Los Rios Community College District Vice Chancellor of Education and Technology Jamey Nye offers his insight into on-time graduation rates. For more from Nye, check out “Fast-Tracked” in our September issue. Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll email you when it’s available online.
What has been the biggest incentive in college completion rates in the Capital Region over the past year?
Over the past year, we have seen additional financial incentives in California for improving college completion rates, namely the new state funding formula that funds community colleges based, in part, on performance metrics. However, the greatest incentive to improve completion rates at our colleges remains tied to our mission of helping students successfully reach their academic goals. There is, and will continue to be, a significant need for an educated and skilled workforce to support our region’s growing economy, and the Los Rios colleges’ ability to deliver college graduates and certified skilled workers is vital to the success of employers, public and private, throughout our Greater Sacramento area.
What do you anticipate being the biggest change in college completion rates in the upcoming year?
Undoubtedly, the biggest change affecting completion rates this year will be the implementation of AB 705, a new law which aims to maximize the likelihood that students will complete college-level coursework in English and math within a one-year timeframe. Currently, 80 percent of students entering community colleges enroll in at least one remedial course in English, math or both, and just 40 percent of those students complete a degree, certificate or transfer within six years compared to 70 percent for students allowed to enroll directly into college-level courses. A key requirement of AB 705 is the use of high school transcript data, in lieu of traditional assessment tests, which unnecessarily direct too many students into remedial courses, for placing students into math and English courses. The initial results from early implementers of AB 705 show dramatic increases in students being placed into and completing transfer-level English and math courses.
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