Student Services

October 2021
College students who are parents, a.k.a., student-parents, have always been enrolled in community colleges, but only within the past few years have they been explicitly recognized as a distinct student group with a unique set of support needs. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (2018), more than one in five postsecondary students in the U.S. is a student-parent. This holds true at Monroe Community College (MCC), where 21.4 percent of students enrolled in 2019-2020 had children under age 18 (DeMario, 2021). Student-Parent Risk Factors Figure 1 shows that MCC’s student-...
August 2021
The Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU) recently designated Polk State College as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), as the college’s Hispanic student population has reached 26 percent and continues to grow. Additionally, Polk State is now eligible for Title V and HSI STEM federal grant funds that support institutions that enroll large proportions of minority and financially disadvantaged students. The college will apply for these funds through the U.S Department of Education to further support students. Equity and a presence in underserved communities with targeted...
March 2021
Almost half of U.S. community college students responding to the #RealCollege survey conducted by The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice indicated that they had experienced food insecurity within the 30 days before completing the survey (Goldrick-Rab et al., 2019). In response, an increasing number of community colleges are working to eliminate food insecurity for students and their families. Through programs such as on-campus food pantries, community gardens, farmers’ markets, and food scholarships, colleges are finding solutions for students and, in some cases, staff who are...
February 2021
In fiscal year 2019-2020, Sinclair Community College (Sinclair) received $10,000 from StrivePartnership Cincinnati and Learn to Earn Dayton to develop and implement a strategic communication plan to reach students who had stopped out in the previous two years without completing a degree from any postsecondary institution. Sinclair chose to expand their reach beyond the originally funded 2,000 students to include an additional 6,300 students who had stopped out in the previous five years. The communication strategy consisted of a combination of intentional personalized phone calls, email, mail...
May 2020
Phoenix College (PC), one of ten colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD), was established in 1920. Located in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona, PC is one of the oldest community colleges in the United States, serves more than 17,000 students annually, and is designated by the Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). The college opened its doors during a period of racial unrest and was one of the only institutions to support a diverse student body at that time. Today, PC remains a staple in the community as a social justice-conscious college,...
February 2020
Community college faculty, staff, and administrators face many challenges as they work to support student success, and the mental health of students ranks high on the list of concerns. In fact, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 10- to 34-year-olds (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019) and the tenth leading cause of death across all age groups in the U.S. (National Institute of Mental Health, 2019). Colleges have a unique opportunity to support student success through targeted efforts to reduce the suicide rate. House Bill 28 (Anielski, R-Walton Hills, OH), passed...
February 2020
Leadership at Mesa Community College (MCC) and Mesa Public Schools (MPS) worked together to strategize methods to increase persistence and college attendance for high school students, with an emphasis on populations facing the most challenges. The resulting Mesa Community College High School Advisor Program creates a one-stop enrollment experience and is increasing the number of Mesa public high school students enrolling at the college. Through the partnership, an MCC college advisor is embedded in each of the six MPS high schools to recruit students, provide seamless transition to MCC,...
January 2020
Researchers define a first-generation student as the first member of a family to attend college (Chen, 2005; Ishitani, 2006; Redford & Mulvaney Hoyer, 2017). In the U.S., these students are more likely to be African American or Hispanic (Chen, 2005), come from a lower socioeconomic status (Jenkins, Miyazaki, & Janosik, 2009; Redford & Mulvaney Hoyer, 2017), and have a higher rate of attrition at the collegiate level than their counterparts (Chen, 2005; Lohfink & Paulsen, 2005; Nuñez & Cuccaro-Alamin, 1998). Students who are first-generation as well as low-income are at a...
July 2019
As much as the faculty, classified professionals, and administration at San Diego City College take pride in the 1,500 classes and 200+ degree and certificate programs offered at the 60-acre urban campus, they also understand that the college’s role in supporting and empowering students goes far beyond the classroom. For instance, thirty-nine percent of college students experience significant mental health issues, yet two-thirds with anxiety or depression do not seek treatment (Active Minds, n.d.). Even more alarming is the fact that suicide is the second leading cause of death among college...
