Surveying the 2011 Legislative Landscape: Postsecondary Funding

Posted by Matthew Smith on Sep 9, 2011 in Legislative Trends | 1 comment

As this year’s legislative sessions wrap up, we have begun to analyze over 80 new enactments that have implications for college completion. Our first blog covers postsecondary funding, which has become a hot topic as states seek to increase degree attainment in a time of limited resources for higher education. In 2011, many states looked to their funding policies as a lever to drive increased productivity, particularly as it relates to college completion. Student Success-Based Funding Twelve legislatures have enacted policies in 2011 related...

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Surveying the 2011 Legislative Landscape: Early Exposure to Postsecondary Education

Posted by Matthew Smith on Oct 4, 2011 in Legislative Trends | 0 comments

How do high school students view postsecondary education? Do they know what college courses entail and are they up to the challenge? These are the questions that legislators consider when building avenues for early exposure to postsecondary education. By providing high school students the opportunity to earn college credit for these experiences, legislatures are improving the odds that high school graduates seek and complete college credentials. What Is Meant by Early College Exposure? Early college exposure is an umbrella term that refers to...

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A Transfer Agenda for the 21st Century

Posted by Matthew Smith on Oct 4, 2011 in Commentary | 1 comment

Transfer and articulation is such a confounding issue because every state has it in some form or fashion, but rarely do any two states do it the same. Consider the variables: legislatures, postsecondary systems, institutional administrators, faculty senates, parents and, finally, students. Add that to tradition, governance, demographics and geography, and one can easily see why states respond to transfer and articulation in quite different ways.   A Transfer Agenda for the 21st Century   The Boosting College Completion project...

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Ten States Receive Complete College America Challenge Grants

Posted by Mary Fulton on Sep 9, 2011 in Commentary, News | 0 comments

In February, 2011, Complete College America (CCA) challenged all states – in particular, their governors – to a competition: Submit proposals to win a $1 million grant to increase college completion and close attainments gaps. Thirty-three states applied by the May deadline. The ten winners emerged by the end of August. Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia will receive a cash infusion to increase attainment rates as part of the Completion Innovation Challenge.  But CCA...

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5 Myths About Remedial Education

Posted by Mary Fulton on Jul 21, 2011 in Commentary | 0 comments

While college remediation often shows up on lists of what ails America’s higher education system, Bruce Vandal from ECS and Jane V. Wellman from the Delta Cost Project argue that rethinking these services could help increase postsecondary attainment and spur economic development. In their recent op-ed that ran in Inside Higher Ed, the pair lay out five myths that stand in the way of true reform of remedial education in most states. In addition to dispelling the myths, they offer simple steps that most states can take today to reform remedial...

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Gates Foundation Leader Makes the Case to Spur Economic Growth through Increased College Completion

Posted by Mary Fulton on Jul 21, 2011 in Commentary | 0 comments

Hilary Pennington, Director of Education, Postsecondary Success and Special Initiatives for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation set the stage for the 2011 ECS National Forum on Education Policy by describing the challenges that policymakers and practitioners face to meet college completion goals and workforce demands. During the plenary session, Pennington also offered four strategies to increase postsecondary readiness and productivity. Pennington shared the Gates Foundation’s ambitious goal to double the number of low-income adults who...

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ECS Urges State Leaders to Boost College Completion

Posted by Heidi Normandin on Jul 21, 2011 in Commentary | 0 comments

The 2011 ECS National Forum on Education Policy – a premier education policy event for 46 years – was held in Denver on July 6-9. Over 380 policymakers and education leaders from around the country attended, including legislators and legislative staff, gubernatorial staff, chief state school officers, higher education officials, business and industry leaders, and practitioners. Nowhere else does such a broad group of education leaders from diverse perspectives gather to discuss the important education issues from Pre-K to...

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Data Are the Key to Legislation on Completion in Arkansas

Posted by Molly Ryan on Jul 21, 2011 in Legislative Trends | 0 comments

Representative Johnnie Roebuck, vice-chair of the Arkansas House Education Committee and co-chair of the Higher Education Subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council, spoke to ECS Post Forum attendees on the influential work of the Arkansas Task Force on Higher Education Retention, Remediation, and Graduation Rates. The task force, created under 2007 Ark. Acts 570 and chaired by Roebuck, was charged with designing and implementing policies to enable Arkansas to meet the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) average percentage of...

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Listen to Colorado Public Radio’s Take on the ECS College Completion Agenda

Posted by Mary Fulton on Jul 21, 2011 in Commentary | 0 comments

A recent edition of Colorado Matters, Keeping Kids in College, highlights discussions during the ECS National Forum on the challenges to and options for increasing college completion rates to meet the demands of the U.S. economy.

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Introducing the Boosting College Completion Policy Database!

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jul 21, 2011 in Commentary | 1 comment

Boosting College Completion has created a 50-state database of legislative policies related to postsecondary attainment and workforce development. The database grows on a weekly basis as staff adds policies from the 2011 legislative session. The policy database guides our state and national analysis on higher education policy. We have scanned policies enacted in the last six years and created five descriptive categories for them. Most policies fit into more than one category, which suggests that legislatures are developing policy that...

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The Role and Value of Transfer Web Portals

Posted by Matthew Smith on May 27, 2011 in Commentary | 0 comments

Education software vendors suggest that web portals are the twenty-first century solution to student transfer challenges. Web portals may facilitate transfer and, later, degree completion, but the portals are only vehicles through which students can more readily and transparently digest information on transfer. No matter how well designed or sleek, the portal will fail to resonate with students and will not answer all their transfer questions if the foundation of state transfer and articulation policies is shaky. The issue of web portals is a...

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Giving it the Good Old College Try

Posted by Bruce Vandal on Apr 18, 2011 in Commentary, Project Updates | 1 comment

It is not easy being a state legislator these days. The sluggish economy has left many of their constituents either unemployed or underemployed. Budget shortfalls combined with long term commitments to health care and pension funds has resulted in significant cuts to government services like K-12 education  and higher education. In these difficult economic and financial times, legislators have rightfully been committed to fiscal restraint, but this has left little room for investing in strategies that will get people back to work and the...

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Commissions and Task Forces: Initiating Change Processes that Create Effective Policy and Practice

Posted by Matthew Smith on Apr 1, 2011 in Commentary, Legislative Trends | 0 comments

The gravity of the college completion and workforce development challenges has compelled many states to mobilize resources to engage the problem. While other issues may languish in the public space, the college completion agenda has only gained momentum at the state and national level. This momentum creates urgency for legislators to create commissions to study and recommend or implement, evaluate and administer. In a recent released policy brief, the Education Commission of the States studied task forces and commissions with college...

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