What have we learned about community colleges innovation?

Through years of work with community colleges, we have studied a wide range of innovations in their programs including developmental education reform, online learning, credit for prior learning, and career pathways development across sectors including information technology, health care, and manufacturing.

Current projects on Community College Innovation
Career Advance Apprenticeship Grant at County College of Morris Evaluation

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Lumina Foundation’s All Learning Counts Initiative Evaluation

<p>In 2019, the Lumina Foundation awarded $3.5 million in grants to nine organizations nationwide in its All Learning Counts initiative, which seeks to ensure that knowledge, skills and abilities gained outside of formal higher education can be applied to credential programs. A four-year evaluation of this program will be conducted by the Rutgers Education &amp; Employment Research Center and Brandon Roberts + Associates, a public policy consulting firm.</p>
 

Past projects on Community College Innovation
New Jersey Health Professions Pathways to Regional Excellence Project (NJ-PREP)

A consortium of New Jersey community colleges received a $15 million federal grant in 2014 to prepare students to enter and advance in the health professions in the state.

The Rutgers Education & Employment Research Center (EERC) evaluated the implementation of the grant and partnered with the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers, which calculated the project’s employment outcomes.

>View more details here. 

New Workforce Professionals Academy Evaluation

As senior leaders in community colleges continue to retire, the National Council for Workforce Education (NCWE) has sought ways to support the development of a new generation of leaders for community college workforce education.

The Rutgers Education & Employment Research Center (EERC) conducted a two-year evaluation of a program created by NCWE’s New Workforce Professionals Academy, which seeks to develop the skills and expand the knowledge of workforce education professionals who are new to the field.

>View more details here

Clark State Community College Advanced Manufacturing in a Global Economy

A $2.5 million federal grant was awarded to Clark State Community College in Springfield, Ohio to revise and expand its advanced manufacturing programs in 2014.

The Rutgers Education & Employment Research Center (EERC) developed and reformed the curriculum in the project to create stackable credentials, improve opportunities for hands-on learning, improve student recruitment and advising, and expand employer engagement.

>View more details here.

Richland College Veterans-Focus Engineering Technology

Richland College in Dallas, Texas, received a $2.75 federal grant in 2014 to revise its manufacturing and electronics technology programs to better meet student and industry needs.

The Rutgers Education & Employment Research Center (EERC) assessed the project by summarizing its implementation and outcomes.

>View more details here.

The Equity Role of Community Colleges in Career Preparation

Students enroll in community college primarily to prepare for a good career. Completing a degree can lead students from historically marginalized groups out of poverty and into the middle class.

This keynote address and issue brief presents career development as a central part of the community college equity mission and examines strategies to promote career development.

>View more details here.

Gateway Math Requirements for Workforce Programs

Community college students who transfer to workforce programs face a range of requirements for gateway classes in math and English, which creates challenges in measuring student success in these programs.

This study, conducted by the Rutgers Education & Employment Research Center (EERC), examined how often workforce study programs have requirements that ensure basic proficiency and completion of introductory courses.

>View more details here.

Interstate Passport Program Evaluation

Community college students who want to transfer to a four-year institution often face obstacles in bringing their college credits with them. To address this problem, the Interstate Passport® Program was created to remove obstacles for students seeking to receive credit for general education attainment.

The Rutgers Education & Employment Research Center (EERC) conducted a study of Interstate Passport®, which is the only network of regionally accredited, nonprofit, public and private two- and four-year institutions dedicated to the block transfer of lower-division general education credits.

>View more details here.

The Colorado Online Energy Training Consortium (COETC)

A consortium of colleges in Colorado received a $17.3 million federal grant to enhance the schools’ energy training programs and to redesign the developmental education pathways in the state.

 

The Rutgers Education and Employment Research Center (EERC) evaluated this project to determine how successfully project goals were being met.
> View more details here.

Consortium for Healthcare Education Online (CHEO)

The Consortium for Healthcare Education Online (CHEO) received a $14.2 million federal grant to help community college students develop the skills needed for working in the allied health fields.

The Rutgers Education & Employment Research Center (EERC) evaluated this grant by identifying critical measures of program implementation and by assessing how successfully project goals were met.

>View more details here.

Multiple Measures of Developmental Education in Colorado

The use of a self-assessment tool in the math and English placement of students at three Colorado community colleges was evaluated in this study. The project examined whether an assessment and placement rubric altered math and English placement decisions and how it affected students’ progress and success.

The study was a partnership among the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), Rutgers University, and the University of Michigan.

View more details here. 

Alternatives to Mathematics Education: An Unprecedented Program (AMP-Up) Evaluation

Two New Jersey community colleges launched a project to determine whether two alternative remedial math teaching methods would more effectively retain more students than the traditional lecture structure.

The Rutgers Education & Employment Research Center (EERC) conducted a study of the program, Alternatives to Mathematics Education: An Unprecedented Program, which was offered at Bergen Community College and Union County College.

>View more details here

Interstate Passport Program Evaluation

Community college students who want to transfer to a four-year institution often face obstacles in bringing their college credits with them. To address this problem, the Interstate Passport® Program was created to remove obstacles for students seeking to receive credit for general education attainment.

The Rutgers Education & Employment Research Center (EERC) conducted a study of Interstate Passport®, which is the only network of regionally accredited, nonprofit, public and private two- and four-year institutions dedicated to the block transfer of lower-division general education credits.

>View more details here.

Post-Graduate Earnings, Job Security, and Major Choice Survey

To what extent does labor market information influence students’ earnings expectations and choice of college majors? And how does this vary by socioeconomic background?

The Rutgers Education & Employment Research Center (EERC) explored the issue of accessibility of labor market information and its impact on students’ expectations of future earnings and their choice of major. Based on a survey of 3,000 undergraduates at Rutgers’s three main campuses, the study analyzed the impact of accessing labor market information on the students’ earnings expectations and on their college major choices.


> View more details here. 

Colorado Helps Advanced Manufacturing Program (CHAMP)

A $24.9 million federal grant was awarded to the Colorado Helps Advanced Manufacturing Program (CHAMP) to increase the completion of degrees and certifications in manufacturing to best serve employers’ needs.

The Rutgers Education and Employment Research Center (EERC) evaluated the program by assessing how successfully project goals were being met.

>View more details here.

Colorado Sector Strategy Evaluation Case Studies

In 2009, Colorado launched a program to create a more skilled workforce by customizing and creating curriculum in its community colleges that would meet the needs of targeted industries in the state.

A team of researchers from the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations evaluated the 10 grants awarded in the initiative to identify the best practices and recommendations from the program.

>View more details here