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Published by Office of Community College Research and Leadership, 2016-05-20 13:19:20

Spring2016Update

UPDATEOn Research and Leadership
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Spring 2016 Vol. 27, No. 1

Topics Featured in this Issue: Reverse Transfer

Entrepreneurship Pipeline to Concurrent 25
Education Prison Enrollment

2 6 17


The Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL) was established in 1989 at the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. OCCRL is affiliated with the Department of Educational Policy, Organization, and
Leadership in the College of Education. Projects of this office are supported by the Illinois Community College
Board (ICCB) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), along with other state, federal, private and not-
for-profit organizations. The contents of publications do not necessarily represent the positions or policies of our
sponsors or the University of Illinois. Comments or inquiries about our publications are welcome and should be
directed to occrl@illinois.edu. The UPDATE is prepared pursuant to a grant from the Illinois Community College
Board (Federal Award Identification Number is: V048A150013). ©2016 Board of Trustees, University of Illinois

Our mission is to use research and evaluation methods to improve policies, programs,
and practices to enhance community college education and transition to college for
diverse learners at the state, national, and international levels.

Director’s Note

We’re one month into the new year with many of us still hopeful about new beginnings,
desiring new experiences, and committed to new goals. Each new year evokes a fresh
start. We are pleased that 2016 ushers in a new slate of featured articles that bring
attention to important trends and current issues of importance to the community
college sector.

Community colleges are an essential mechanism for providing opportunities for
students not traditionally nurtured by four-year institutions. Among the multiple
postsecondary pathways that community college offer, entrepreneurship programs
have become what Paul Magelli refers to as the “Third Pathway.” In an interview with
Janice Li North, Magelli shares how community colleges are preparing students with
business skills and exposing them to entrepreneurial development.

Besides entrepreneurial development, workforce development has remained a high priority for community
colleges. Workforce training and development have also been priorities of the Obama administration. In 2010,
President Obama authorized $2 billion dollars to fund the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College
and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant Program over four years through signing the Health Care and Education
Reconciliation Act. Debra Bragg, Matthew Giani, and Heather Fox share findings from the Health Professions
Pathways Consortium’s efforts to expand and improve healthcare education and employment success in this
high growth industry sector.

The health of our nation is dependent on fueling the pipeline to college and degree completion. Kadeem Fuller
and I discuss the growing pipeline to prison and how community colleges promote postsecondary educational
access behind bars. In addition, community colleges are known for providing other alternative on-ramps to
higher learning. In the case of dual credit/dual enrollment programs, they offer an accelerated pathway. Ken
Sheffel, President of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) explains three
views on concurrent enrollment – illuminating the local, state, and national context for these initiatives.

Another means of expediting baccalaureate attainment are applied baccalaureate (AB) degree programs.
Recent research on the implementation of AB programs across the country is presented by Debra Bragg
and Maria Soler Salazar. Rounding out this issue of Update on Research and Leadership, Jason Taylor and
Matthew Giani turn the spotlight on yet another route to the baccalaureate with reverse transfer of credit.
While many students leave community colleges without credentials, new articulation agreements to award
associate degrees are emerging. Taylor and Giani tell us about the Credit When It’s Due (CWID) initiative and
initial findings on reverse transfer practices in 15 states.

Welcome to an issue of Update like no other! As you read this edition you will notice fresh perspectives on
timely topics plus a fresh new look. We hope you find our new PDF format featuring flip page e-reading
engaging as well as lengthier articles that boasts bold colors, graphics, and most importantly content. If you
like what’s in this issue, feel free to share via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Happy Reading!

Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher


Table of Contents UPDATE, Spring 2016 1

02 Entrepreneurship Education as a Third Pathway for
Community Colleges: An Interview with Paul Magelli

06 The Impact of the Heath Professions Pathways Consortium

10 Altering the Pipeline to Prison and Pathways to
Postsecondary Education

17 Three Views on Concurrent Enrollment

23 New Research on Applied Baccalaureate Degrees:
Implementation in Five Regions of the United States

25 Reverse Transfer: Taking Stock and Moving Forward

Editor at Large Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher

Managing Editors John Lang and Heather L. Fox

The UPDATE on Research and Leadership is a bi-annual newsletter featuring articles on

programs, policies, and research highlighting transitions to, through, and out of postsecondary education.
Was this newsletter forwarded to you? Sign up for the OCCRL mailing list to receive news and updates our
work.

