Students’ enrollment decisions also influence their likelihood of completing a certificate or degree program, according to the report. Both enrolling in an out-of-state community college or enrolling part-time significantly lowered the probability of earning a postsecondary credential. Students who enrolled part-time at any point in their career were almost 12 percent less likely to complete a certificate or degree than students who enrolled exclusively full-time.
The frequency with which students met with an academic advisor was not associated with significant changes in the probability of earning a credential, suggesting that new academic and student support models are needed to increase community college student success.
Women were more likely to earn a college credential than men, according to the report. In general, students with higher levels of socioeconomic status were more likely to earn a credential.
Direct-from-high school students who participated in extracurricular activities when first enrolled in community college were more likely to earn a credential.
The report also offers recommendations for policymakers and education leaders as they aim to improve credential completion for community college students:
1. Ensure students receive a high quality education prior to college
2. Reduce inequity in school funding and outcomes
3. Consider new academic and student support models to increase community
college student success
4. Continue strengthening the institutional research capacity at
5. Adequately fund community colleges
6. Strengthen the Pell Grant program and expand need-based aid
7. Address systemic issues facing society through public policy
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