing college.

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Term Enrollment Estimates for Fall 2014

Postsecondary Enrollments Continue to Decline

January 2, 2015

For the third straight year, postsecondary enrollments have declined by more than 1 percent, according to this report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Students over the age of 24 continued to show a greater decline than younger students, the report states. This was especially true for community colleges, where adult student enrollments declined 9.2 percent from fall 2013, compared to a 4 percent decline for students aged 24 and under.

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College Counseling in High Schools

Advising State Policy

December 18, 2014

Some state efforts to increase college readiness and completion are being undermined by policies that perpetuate the status quo in high school counseling, according to a report by the Education Commission of the States. The report offers several low-cost, high-impact strategies for improvement, including low student/counselor ratios and better support for counselors; three-minute videos on college costs, financial aid and the benefits of attending college; and asking parents to sign off on their child’s college/career plan.

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Policy Meets Pathways

A State Policy Agenda for Transformational Change

December 17, 2014

This report by Jobs for the Future says that a decade of interventions has fallen short because states and college campuses are not taking large enough steps to address their biggest challenge—helping the 12.8 million students enrolled in community colleges earn postsecondary degrees and credentials to secure good jobs. The report challenges community colleges to redesign pilot and ad-hoc projects into structured and guided pathways that reshape every step of the student experience, while states need to develop state-level structures that can support these scaled-up improvements.

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The Case for Payroll Withholding

Preventing Student Loan Defaults With Automatic Income-Based Repayment

December 16, 2014

This policy brief from New America, Young Invincibles, and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators suggests that automatically enrolling indebted students in Income-Based Repayment and automating repayment through employer payroll withholding could simplify the student loan system and dramatically reduce the number of students who enter default.

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State Funding Trends and Policies on Affordability

Report to the Chairman, the Honorable Tom Harkin, Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, United States Senate

December 16, 2014

State funding for public higher education institutions has declined by 12 percent from 2003 to 2012, while tuition costs increased, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office. The effect of this trend is leaving more students and families unable to afford college, the report says.

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Steps Forward in Higher Ed

Success Measures, Game Changers, and Performance-Based Funding in Utah

December 16, 2014

College students in Utah are taking longer to graduate from four-year institutions than their peers nationwide, says a report from the Utah Foundation. The study includes a set of “potential game-changers” that it says might help reverse this trend, such as the use of performance-based funding, added guidance, and structured course schedules.

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Are College Students Borrowing Blindly?

December 10, 2014

Findings from this report by the Brookings Institution suggest that too many undergraduate students do not understand how much they are paying for college or the level of debt they are taking on. When the first loan payment comes due, many of these students are discouraged from pursuing their college degree, the report says.

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Roadmap to Enhanced Student Learning

Implementing the DOP and Tuning

December 9, 2014

For both the Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP) and Tuning, the primary reference point is the student, not the institution.

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University Innovation Alliance Vision
University Innovation Alliance Vision
September 15, 2014

This short video shares the goals and vision behind the University Innovation Alliance.