The Mixed Methods Blog
New CCRC Policy Series Highlights the Research Around Community Colleges, Student Debt, Workforce Development
Though community colleges and their students have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the right investments, they could play a major role in the recovery.
Enrollments have fallen, but policymakers and others recognize that community colleges are not only key institutions for new high school graduates but also the place for unemployed and low-wage workers to turn to for new skills and the credentials that will help them land a job and move up. And policymakers know that community colleges are an important piece of the puzzle in getting the economy going. With the change in administrations in Washington, DC, community colleges have become central to conversations about pandemic recovery, infrastructure, and creating the conditions for the nation’s long-term growth.
In response, CCRC has created a series of briefs and fact sheets to highlight research evidence that could be useful to advocates and legislators as they craft policies around issues including debt support, investments in student success, and workforce development.
One brief discusses the research behind whole-college guided pathways reforms and the importance of funding promising college transformation efforts to improve student outcomes on a large scale. A second highlights ways federal funding can best support workforce training.
The fact sheets include:
- A background piece with basic facts on community colleges and their students.
- A fact sheet on student borrowing and the wide disparities in who experiences default.
- One on the Federal Work-Study program and ways to make it more effective for community college students.
- A piece that discusses transfer between community colleges and four-year colleges, as well as considerations for improving the transfer process.
- A fact sheet on developmental education and the growing body of research on effective reforms.
- A fact sheet on what we know about stronger advising and student supports and how the federal government can facilitate improvements.
More fact sheets are in the works, so check back on our policy resources page for additional topics.