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ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION AS A THIRD PATHWAY FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGES Entrepreneurship Education as a Third Pathway for
Community Colleges: An Interview with Paul Magelli

by Janice Li North, OCCRL Graduate Research Assistant

Community colleges are typically known for their CTE and transfer offerings. Alongside these traditional pathways,
however, courses, certificates and associate’s degrees in entrepreneurship point the way to a new and innovative kind
of education, even a third pathway through community colleges. To explore entrepreneurship education, OCCRL’s
Janice Li North interviewed Paul Magelli, Senior Director at the Academy for Entrepreneurship Leadership and Visiting
Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Paul Magelli brings an array of practical and
educational experience in the field of entrepre-
neurship education. At age 8, Magelli and his
twin brother started their first business selling
goat milk. Six years later, they joined three
elder brothers as partners in Magelli Brothers
Super Markets. In 1956 at age 25, Magelli
left the business and began his undergraduate
studies in economics at the University of Illi-
nois. He completed his PhD at Illinois and also
discovered a talent and vocation for education
and administration. His past positions include
Dean of Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and
Sciences at Wichita State University in Wichita,
Kansasa; Vice President for Academic Adminis-
tration at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa;
and, President of Metropolitan State University
of Denver, Colorado. Magelli is also President
Emeritus of Parkland College in Champaign.

Magelli holds a Doctor of Law, honoris causa, from the University of Bristol, UK, where he helped to establish the
Bristol Enterprise Centre. In May 2016, he will be awarded an honorary doctorate from Wichita State University for
his lifetime achievement and visionary leadership. Paul has served as a Scholar-in-Residence at Kauffman Foundation,
advising on the development and implementation of initiatives to advance entrepreneurship training and knowledge in
American higher education. He continues to serve on numerous boards of technology-based firms.

The Academy for Entrepreneurship Leadership was established, through the support
of the Kauffman Foundation, with the aim of infusing entrepreneurship across the
curriculum at the University of Illinois. Could you highlight some of your main
initiatives and achievements?

Magelli: We are reaching the conclusion our current implementation plan (2010–2015) so let me focus on initiatives
during the first years of the award. Our first objective was faculty development. Entrepreneurship is a relatively new
field of study with limited numbers of faculty who hold a PhD in entrepreneurship. This is true not only at the Univer-
sity of Illinois but nationwide. At the same time, however, there was increasing student demand for content, courses,
and engagement in entrepreneurship. To develop academic content the Academy identified, through a campus wide
competition, faculty in related fields who would bring workplace experiences and/or a research interest in entre-
preneurship, innovation, and new firm creation. Funding from the Kauffman Foundation enabled us to recruit highly
qualified faculty as Academy Fellows. The fellows developed extensive academic offerings by integrating entrepre-
neur-concepts into existing courses or by designing new courses. Through the faculty fellowships we built bridges to


and between colleges — engineering, business, fine arts, With that in mind, of 1,6315 community colleges UPDATE, Spring 2016 3

and education, actually all thirteen degree-granting surveyed, 1,132 (70%) offer at least one course in entre-

colleges on campus. As a result, the Academy ultimate- preneurship and/or small business. We also determined

ly included nearly 60 fellows across the university. In that 613 colleges (38%) offer a degree or certificate

a given semester as many as 80 different courses are program in entrepreneurship, which entails a range of

offered with as many as 8,000 students, graduate and courses. Importantly, it appears that community col-

undergraduate enrolled. leges make a clear distinction between small business

management and entrepreneurship, which has enabled

The Academy also participates in collaborations and the research team to make clear distinctions about the

activities such as the iVenture Accelerator for student state of entrepreneurship education and small business

startups, the Enterpriseworks Incubator, located in management.

the University Research Park, Social Fuse networking

events, and the Cozad Business Plan competition. And, As the former president of a

as a new enterprise itself, the Academy received venture community college, Parkland College,

funding from the Kauffman Foundation with the ex- are there particular challenges that

pectation that the University would generate additional community colleges face in building an

financial support to build and sustain these efforts. entrepreneurship program?

Groundwork is being laid for a capital campaign as part

of the university’s upcoming 150th anniversary, which Magelli: Historically, community colleges have ben-

will define the next stage in the life of the Academy for efited from internal and external support, the latter

Entrepreneurship Leadership. especially from the Small Business Administration.

Thus, a solid base of qualified instructors is in place to

Turning to community colleges, do you teach small business courses. With regard to entrepre-

see a similar level of activity and interest neurship, community colleges face the same challenge

in entrepreneurship education? the Academy has faced: a limited number of faculty who

were prepared and available to teach the entrepreneurial

Magelli: Together with Dr. Cindy Kehoe and a team aspects of new firm formation.

of researchers, we are just completing an exhaustive

inventory of entrepreneurship education

in higher education around the country Dimensions of Entrepreneurship
including community colleges — again
with financial support from the Kauffman small-to-medium business management

Foundation (Magelli & Kehoe 2016). Based

on a review of over 1600 community

colleges1, the research team has deter-

mined that there has been an infusion of

entrepreneurship into the curriculum, in

addition to or alongside the traditional

focus on small business management.

