Report roundup

By AACC 21st Century Center Staff

A monthly roundup of reports of interest to the community college sector.

Here are the reports you should know about this month.

  1. Nearly 38 percent of students who began at a public two-year institution completed a degree in six years, according to the latest Signature report from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) Research Center. The study tracked a cohort of students at public and private two- and four-year colleges and universities from 2011 to 2017. When compared to the 2010 cohort, completion appears to be down among the 2011 cohort, from 39.3 percent, regardless of whether the completions occurred at a two-year or a four-year institution. However, the NSC Research Center notes that the decline is due to a change in definition: dual-enrollment high school students were excluded from the 2011 cohort.
  2. As scrutiny of higher education has increased in recent years, so has the demand for data analytics. One of the positive effects of this is the rise of data-informed decision making, according to a new report by the American Council on Education. The report’s authors look at how becoming data savvy can improve student outcomes, promote equity and inclusion, and improve productivity. Challenges exist, particularly with infrastructure and culture, but “a campus-wide culture that embraces quantitative and qualitative data must be nurtured, so as to alleviate concerns about the intent behind becoming more data-informed,” say the report’s authors.
  3. There are 30 million good jobs in the United States that don’t require a bachelor’s degree. And in 2015, these good jobs had median earnings of $55,000 annually. This is according to a report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. But some postsecondary education is still required for many of these jobs. “More associate’s degree holders are getting good jobs, while the number of these jobs held by workers with a high school diploma or less is in decline,” the report’s authors say. Associate-degree holders have gained more than 3 million good jobs across the country since 1991. Many of these are good jobs are not blue-collar, but rather in skilled-services industries, such as health services and financial services.
AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.