Report roundup

By AACC 21st Century Center Staff

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

Here are three reports to check out this month.

  1. A new national survey by the ECMC Group of U.S. teens indicates their likelihood of pursuing a four-year degree has decreased substantially over the past eight months, while a growing number believe they can achieve professional success with a postsecondary education attained in three years or less. Polled high school students ages 14 to 18 who say they are likely to attend a four-year school dropped to 53% from 71% eight months ago, according to the survey. Meanwhile, 52% believe they can succeed in a career with postsecondary education other than a four-year degree, and one-quarter of high schoolers say they are more likely to attend a career and technical education (CTE) school due to the pandemic. Plus, 16% believe a skill-based education, like trade skills or STEM, makes sense in today’s world. But they need more information: Some 63% of teens said they wished their high school provided more information about various postsecondary education opportunities.
  2. One in five community college students expect to delay graduation because of the pandemic, according to survey results from the Strada Education Network. However, even though two-year college students feel stress and anxiety prompted by the pandemic, they still give their colleges high marks for career connections and value. The survey, focused on current students, found that 20% of community college students are likely to or definitely will delay their graduation because of Covid. The findings come on the heels of significant enrollment drops in the community college sector this fall, Strada noted. The good news? Nearly three-fourths (73%) of community college students believe their education will be worth the cost, compared to 50% of those pursuing a four-year degree, according to the survey.
  3. A new guidebook details how two efforts in Los Angeles and Richmond, Virginia, help college students — especially students of color and those from low-income backgrounds — earn their associate degree through reverse transfer. The study by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) notes that reverse transfer — which allows students who transfer to a four-year institution without first earning an associate degree to apply new credits they earn toward that degree — can serve a significant role in helping them earn critical credentials. In addition to earning a two-year degree, it can increase the likelihood that students will complete their baccalaureate, according to the brief.
AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.