The Washington Post: New graduation math = success for community colleges
This guest post was written by Jon Marcus, who writes on higher education, in an ongoing collaboration with The Hechinger Report , a nonprofit, nonpartisan education news outlet based at Teachers College, Columbia University
The move comes 2½ years after President Obama called for community colleges to produce an additional 5 million degree-holders by 2020.
The paperwork change, recommended by an advisory committee to the U.S. Department of Education, would revise the formula for determining community college graduation rates to include the large number of students who transfer to other schools after having completed at least 30 credits at a community college.
That alone would raise completion rates to 40 percent, according to the American Association of Community Colleges, up from the 18 percent of community college students who now receive a two-year associate degree within three years, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
The new completion rate would also count students who take up to four years, rather than the current three, to finish their two-year degrees. It is not clear how much higher that would raise the completion figures.