Here are the reports you should know about this month.
- A new brief from the American Association of Community Colleges shows that measuring enrollment based on “full-time equivalent” (FTE) students doesn’t project an accurate picture of community colleges and their students. Two half-time students may equal one FTE, but they both need separate services and supports. Because community colleges are open-access and serve a large portion of students who attend part-time — and who may need more supports — relying on FTE can “contribute to underfunding issues.”
- About two thirds of Latino undergraduate students enroll at community colleges, and they have the highest completion rate for certificates, compared to whites and blacks: 60 percent of Latinos who initially enroll in a certificate program completed at their first institution. This is according to a report from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce. When it comes to earning baccalaureates and higher degrees, though, Latinos are lagging behind. Another key finding: 34 percent of foreign-born Latinos have some form of postsecondary education compared to 61 percent of native-born Latinos.
- Taking just one more course a semester can make a big difference for part-time students, according to Civitas Learning. The closer part-time students came to taking 15 credits per semester the more likely they would continue with their education. The biggest difference in persistence was among students taking one course compared to those who took two courses, but increases were also present between students who took three versus two courses and so on. With 62 percent of community college students enrolling part time, persistence is a major area of interest for community college leaders. The report has case studies about how colleges like South Texas College and Sinclair Community College are helping to clear the pathway for part-time students.