College: 2-year

Degreeless in Debt: What Happens to Borrowers Who Drop Out

This report looks at data from student loan borrowers who dropped out of college and examines what happened to them six years after they initially enrolled in college. Key results include: more students are borrowing to attend college, borrowers who attended for-profit institutions took on larger amounts of debt, and borrowers who drop out have higher unemployment rates and make less money.

Debt to Degree: A New Way of Measuring College Success

This report describes a measure created by Education Sector, the "borrowing to credential ratio", which calculates the total amount of money borrowed by undergraduates at a college divided by the sum of total number of degrees awarded by that college. The borrowing to credential ratio was calculated using data from 2006-07, 2007-08, and 2008-09. Key results include: the ratio has risen sharply in recent years, ratios at for-profits are higher than elsewhere, and there is a wide variation in ratios among states and elite colleges.

Deal or No Deal? How Higher Education Shortchanges Unprepared Students

Community colleges enroll a larger proportion of new undergraduates each year but receive a smaller proportion of public funding compared to four-year institutions. This brief provides evidence that students who are the least prepared are in higher need of resources from college and as a result, more resources should be allocated to community colleges.

Cracking the Credit Hour

This report describes the history of the credit hour and redefining the credit hour in a way that accounts for measuring student learning. The report also describes emerging efforts to measure student learning, such as the Degree Qualifications Profile, Tuning USA, and competency-based programs. Finally, the report provides federal policy recommendations for awarding credit hours based on student learning through three tools: the credit hour, experimental sites, and direct assessment.

College- and Career-Ready: Using Outcomes Data to Hold High Schools Accountable for Student Success

This report examines the need for improving high school accountability for preparing students for college and careers. The report also provides examples of how states use outcomes data to track student success beyond high school and how that data is used to hold schools accountable. 

Using Longitudinal Data to Increase Community College Student Success: A Guide to Measuring Milestone and Momentum Point Attainment

This tool provides a guide for using longitudinal student unit record data to track community college student progression by measuring educational achievements and milestone and momentum point attainments. This guide also helps researchers identify different groups of students, calculate their rates of attainment, and identify barriers to success for those groups. In addition, examples from an analysis of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges are provided. 

Beyond Retrofitting: Innovation in Higher Education

This report presents an overview of the higher education landscape and proposes policy reforms that would lead to innovation in the U.S. higher education system. These recommended reforms are built on four principles: focusing on outcome measures; being open to new providers of higher education; unbundling the components of higher education; and allowing for portability. The report also presents emerging innovative approaches to higher education, such as competency-based models, focused institutions, and assessments of prior learning.

A Skills Beyond Schools Review of the United States

This report provides an overview of the state of postsecondary career and technical education (CTE) in the United States, including strengths and challenges of the CTE system. It also includes examples of various aspects of CTE systems in other countries and state case studies and recommendations for improving student outcomes of the postsecondary CTE system with a focus on three issues: quality and funding, credentials, and transitions.


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