Skip to Main Content

tag: Community colleges

Blog Post
September 13, 2021

What Does It Mean to Be Successful as a Student During a Pandemic?

Centering Student Experiences

Ithaka S+R has long explored how students define their own success and how academic and student support services can most effectively advance that success—and our work on these issues has only ramped up during the pandemic. When it became clear that the pandemic was here to stay, students had to face dramatic shifts to their learning, a staggering amount of communication and newly-implemented policies from their institutions, and new expectations on what it means to be a…
Research Report
September 9, 2021

Library Strategy and Collaboration Across the College Ecosystem

Results from a National Survey of Community College Library Directors

How can the library be best positioned to continue enabling student and institutional success? The Community College Academic and Student Support Ecosystem research initiative seeks to examine how student-facing service departments—including academic libraries—are organized, funded, and staffed at community and technical colleges across the country. In February 2021, we surveyed 321 community college library directors to provide the community with a snapshot of current service provision, leadership perspectives on the impact of COVID-19, and challenges faced in making decisions and…
Blog Post
August 26, 2021

Staying Connected Through the Power of Technology

Centering Student Experiences

At the onset of the pandemic, higher education institutions across the country rushed to bolster digital infrastructure, to maintain both instructional continuity as well as academic and financial advising, so that students could stay enrolled and graduate. Many institutions also rapidly developed new services to accommodate student technology needs through device loaning programs and Wi-Fi partnerships, typically led by the library as gleaned through a series of roundtables conducted with library directors earlier this spring. While the initial investments…
Blog Post
August 16, 2021

Building Community During the Pandemic and Beyond

Centering Student Experiences

The Community College Academic and Student Support Ecosystem initiative began in 2019 as part of the Ithaka S+R research portfolio focused on understanding, measuring, and increasing student success at community colleges through a variety of departments and service providers. We have had the great fortune to work with a group of outstanding student advisors from across the country who contribute unique and vital perspectives as we shape recommendations…
Blog Post
August 2, 2021

Leading Community College Libraries During the Pandemic

Library Directors Share Their Experiences 

Community colleges and their students have faced enormous challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two-year colleges serve especially diverse student populations, including a high percentage of students of color, first-generation students, working students, and student parents, many of whom have been disproportionately impacted by the social, economic, and public health effects of the pandemic. Community colleges have made considerable efforts to meet student needs, despite having fewer resources than most four-year colleges and universities…
Issue Brief
July 21, 2021

Right in Your Backyard

Expanding Local Community College Transfer Pathways to High-Graduation-Rate Institutions

Each year, our country’s most selective four-year institutions invest significant resources to recruit talented high school students from across the country. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, admissions representatives traveled far and wide to convince these prospective students that the academic rigor, amenities, and opportunities at their institution are unparalleled. These students, mostly affluent and white, contemplate admission offers and consider moves to new locales to pursue their postsecondary plans. Yet, many of these selective institutions are overlooking a talented and diverse…
Blog Post
April 28, 2021

What Will it Take to Move the Needle on Student Basic Needs?

Last year, we released a landscape review delving into how different metrics of student success are currently prioritized, defined, quantified, and used within the community college sector—examining how traditional metrics of success, like those aligning with typical college objectives like graduation, retention, enrollment, and course completion, are more often prioritized and required for funding, accountability, and accreditation purposes. Subsequent interviews with institutional research and effectiveness officers provided even…
Research Report
April 28, 2021

Moving the Needle on College Student Basic Needs

National Community College Provost Perspectives

For many years, higher education data collection and funding efforts have focused on student success metrics like enrollment, graduation, retention, and course completion rates. At the same time, higher education leaders have become increasingly aware—in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic—of the vast array of challenges that college students face outside of the classroom that prevent them from fully succeeding. To shed light on the challenges and opportunities associated with the collection and prioritization of a broader set of student…
Past Event
April 28, 2021

Christine Wolff-Eisenberg and Melissa Blankstein at NISOD 2021

Christine Wolff-Eisenberg and Melissa Blankstein will unveil brand new national survey findings of community college provosts on efforts to measure and address student basic needs. Join them to discuss the current landscape of metrics for determining student success and opportunities for including new holistic student metrics going forward. For more information, please visit this site. …
Blog Post
March 3, 2021

How Can Community College Services Be Organized to Best Meet Student Needs?

