Researchers Propose 6 Ways to Keep Community-College Students Beyond the First Few Weeks

Community colleges lose almost half of their freshmen before their first year is over. Administrators are carefully observing, for the first time ever, what maze of experience a typical incoming students goes through in their first three weeks on campus. Many students don’t have the coping skills to negotiate finding the right people, getting the right signatures or even finding the right classroom on time. So, what can community colleges do to streamline the process, make the steps more simple and provide more direction in that first month of school?

Additionally, how can we better equip most community college students with the wherewithal to persevere beyond the things which daunt them, intimidate
or stymie them? Certainly, many things in life are frustrating and perplexing and hard to figure out. Those who use their minds and abilities to work through road blocks, can make their way safely to the other side, ready for even more complex challenges next time. So, how do students need to be challenged more in high school to develop college and life coping skills?


March 18, 2009
Chronicle of Higher Ed

Thanks to online video sharing, academics’ lecture missteps, intentional and otherwise, are sometimes preserved for posterity.

Some students at community colleges never make it into the enrollment statistics. They drop out before the first count is taken, usually a few weeks into the semester.

A report to be released today by the Center for Community College Student Engagement seeks to help officials understand the student experience in those critical first three weeks, and how they might engage those at-risk students and prevent them from becoming dropouts.

The report, “Imagine Success: Engaging Entering Students,” is based on data from the Survey of Entering Student Engagement, or Sense, conducted this fall. Its findings come at a time when community colleges are being called on to help achieve a national goal set by President Obama: to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.

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