Giving Compass’ Take:
• In this story from The 74, author Richard Whitmire discusses the success of community college students who transfer to universities, and how this pipeline might offer a strategy for addressing income inequality elitism in universities.
• What role can philanthropy play in the expansion of the community college to university pipeline?
• To learn more about what the best community colleges do, click here.
Community colleges as a solution for turning around low college success rates for low-income minority students? Sounds odd. Anyone taking a hard look at why so many low-income students fail at higher education is tempted to view community colleges as bad actors. When researching The Alumni, I recall sitting down with leaders from L.A.- based Alliance College-Ready Public Schools and being told that well below 10 percent of their alumni who enter local community colleges end up with a bachelor’s degree. Just to make sure I heard that correctly, I had them repeat the numbers. But as I made my way around the country to visit other charter school networks, I heard similar grim numbers. Community colleges, I concluded, were pretty much dead ends for any student hoping to end up with a four-year degree.
It wasn’t until I came across the American Talent Initiative that I began to see things differently … The goal: graduate an additional 50,000 lower-income students at some 290 colleges and universities with excellent college success records — those that consistently graduate at least 70 percent of their students in six years. Closely connected to the effort is Bloomberg’s CollegePoint, which offers free college counseling to students who lack it.
The initiative focuses on a lot more than community college transfers, but the community college transfer system might be one of its most promising ideas. To explain why, Josh Wyner, who runs the College Excellence Program at the Aspen Institute, points to the “Hoxby kids,” the now well-known group of students uncovered by economists Caroline Hoxby and Sarah Turner, from Stanford University and the University of Virginia, respectively. They found that the majority of high-achieving, low-income students never apply to even a single competitive college.
Read the full article about community college transfers by Richard Whitmire at The 74.
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