You might ask, what’s the difference?

Small business management entails the

know-how to manage a small- or a me-

dium-sized business. To this set of skills

entrepreneurship adds the dimensions of mergers
business innovation, new firm creation,

business scaling, partnerships, mergers partnerships business innovation
and enterprise growth.

1. Degree-granting, accredited two-year enterprise growth business scaling
colleges (which also included for-profit new firm creation
institutions) as designated by the Carnegie
Classification served as the selection criteria
for this study.


ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION AS A THIRD PATHWAY FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGES focus on professional development along two pathways:

Specifically, increasing demands on shrinking or static academic training and education for those with business

budgets also limit the prospects of adding new faculty experience, and more business immersion opportunities

or retooling faculty to teach new offerings. Like new for college instructors.

firm creation, new educational programming requires

financial resources, particularly as student interest I am optimistic about the development of the field. I think

and demand grow. Faculty fellowships in the it’s an iterative learning process as colleges

Academy aforementioned translated into and universities work out the right pro-

the time and resources to develop Faculty at fessional development models that can
new courses and areas of study. community colleges foster entrepreneurship educators
In contrast, faculty at community often have fixed and who combine business experience,
colleges often have fixed and defined instructional academic rigor, and sophistica-
defined instructional responsi- responsibilities, are teaching tion. Ultimately, I think students
bilities, are teaching full-time full-time and, thus, with will benefit from a teacher who
and, with limited resources, new limited resources, new has both done it and can teach it
program development is a tre- program development is a successfully. In a sense, this is not
mendous challenge. new. We want teachers of science,
tremendous law, and medicine, for example, to
At the community college challenge. have experience in the laboratory, the

level, what kind of courtroom, or the clinic. The challenge

credentials does an instructor is to dedicate financial and institutional

need? resources that will build and empower this kind

human capital.

Magelli: An appropriate set of credentials is a mix of

business and teaching expertise. A course really ben- Can you speak to examples of

efits from instructors who have had entrepreneurial successful entrepreneurship in

experience, new firms, been successful, and can enable community colleges?

students to see the myriad steps required to develop

an idea into an enterprise. But there is the concern that Magelli: In general terms, a solid program begins

this can result in teaching simply by telling “war sto- with an introductory course that provides students

ries” without the appropriate blend of the analytical and the basic tools and vocabulary concerning opportunity

conceptual along with the experiential. Instructors as recognition and actualization, competitive intelligence

it stands may have one knowledge base or the other. and industry analysis, for instance. Then, there are the

Ideally they would have both. And this ideal points to a traditional courses in finance, economics, accounting,

kind of career path for instructors who move back and and management that supplement or complement the

forth between business and education. Someone might entrepreneurship pursuit. Additionally, a program will

obtain a bachelor’s or an MBA, spend time in a busi- offer a series or a specialization in entrepreneurship,

ness environment, come back and pursue more graduate new enterprise investment and financing, or business

studies, possible obtaining a PhD, which deepens his scaling for example. In all, an entrepreneurship program

or her understanding of research, theory, and teach- will have a basic entry point, then do two things: first,

ing methods. There are enormous opportunities in the it will respond to the students’ interests and directions,

Academy for these individuals as students seek, even and second, it will lead them toward new educational

insist upon, more pragmatic engagement. horizons that enhance their individual pathways.

But what “technical” qualifications or certifications does Is there any research on the
this entail? I think the teaching of entrepreneurship is entrepreneurial pathway that
at a very early stage of development. We have a limited community college students end up
number of advanced entrepreneurship degree-holders, taking, based on their education and
and in a broader sense, entrepreneurship is a nascent training?
field or discipline that is not yet widely recognized with-
in higher education. I think the answer lies in a greater


College Exemplers in Entrepreneurial Education Cited by Magelli UPDATE, Spring 2016 5

• Johnson County Community College (Overland Park, KS) offers a series of basic entrepreneur courses

and specialization courses tailored to specific industries or business sectors.

• Montgomery County Community Colleg (Blue Bell, PA) offers a 30 credit hour entrepreneurship

management certificate that combines a range of course from business planning and business law to ethical
decision making.

