Making community colleges work is crucial to education. For many Americans, they offer the best promise for a more promising path forward. Now, new research suggests one change could make them work even better.
The 30 Sec. ReadFrom the very start, students at community colleges – who tend to be older, less affluent, and less likely to have college-educated parents – face longer odds in making it to graduation than do their counterparts at four-year colleges. So what can be done to give them a boost? A new report suggests a surprising aid: Get them to enroll full time for at least one semester. Researchers have long known that full-time community college students are more likely to graduate than those who study part time. But a survey of thousands of community college students nationwide reveals that more than one-third of students who enrolled full time for one semester graduated, compared with 23 percent who studied part time. The survey also revealed that full-time enrollment can lead to a host of other helpful behaviors, including more contact with faculty and other students, more collaborative learning experiences, and a higher likelihood of seeking out academic advising or career planning services.