Sunday, November 27, 2011

Most 2-Year Students Quit

 A WSJ article about a study showing the horrific dropout rates in NYC's community colleges:

Most City University of New York community college students drop out before graduating, squandering the system's resources as enrollment soars, according to a report set to be released on Monday.

The study by the Center for an Urban Future, a Manhattan think tank, highlights a problem with national implications: Too many students arrive at community colleges without having learned basic reading and math concepts. Most must take developmental courses that provide no credit toward a degree but still cost as much as college-level courses.

Community college students' "chances of dropout are far higher than students who test into college-level courses immediately," the report said.

About 51% of the city's community college students leave school before earning an associates or bachelor's degree within six years of enrollment, the report said. Another 12% transfer out of the community college system, but there are no data on how many finish school.

Only 28% get associates or bachelor's degrees within six years, the report found. Nationally, 26% get degrees, a number that has been essentially flat for several years. This statistic helped spark a $35-million effort by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to boost community college graduation rates.

A CUNY spokesman said in a statement that the system had made efforts to boost graduation rates. But he noted that "almost four out of every five freshman who arrive at its community colleges with a high school degree require remediation in reading, writing and mathematics."

Lest you think NYC's community colleges are unusually bad, they're actually par for the course.  Here's an excerpt from page 51 of my school reform presentation (


Lack of preparedness leads to nearly half of all students beginning higher education by attending a community college, which has negative consequences:

·         One study showed that 73% of students entering community college hoped to earn four-year degrees, but only 22% had done so after six years (and only 35% had earned a college degree of any sort)

·         41% of students at public two-year colleges drop out after their first year and only 28% have earned a two-year degree after three years

·         A study by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that three-quarters of community college graduates were not literate enough to handle everyday tasks like comparing viewpoints in newspaper editorials or calculating the cost of food items per ounce


The biggest problem isn't the community colleges – though there's no doubt a TON of room for improvement – but rather the terrible education so many students get in their K-12 years.


Most 2-Year Students Quit


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