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Online Resources Help Practitioners and the Public


May 15, 2013


Online Resources Help Practitioners and the Public

Several new online resources can help students, educators and policymakers track the return on investment of postsecondary education. The California Community Colleges' online scorecard features such metrics as remediation, persistence, completion and participation in CTE for each institution. Persistence and completion metrics are broken down for students categorized as prepared for college and not prepared for college. Age, ethnicity/race and gender are also tracked. An earnings module should be publicly available soon, according to Paul Fain of Inside Higher Ed.

The California Community Colleges scorecard is just one of many postsecondary return-on-investment tools that have been launched recently, such as the Obama Administration's College Scorecard and The Chronicle of Higher Education's College Reality Check, as part of a nationwide interest in information that helps students "get the most bang" for their "educational buck," as President Obama said in his most recent State of the Union address.

Another recently released online toolkit from Jobs for the Future provides resources for practitioners seeking to prepare off-track youth for postsecondary success, modeled on the College, Career and Technology Academy (CCTA) in the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District in Texas. CCTA helps students who are near high school graduation but have dropped out, or are at risk of dropping out, with a curriculum that includes a customized course of study; supports and mentoring; and a compressed college-level, college-credit-bearing CTE course called a "mini-mester" in partnership with South Texas College. The toolkit features tips and templates to help establish and finance such a program, recruit students and partner with postsecondary.

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