February 2019
In 2014, as part of the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) Ohio Demonstration, Lorain County Community College launched Students Accelerating in Learning (SAIL), a comprehensive student success program that is substantially improving persistence and graduation rates among low-income students. Given the program’s results, Lorain has committed to sustaining the program and expanding it to serve most of its low-income student population. If the college achieves this goal, it could close attainment gaps between low-income and more affluent students, markedly boost its overall...
October 2018
Historically, community colleges have lower completion and retention rates than their four-year counterparts. Hongwei (2015) suggested that this is in part due to the fact that leading retention models were designed for four-year institutions, not community colleges. Community college students often face unique nonacademic barriers which impact their retention and persistence rates (Goldrick-Rab, Broton, & Eisenberg, 2013; Goldrick-Rab, Broton, & Gates, 2015; Hongwei, 2015; Troester-Trate, 2017). Such barriers include, but are not limited to, a lack of resources such as food,...
September 2018
Only 25.9 percent of individuals residing in Aims Community College’s taxing district in Northern Colorado have earned a college degree or credential. In order to assist parents, families, and prospective students who are interested in college, but have no experience with the application process, Aims Community College hosts College 101 for anyone who would like to learn more about going to college. The free one-hour session is held at various locations, including the college campuses, local libraries, and community outreach centers. Dinner is provided. At College 101, attendees learn about...
August 2018
San Diego Miramar College is literally tearing down walls for student success. In October of 2017, a construction crew took a hammer to the plaster walls separating the college’s student computing lab—the Independent Learning Center (ILC)—from its tutoring center. The end result is a more encompassing Academic Success Center (ASC) dedicated to student success. “We knocked down the wall so that we could have a continuation of services,” said Donnie Tran, ASC faculty coordinator. Students can now move more freely between the Independent Learning Center and the area that was formerly known as...
April 2018
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a virtual reality (VR) tour must be worth a million. Portage College has seven campus locations throughout northeastern Alberta, a vast rural region in which it is difficult to provide potential students an on-location experience. Since one of the primary ways an individual chooses a college is by visiting it, we decided if students can’t get to us due to distance and travel time, why not bring it to them? Portage College produced a 360 VR tour video to show potential students our campuses, program labs, and local areas. The Corporate...
February 2018
Student retention and persistence have become areas of intense focus for college administrators in recent years. The growing concern with student retention is in part due to the recently declining number of high school graduates nationwide (Mertes & Jakoviak, 2016; Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, 2012). A decreasing number of high school graduates often means fewer potential students eligible to enroll in an institution of higher education (Mertes & Jakoviak, 2016; Troester-Trate, 2017). Enrollment numbers for all types of higher education institutions have...
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December 2017
Every department at a community college has a responsibility to provide the type of customer experience that will contribute to student success. All too often, managers hear questions like, “How does my job really contribute to student success?” from employees who rarely, if ever, work directly with students. When these questions come from Information Technology (IT) personnel, what managers are sometimes hearing is a lack of understanding about how technology influences and impacts what instructors do in their classrooms, online, and after hours. In addition, many students are very...
August 2016
The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), Maryland, is one of 20 community colleges nationally selected by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to participate in the Right Signals Initiative designed “to identify and develop a national model for recognizable credentialing.” According to the AACC announcement release, The purpose of the Right Signals Initiative is to demonstrate a new credentialing model that recognizes multiple quality credentials to send “the right signals” to employers, students, and colleges about the meaning of these credentials. Key credentials...
May 2016
A number of promising interventions have potential to benefit previously incarcerated young men of color (Wimer & Bloom, 2014). Several studies have shown that proactive programs that help young men of color connect to and progress through postsecondary education and training, as well as interventions that focus on emotional well-being and interpersonal problem-solving, lead to lower rates of recidivism, higher completion rates, and greater levels of employment (Patel & Valenzuela, 2013; Scrivener & Weiss, 2013; Heller, Pollack, Ander, & Ludwig, 2013). Thus, in conceptualizing...
December 2015
The Maricopa Community Colleges has announced a new program that will help children who are aging out of the foster care system to get into and complete college. The Bridging Success Initiative, funded by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, was introduced at an event with partners from across the Valley. The initiative advisory board has representatives from Arizona State University (ASU), Children's Action Alliance, Arizona's Children Association, Arizona Friends of Foster Care, College Success Arizona, College Depot, Florence Crittendon, and the Arizona Department of Child Safety. The...

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