Full-time college enrollment may not work for all

Research indicates that colleges may want to evaluate credit-per-semester requirements

college-completionFindings from an effort to benchmark the persistence patterns of non-first-time (NFT) college students indicate that NFT students are less likely to drop out and more likely to complete an associate degree if they combine full-time and part-time enrollment. The findings could renew discussions about the efficacy of mandatory “15 credit per semester” policies at 2-year programs.

The benchmarking initiative is a cooperative effort between the ACE, InsideTrack, NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), and the National Student Clearinghouse. It is designed to begin addressing the lack of publicly available data on the success of adults returning to college.

“Returning students are typically balancing work, family and other commitments that ebb and flow in intensity over the course of their academic career,” says Dave Jarrat, vice president of marketing at InsideTrack. “Mixing part-time and full-time enrollment enables these students to persist through the inevitable fluctuations in their life obligations.”

(Next page: College enrollment patterns)

Laura Ascione
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