Thursday, June 14, 2012

PostSecondary Success

VisionLink's Lois Ann Porter and myself are participating in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's gathering of their grantees and contractors focused on improving postsecondary success for students. 

Stan Jones, of Complete College America is speaking now about the fact that more than 50% of students entering community colleges and more than 20% of those entering four-year colleges require remediation coursework. Worse: only 15% of these students actually successfully complete their remediation sequence in the first year.

Clearly, the nation's need to develop a more qualified workforce, and individual and family desires to pursue quality and personally fulfilling occupations are severely blocked by the need for remediation and the poor rate of college completion. Thus, the Gates Foundation's focus on postsecondary success and completion is part of their U.S. domestic agenda.

The good news is that there are in fact success stories at the ready. Expert practitioners have built successful course pathways, reduced the cost of math remediation by $5,000 per course, worked together to jointly author textbooks (increasing quality and reducing duplication), and created articulate programs of study; many other examples exist.

Bottom line, community colleges need to shift their mission from open access for all students (which they achieved well), to a new focus on completion, graduation, and skills aligned with the demands of the labor market.

To learn more, follow #StudentSuccess, and checkout TAConnecT.org.




TAConnecT is another partnership building effort from VisionLink, funded by the Gates Foundation and others, designed to connect Department of Labor TAACCCT grant award winners with experts in the field to speed the scale and scope of reform.

Onwards!
Dr. W. Douglas Zimmerman
President,  CEO