We're tracking America's progress toward the nation's 60% attainment goal.
April 5, 2023
Many students who begin their post-high school journey at a community college intend to eventually get a bachelor’s degree. Research shows, however, that only around 15 percent do so within six years. The reasons vary, including a perpetually leaky transfer process where some 43 percent of credits are lost between schools.
March 30, 2023
U.S. community colleges—which disproportionately serve students from low-income backgrounds—provide higher education to millions of students each year. They are accessible, and much less expensive than four-year colleges or private two-year colleges. At the same time, community colleges struggle with low graduation rates. Among first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students entering public two-year schools, only 29 percent graduate within…
March 28, 2023
With declining enrollment, pressing state workforce needs, tightening state budgets, and persistent equity gaps in student outcomes, the stakes for community colleges have never been higher. Too many community colleges aren’t reaching their potential to improve lives and local economies, and the way they are funded is a big part of the problem.
March 20, 2023
Community colleges provide millions of students, including people of color and those from low-income backgrounds, with the skills to prosper in the U.S. labor market. At the same time, completion rates are low, some credentials lack labor market value, and some students run the risk of accumulating significant debt and defaulting.
March 3, 2023
Rural community colleges occupy a unique and important place in higher education. Of 332 million Americans, 46 million live in rural communities, and more than 1.5 million attend one of 444 rural community colleges. These institutions are more than education providers; they are essential hubs in their regions, generating opportunities for economic mobility, driving talent…
Feb. 20, 2023
Steps taken to address racial inequality in the private sector and higher education are not always altruistic. This brief examines the economic impact of having a representative workforce, focusing on the state of North Carolina (NC). We discuss the importance of successful education programming designed to address issues related to Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and people…
How Can Community Colleges Afford to Offer Dual Enrollment College Courses to High School Students at a Discount?
Feb. 6, 2023
As dual enrollment students come to comprise a larger share of community college enrollments—can colleges afford to continue offering these courses at a discount? A new report from the Community College Research Center examines how community colleges can structure their programs to be more efficient and financially sustainable. The authors present three case studies of…
Feb. 3, 2023
Community colleges are a gateway to postsecondary degrees for many students, including those from low-income backgrounds and marginalized populations. Yet once students enter community college, many are faced with a host of complex administrative processes that can make it difficult to succeed. The pandemic exacerbated these and other barriers, as students were deciding whether they…
Jan. 27, 2023
Community colleges, which can lead students to job opportunities and well-paying careers, are one of the main entry points to higher education for student parents. We use a conceptual framework that bridges career capital and community cultural wealth to understand student parents’ college and career trajectories.
June 3, 2022
In the fall of 2020, community colleges served nearly five million students. This represents 29 percent of U.S. undergraduates. Although community colleges are providing these students with access to postsecondary education, the colleges’ graduation rates remain low. Among first-time, full-time students seeking degrees or certificates whose first postsecondary school is a two-year, public institution, only…
April 8, 2022
In a corequisite approach to developmental education, students enroll in a college-level course paired concurrently with a support course designed to address student learning needs in a given subject. This report from Strong Start to Finish examines early college outcomes of students placed into corequisite reading courses at the 13 community colleges in the Tennessee…
March 21, 2022
A report from the University of Alabama’s Education Policy Center on the impact of COVID-19 and Alabama’s Black Belt shows that nearly half as many students in Alabama’s Black Belt transferred from community colleges to four-year colleges in 2020 compared to the rest of the state.
March 2, 2022
As the COVID-19 pandemic ebbs, thousands of New Yorkers are searching for jobs, and employers across the state are struggling to fill empty positions. This report from the Manhattan Institute contends that New York’s publicly funded city and state community colleges are uniquely positioned to help bridge this gap, providing more job-focused education for mid-career…
Oct. 18, 2021
As American workers continue to face the proliferation of new technologies and worsening earning inequality, as well as dislocation driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an increasingly urgent need to assist people in transitioning to new, and hopefully better, jobs. Community colleges are central to this issue both because of their scope and the…
Oct. 13, 2021
A new report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement highlights the impact of the pandemic on entering students at community colleges during fall 2020. The data reveal that many students are still struggling as a result of COVID-19, and as with the data collected last fall, some groups of students continue to be…
Oct. 11, 2021
This report from the Institute for Higher Education Policy offers insights into how a suburban community college, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, develops and adopts an initiative to reach students with some college, but no degree in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sept. 28, 2021
Student outcomes at community colleges vary widely across institutions and programs, leaving some policymakers to wonder if more pressure is needed to hold these institutions accountable for their students’ future labor market outcomes, says this report from the Brookings Institution.
July 11, 2016
Community colleges that participated in an effort to boost low-income students’ access to public benefits were better able to help students complete college, says this report from the Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success.
Feb. 24, 2015
Community colleges offer a pathway to the middle class for low-income students. Although access to college has expanded, graduation rates at community colleges remain low, especially for students who need developmental courses in math, reading, or writing. Many reforms have been found to help students in the short term, but few have substantially boosted college…
Feb. 15, 2014
America’s community colleges create value in many ways. With a wide range of program offerings, community colleges play a key role in helping students achieve their potential and develop vital skills. Community colleges also provide an excellent environment for students to grow socially and improve their self-confidence and mental health.