Community Insights: 15 to Finish, Or One More Course?

October 13, 2017

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Title: Community Insights: 15 to Finish, Or One More Course?

Author: Civitas Learning

In their third Community Insights report, Civitas Learning examines persistence among part-time students and the gap in persistence rates between part-time and full-time students. The brief also provides examples of what institutions successfully working to close these gaps are doing to support their part-time students.

The analysis includes data from 60 Civitas partner institutions representing nearly 1.4 million degree-seeking students. On average, students attempted 3.6 courses per term across all institutions, with variation when disaggregating by 2-year and 4-year institutions. Findings show that for students at community colleges, many of whom attend part time, the largest increase in median persistence occurred between students who took one course per semester compared to those taking two. As a result, adding one additional course can increase persistence rates for part-time community college students.

The findings also show that initiatives like 15-to-Finish may not work for all students. While these initiatives are well intended, part-time students enroll part time for a reason: They may be working a full-time job, raising children or have other commitments that limits their time. However, the report includes examples that institutions can follow of how their peers are reducing persistence gaps and helping part-time students get to the finish line.

To read the full brief, see Civitas Learning’s website.


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