States network to improve community college success

A new collaboration aims to boost community college achievement.

Improving community college success and boosting completion rates are the two major goals of the Postsecondary State Policy Network, a multi-state collaboration lead by Jobs for the Future in conjunction with Achieving the Dream.

Both Jobs for the Future and Achieving the Dream aim to create pathways to success for community college students, particularly low-income students. Jobs for the Future concentrates on improving college readiness and ensuring career advancement, while Achieving the Dream is a non-governmental reform network for community college student success.

The Postsecondary State Policy Network strives to improve community college completion rates through sharing information, resources, and experiences to effect change.  Eleven states are part of the network: Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia.…Read More

Gates Foundation supports college readiness apps

More than half of community college students require a remedial class.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is awarding upwards of $100,000 to developers who propose apps and online tools that help high school students prepare for college, fund their schooling, and complete the sometimes circuitous application process.

The College Knowledge Challenge started Sept. 27 at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., where 100 developers gathered for a “hack-a-thon”–an effort to create useful technologies aimed at better preparing incoming college students as the need for remedial classes continues to rise across the U.S.

Anyone can submit a proposal to the Gates Foundation through the organization’s website. Winners of the $2.5 million grant competition will be announced in January, according to the foundation.…Read More

5 things freshmen need before they set foot on campus

"I want them to know that the main priority is to put their job–that of being a student and earning a degree–absolutely first," said one reader.

Education stakeholders often complain about students’ lack of college readiness, or the lack  of skills, characteristics, and general know-how needed before they set foot on campus. But besides knowing to bring flip flops to the shower, what are the most important things incoming freshman need to know?

As part of our eCampus newsletter’s ‘Question of the Week’ series, we asked our eCN readers: “What’s the one skill you’d like incoming freshmen to master before they come onto campus?”

And though answers such as “the ability to plot a line on a graph” may seem like an obvious answer, many responses were more basic than one might expect.…Read More

Ed-tech grant program aims to boost college readiness

The Educause-backed program will fund ed-tech projects designed to make high school graduates college ready.
The Educause-backed program will fund ed-tech projects designed to make high school graduates college ready.

Six months after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pumped $3.6 million into a national certification program for teachers of remedial college courses, a new initiative will dole out grants to education-technology projects aimed at improving college readiness, especially among low-income students.

The Next Gen Learning Challenges program, launched in late June and headed by nonprofit education technology supporter Educause, will aim to raise America’s high school graduation rate – which hovers around 50 percent among Hispanic, African American, and low-income students – and ensure that college freshmen are ready for higher education without having to take non-credit-bearing remedial classes.

Only half of Americans who enroll in a postsecondary school will earn a degree, according to national statistics, with as few as 25 percent of low-income students completing a degree program.…Read More

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