Over the course of their attendance, community college students must navigate through an array of services—delivered through student affairs departments, academic affairs departments, libraries, and their instructors—to find the support they need. Whether they find that support depends in part on whether their institutions have developed effective service models and organizational strategies. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the attendant necessity for increased remoting learning amidst enrollment declines and budgetary strains, also creates new challenges for students as well as…
Research Report
March 3, 2021

Student Focused

Fostering Cross-Unit Collaboration to Meet the Changing Needs of Community College Students

Ensuring that community college students have access to academic and student support services requires more than simply understanding students’ needs—it also requires relating those needs to actionable service models and organizational strategies. Community college students navigate ecosystems of services provided and supported by academic affairs departments, student affairs departments, libraries, and faculty. How can these ecosystems best be organized and developed to adapt to changing student needs—particularly amidst the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic?…
Blog Post
January 13, 2021

Upcoming National Survey of Community College Library Directors

We are excited to announce that Ithaka S+R will launch a national survey of community college library directors and those in equivalent leadership positions this February. This study is part of a three-year IMLS-funded initiative—the Community College Academic and Student Service Ecosystem (CCASSE) project—to examine the current landscape of student service provision at community colleges and the role of the library in best contributing toward student success within this ecosystem. Over the course of the project, we have already…
Blog Post
December 15, 2020

Ithaka S+R to Expand Transfer Improvement Efforts with CUNY

With Support from the Petrie Foundation, ACT Project Expands from Three to Seven CUNY Campuses 

When students transfer from one college to another they frequently are unable to count their previously earned credits toward degree requirements at their new institutions, jeopardizing these students’ ability to earn their degrees. Nationally, 43 percent of credits are wasted during transfer, and students who lose that many credits are far less likely to graduate than students who are able to transfer most of their credits. While other…
Blog Post
November 11, 2020

Introducing our Student Advisors

Community College Academic and Student Support Ecosystems

In 2019, Ithaka S+R began a three-year project, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), to help community colleges and their academic libraries more effectively support their students. This project, known as Community College Academic and Student Support Ecosystems (CCASSE), is part of a growing program of Ithaka S+R research focused on understanding, measuring, and increasing student success at community colleges. Our first phase of…
Blog Post
October 27, 2020

Student Success, Basic Needs, and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Institutional Research Perspectives on Holistic Student Success Metrics

This year has undoubtedly been marked with unprecedented challenges for higher education, as we and others have documented through ever-building evidence from students, faculty, and administrators alike. As colleges and universities work to maintain enrollment, retention, and student learning outcomes, they are grappling with how to better understand and address the challenges their students are facing. The growing urgency to support students holistically—that…
Blog Post
September 23, 2020

A Letter to College Administrators

Considerations for Virtual Learning

Kimmy Cacciato graduated from The College of New Jersey with a major in Deaf/Hard of Hearing Education – Mathematics Teaching. This fall, she returned to TCNJ to pursue an MAT in Deaf/Hard of Hearing Education. She is currently serving as a student advisor to Ithaka S+R’s Holistic Metrics of Student Success project. Dear College Administrators, As a senior I thought I had it all figured out. But then COVID-19 hit, and the game changed. As we all experienced, there…
Blog Post
September 3, 2020

What Your Students Want to Hear

Effective Communications in the Time of COVID-19

Kimmy Cacciato is currently serving as a student advisor to the Ithaka S+R Holistic Metrics of Student Success project. She graduated from The College of New Jersey with a major in Deaf/Hard of Hearing Education – Mathematics Teaching. This fall, she is returning to TCNJ to pursue an MAT in Deaf/Hard of Hearing Education.  During this time of uncertainty, effectively communicating with students is more important than ever. Campus administrators and…
Blog Post
July 14, 2020

Streamlining Transfer for CUNY Students in the Bronx

Approximately one-third of college students begin their postsecondary education in community colleges, yet over 80 percent of these students aspire to earn at least a bachelor’s degree. In order to achieve their goals, these students will need to transfer from their community colleges (which mostly offer associate’s degrees) to colleges that offer bachelor’s degrees. Yet, only 13 percent of students successfully transfer and earn a bachelor’s degree within six years of entering community college. Black and…
Blog Post
June 11, 2020

New Report Identifies Strategies for Independent Colleges Looking to Improve Transfer Pathways 

Covid-19 has fundamentally altered the landscape of higher education, producing both challenges and opportunities for higher education institutions to better serve traditionally understudied student populations. Transfer students, specifically students that transfer from community colleges to four-year independent colleges, are one such population that has been historically underserved but whose needs will be all the more relevant during and after the pandemic. Enrollment shifts caused by the pandemic highlight the need for…
Research Report
June 11, 2020

Transfer Pathways to Independent Colleges

Every fall, an estimated one million American students begin their postsecondary education at community colleges. In fact, close to half of all postsecondary students start off at these institutions—especially students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. While most intend to eventually earn their bachelor’s degree, less than a third transfer-in to a four-year institution and only 13 percent actually earn their bachelor’s degree in six years. Transfer between two- and four-year institutions is a difficult pathway for students, leaving the well-documented benefits…