As more and more states tie their higher-education support to student performance, college leaders need to watch out for unintended effects that could hurt the very students they are trying to serve, a gathering of community-college trustees was told here on Tuesday.
“We want to improve outcomes, and putting money behind it is one way, but at the same time, you have to push back against the distortions and unintended consequences,” Thomas R. Bailey, director of the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College, said during a symposium sponsored by the Association of Community College Trustees.
State allocation formulas that reward community colleges based on the number of students they enroll have opened the doors of higher education to hundreds of thousands of students, Mr. Bailey and other speakers noted.
But getting them in the doors isn’t enough. Well under half of the students who enter degree programs at community colleges end up with certificates or degrees within six years, Mr. Bailey said. <Read more.>