The College Completion Agenda: Changes and Challenges Facing US Community Colleges
5:30pm-8:00pm, Wednesday 6 March 2013
Executive Lounge, Level 1, Alan Gilbert Building, 161 Barry St (Cnr Grattan St), Carlton
Free event but RSVP required
President Obama's agenda proposes to increase the number of Americans with college certificates or degrees by 10 million by 2020. This goal is intended to help the United States (US) address high unemployment resulting from the Great Recession and improve its world rankings. With only about half of full-time enrolled students completing a college credential in six years of entry, the US government has prioritised completion as a national imperative. Numerous influential foundations have endorsed and extended the goal by setting national targets, such as Lumina Foundation's goal of increasing the number of high quality degrees conferred in the US by 60% by 2025.
This seminar will define the completion problem in the US from the perspective of community colleges that have relatively low rates of completion and discuss the actions they are taking to address it. The US government's Trade Adjustment Act Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant will be discussed using evaluation data reporting. In particular: who the grant is intended to serve and who it is actually serving, the promise the grant represents for low skilled adults who are unemployed and underemployed, and whether and how the grants will facilitate upward social mobility. Lessons for institutions, teachers and others will also be discussed.
About the Speaker
Debra D. Bragg is a Professor in the Department of Educational Policy, Organization, and Leadership and Director of the Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on transition to college by youth and adults, especially student populations that have not attended college historically.
She is particularly interested in how underserved youth and adult (minority, low income, first-generation, immigrant students) use the community college to transition to higher education, including how public policies position community colleges as a primary port of entry. The expanding mission of community colleges, including the increasing importance of linkages to high schools, adult education, postsecondary education and the workforce is of particular interest.
She has directed research and evaluation studies funded by federal, state, local, and foundation sponsors, including examining the participation of underserved students in college transition and career pathways initiatives. Recent investigations include studies of the implementation and impact of bridge-to-college programs for youth and adults funded by the Joyce Foundation and the United States Department of Education (USDE) and applied baccalaureate and community college baccalaureate degree programs funded by Lumina Foundation and National Science Foundation (NSF), Advanced Technological Education.
Registration and more information
If you would like to attend this free seminar, please register by clicking on the 'Register' button on this page. Refreshments will be provided from 5:30-6pm. A map of the location can be downloaded (pdf).
For more information about the event, please contact Anita Wong or call +61 3 8344 0906.