Graduation Rates at Community Colleges
There has been a lot of focus on community colleges
lately. For instance, President Obama recently announced plans to make community college free for eligible students. This is light of recent discourse about the purpose of community college due to low completion rates.
This NY Times pieces highlights a promising initiative by CUNY, Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) to improve graduating rates at community colleges. One of the major features of the ASAP program is that students enrolled have to attend community college full time (often difficult for most students). In return, ASAP offers students with a host of services such as free Metrocard for transportation, free textbooks and financial aid. One feature of the program that is proving highly effective is student-counselor meetings. The average CUNY advisor has a caseload of 600-1,500 students, while ASAP counselors deal with about 60-80 students.
Can similar programs be replicated in community colleges across the country? What other incentives/strategies can be implemented to improve community college graduation rates?