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After Admission

From College Access to College Success

James E. Rosenbaum, Regina Deil-Amen, Ann E. Person

Publication Year: 2006

Enrollment at America’s community colleges has exploded in recent years, with five times as many entering students today as in 1965. However, most community college students do not graduate; many earn no credits and may leave school with no more advantages in the labor market than if they had never attended. Experts disagree over the reason for community colleges’ mixed record. Is it that the students in these schools are under-prepared and ill-equipped for the academic rigors of college? Are the colleges themselves not adapting to keep up with the needs of the new kinds of students they are enrolling? In After Admission, James Rosenbaum, Regina Deil-Amen, and Ann Person weigh in on this debate with a close look at this important trend in American higher education. After Admission compares community colleges with private occupational colleges that offer accredited associates degrees. The authors examine how these different types of institutions reach out to students, teach them social and cultural skills valued in the labor market, and encourage them to complete a degree. Rosenbaum, Deil-Amen, and Person find that community colleges are suffering from a kind of identity crisis as they face the inherent complexities of guiding their students towards four-year colleges or to providing them with vocational skills to support a move directly into the labor market. This confusion creates administrative difficulties and problems allocating resources. However, these contradictions do not have to pose problems for students. After Admission shows that when colleges present students with clear pathways, students can effectively navigate the system in a way that fits their needs. The occupational colleges the authors studied employed close monitoring of student progress, regular meetings with advisors and peer cohorts, and structured plans for helping students meet career goals in a timely fashion. These procedures helped keep students on track and, the authors suggest, could have the same effect if implemented at community colleges. As college access grows in America, institutions must adapt to meet the needs of a new generation of students. After Admission highlights organizational innovations that can help guide students more effectively through higher education.

Published by: Russell Sage Foundation

Title Page, Copyright

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CONTENTS

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pp. v-vi

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

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pp. vii-

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PREFACE

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pp. ix-xi

The conventional wisdom is that learning is one directional: students learn from teachers. The process is actually much more dynamic. This book began when a graduate student (Regina Deil-Amen) asked a professor (James Rosenbaum) for advice on her evolving study of community colleges. ...

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CHAPTER ONE. COMMUNITY COLLEGES: Traditional College Procedures for Nontraditional Students

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pp. 1-25

The United States is well on its way to a previously impossible goal: universal higher education. Over 80 percent of high school graduates enter higher education in the eight years after high school (Adelman 2003, table 2.7). College enrollment has dramatically increased, and most of the ...

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CHAPTER TWO. RESEARCH METHODS

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pp. 26-39

Most research on subbaccalaureate education focuses on community colleges. This approach is appropriate, considering that community colleges enroll about half of all college students, as well as about 95 percent of all two-year college students. There is certainly great variation in ...

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CHAPTER THREE. “WARMING UP”: The Aspirations of Community College Students

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pp. 40-65

We begin the discussion of the individual versus institutional model by exploring the role that community colleges can play in shifting individual students’ goals and aspirations. In exploring this process, we reveal how community colleges act to positively encourage and perhaps ...

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CHAPTER FOUR. THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF STIGMA-FREE REMEDIATION

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pp. 66-93

As Norton Grubb (1996) notes, the concept of cooling out student ambitions was generated from a study of a single junior college in the 1950s, and emphasizes the central role of counselors in this process. Since that time, little research has examined either the internal practices of faculty and ...

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CHAPTER FIVE. STUDENT INFORMATION PROBLEMS WITH COLLEGE PROCEDURE

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pp. 94-124

Overheated aspirations and hidden remedial barriers may create problems for some community college students, but these are not the only problems students face. We turn to other problematic community college assumptions. We examine student needs with respect to information and ...

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CHAPTER SIX. THE SOCIAL PREREQUISITES OF SUCCESS

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pp. 113-135

The information problems that individual community college students encounter extend beyond the obvious and involve a disjuncture that occurs when students must respond to institutional procedures. Colleges demand a certain level of social know-how, a set of skills and knowledge ...

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CHAPTER SEVEN. CHARTER BUILDING AND JOB CONTACTS

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pp. 148-166

Earlier chapters detailed the ways that colleges can construct institutional procedures to improve student success during college by providing accessible and useful information and minimizing complicated demands. However, student success does not end at finding advisors and ...

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CHAPTER EIGHT. LABOR-MARKET LINKING AMONG FACULTY

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pp. 167-181

As described, colleges engage in a range of institutional charter-building activities to improve their graduates’ employment prospects and seamlessly usher them into relevant and high-quality jobs. Beyond these, however, individual staff can also engage in activities to build and maintain ...

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CHAPTER NINE. EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES OF LABOR-MARKET LINKING

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pp. 182-200

Although labor-market linking has obvious benefits on outcomes after graduation, here we examine whether such linking can improve outcomes during college. First, using student survey data from the fourteen colleges discussed earlier, we determine how student effort and confidence ...

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CHAPTER TEN. TO TEACH OR NOT TO TEACH “SOCIAL SKILLS”?

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pp. 201-221

Along with institutional procedures, instructional activities are also part of the equation in fostering student success. The first part of this book describes ways that college procedures help students during college, and the second half describes ways that college procedures can enhance ...

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CHAPTER ELEVEN. CONCLUSION: ORGANIZATIONAL PROCEDURES TO REDUCE STUDENT PROBLEMS

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pp. 222-243

In only a little over one generation, American society has shifted to “college for all” policies. Despite changing their admissions requirements and enrolling new groups of students, however, community colleges still use traditional procedures designed for traditional college students. Thus, ...

NOTES

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pp. 245-246

REFERENCES

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pp. 247-258

INDEX

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pp. 259-268


E-ISBN-13: 9781610444781
Print-ISBN-13: 9780871547071
Print-ISBN-10: 0871547074

Page Count: 280
Publication Year: 2006