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Coordinating Board Publishes 2017 Almanac

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recently launched its seventh annual Texas Public Higher Education Almanac as part of the agency’s core function to “promote transparency and accountability among Texas public institutions of higher education,” according to an official statement. The 2017 Almanac provides higher education facts and performance data that allow users to compare Texas […]

Vertical v. Horizontal OER

Open Educational Resources (OER)—free or near-free course materials—are catching on fast, as reported here often. But Matt Reed, a supporter of OER, draws a distinction between vertical and horizontal resources, in Inside Higher Ed. Here are his definitions: By vertical, I’m referring to an entire degree path. Tidewater Community College’s “z-degree” in business administration is […]

“15-to-Finish” Gains Momentum

The task of getting more students to enroll in college full-time is becoming, along with Guided Pathways, a paramount strategy in improving graduation rates. The label catching on quickly (due partly to philanthropic funding) is “15-to-Finish,” which refers to a full-time load of 15 semester hours each term. As you might expect, there are financial implications. Part of […]

Study Examines Inefficient Transfer

Your school is probably engaged constantly in trying to improve successful rates of transfer. After all, most students who enroll at a community college say they intend to complete a bachelor’s degree. However, they may not transfer at all and, when they do, often never graduate at the four-year school. The Community College Research Center took a look […]

Alamo Colleges to Create Gun-Free Zones

The Alamo Colleges in San Antonio are the most recent two-year institutions to receive media coverage about the implementation of the “campus carry” law allowing licensed owners of concealed guns to bring their weapons into campus buildings. Community colleges have until August to comply with the law. It’s covered in the San Antonio Express-News by Alia […]

Bachelor’s Degrees Set to Expand

The effort to allow community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees in certain fields appears to have broad and bipartisan support in this Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, which concludes in a few days (with the possibility of a Special Session looming). The bill attracting the most attention is by Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo), according to […]

Pathways on the Ground

If the Guided Pathways project remains a fuzzy concept to you, it probably means your school is not participating in the pilot programs. As noted here often, Pathways is not just another flavor of the month. It is an orchestrated strategy designed to improve graduation rates by reducing random student choices that may not count toward a […]

About That Property Tax …

Community colleges depend upon the property tax as a source of revenue, along with tuition and fees, and state appropriations. If state appropriations are not adequate to fulfill the instructional mission of the school—and trustees are understandably reluctant to increase fees on students—the property tax can be raised or allowed to rise with assessed property values, […]

New Generation of Presidents Needed

The current generation of chancellors and presidents in higher education will be retiring at a faster rate than customary recruitment can replace, according to media and educational sources. This phenomenon will require new modes of thought and strategies in grooming leaders of tomorrow. That’s one of the recommendations from the Aspen Institute, in their latest report. […]

Community Colleges Fare Well in Survey

Criticism of higher education is ubiquitous in the media these days—driven by rising costs, massive student debt, the culture wars, and other factors. Some commentators have stated that a college education is not worth it any more. But Americans appear to have a strong positive view of community colleges and their importance to the workforce, their […]