CHRISTIANITY DAILY

California's Community Colleges Aim to Reach Higher in Student Achievement with New Goals

California Community Colleges
(Photo : Coolcaesar / Wikipedia / CC) The California Community Colleges headquarters in Sacramento, pictured in 2007.

The Chancellor of the California Community Colleges (CCCs) and its board members voted on July 17 to approve the new set of goals and commitments for the next five years. Some of the main goals were to increase the number of CCC students annually who acquire associate’s degrees by at least 20 percent and increase the number of CCC students transferring to a UC or CSU by 35 percent, as written in the CCC’s Vision for Success document.

The document stated that the current challenges of the system include the long amount of time students take to graduate, the lack of attention toward and resources for older and working students, and the rising cost of college tuition, even for community colleges.

“If we don’t set accountability standards in terms of seeing an increase, or setting a minimum threshold, then there’s no way to know whether progress is being made,” stated Hasun Khan, a Student Member of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors.

The most recent numbers for associate's degrees received within the California Community College System are 31,447 for the Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree and 63,369 for the Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree for the 2014-15 school year, according to a fact sheet of demographics and statistics from the Community College League of California. The fact sheet also shows that 16,037 students transferred from a community college to a UC, while 57,770 students transferred to a CSU for the 2014-15 school year.

Other goals the CCCs wanted to achieve included reducing equity gaps and reducing regional achievement gaps, according to the Vision for Success document.

Along with these goals, the CCCs stated in the document that it also looks to uphold seven core commitments to aid in the accomplishment of these systematic goals. For instance, the CCCs committed to “always design and decide with the student in mind, pair high expectations with high support, and to lead the work of partnering across systems,” among others, according to the document.

“The needs are great, the resources are adequate, and the momentum is building. It is time for leadership to assert itself. It will take a new generation of passionate, talented, dedicated and empowered community college leaders to transform the old model to meet both the needs of today and tomorrow,” explained Dr. William Scroggins, President and CEO of Mt. San Antonio College.

Board member Joseph J. Bielanski said the Vision for Success document is "very impressive," but also noted the realistic challenges that may arise.

“The question to me is how does this get rolled out to the 72 districts so that the 72 districts become invested in this,” said Bielanski.

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