• Chabot College (Hayward, CA) offers a range of specialized entrepreneurship programs in music recording,

real estate, and family childcare.

• Columbia College (Columbia, MI) takes concepts of entrepreneurship and relates them to specific industries

such as culinary arts, automotive technology, or communication technology. Columbia College is also home
to the Steven and Barbara Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship (Mr. Fishman is president and chairman of
Big Lot; and the Fishmans are both college alums), which offers mentorship, internships, networking, and
seed capital for startups.

• Southern State Community College (Hillsboro, OH) offers an associate’s degree in entrepreneurship

infused with courses in speech, ethics, law, leadership and psychology.

Magelli: As researchers, we need to know more about outcomes: enterprises created, future academic paths, and
the overall economic impact of entrepreneurship education. Unfortunately, in the absence of significant longitudinal
studies, we do not know the aggregate impact. This is a question and issue that begs for more study and research.

However, let me point to a different set of outcomes, or perhaps educational aims. A student who takes an entrepre-
neurship course or who completes a program may or may not start a new business. What else do they gain from their
studies? I would say they gain an understanding of law, of the economy, of public policy; they learn leadership and
management skills; they acquire tools or ways of doing analysis; they learn how to develop and complete a successful
project. This kind of awareness and ability can translate into a range of successful careers, not just new firm creation.
Again, unfortunately, we do not have the type of longitudinal study that would document my assertion.

Do you have any final thoughts on entrepreneurship education and community
colleges?

Magelli: At the heart of a flourishing economy is business innovation, new firm creation, and successful ventures.
These translate into a healthy mix of wealth creation, job creation, tax revenues, and a citizenry with a stake in the
success of the economy and public policy. Community colleges serve as the grassroots educational foundation by
meeting student demand and providing them with the kind of entrepreneurial education that will prepare them to play
a vital role in these many important aspects of society. This of course calls for administrative leadership and financial
investment. But I think the payoff for students and the broader economy are immense.

Alongside wealth creation, another important part of entrepreneurship is wealth distribution to meet the needs of a
growing population. In this sense, the entrepreneurial mindset is also one of civic responsibility. I would say that an
important dimension to entrepreneurship education, which we see in many corporations, is social responsibility: how
to give back. This is more important than innovation or enterprise, it is the attention to the human condition.

Reference

Magelli, P. & Kehoe, C. (January, 2016). Preliminary results from the 2015 Kauffman Entrepreneurship Education Inventory.
Unpublished.

Janice Li North may be reached at jlnorth2@illinois.edu.
Paul Magelli may be reached at pmagelli@illinois.edu.


THE IMPACT OF THE HEATH PROFESSIONS PATHWAYS CONSORTIUM The Impact of the Heath Professions
Pathways Consortium

by Debra D. Bragg, OCCRL founding director
Matt Giani, Research Scientist, Office of Strategy and Policy, University Texas at Austin
Heather L. Fox, OCCRL Project Coordinator

The Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant was launched in
2011 by the United States Department of Labor (DOL), in partnership with the United States Department of
Education. The Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL) at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign conducted the third-party evaluation of the Health Professions Pathways (H2P) Consortium
that was funded with a Round One TAACCCT grant of over $19M. The evaluation had three major components: 1)
implementation evaluation, 2) impact evaluation, and 3) performance reporting on behalf of the H2P Consortium
to the DOL. This executive summary highlights major results of the H2P Consortium, taking into account programs
of study and strategy implementation by the following nine co-grantee colleges:

• Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Coon Rapids, MN
• Ashland Community and Technical College in Ashland, KY
• Cincinnati State Technical and Community College in Cincinnati, OH (H2P Lead)
• El Centro College in Dallas, TX
• Jefferson Community and Technical College in Louisville, KY
• Malcolm X College in Chicago, IL
• Owens Community College in Toledo, OH
• Pine Technical and Community College in Pine City, MN
• Texarkana College in Texarkana, TX

Eight strategies represent the H2P Consortium’s efforts • Build industry-recognized stackable credentials and
to enact transformative change in healthcare education. incumbent healthcare programs that align education
Six of these strategies focus on student competency-
building and healthcare employment success: The other two strategies demonstrate a larger
commitment to transformative change in healthcare
• Recognize skills and knowledge gained by students education and training in and beyond the H2P
through enhanced credit for prior learning (CPL) Consortium. These strategies include enhanced data and
processes designed to accelerate time to completion; accountability systems, including sustaining and scaling
these reforms, and galvanizing a national movement to
• Provide contextualized and integrated developmental reform healthcare education. The Consortium works
education that improves students’ foundational skills in partnership with major healthcare employers and
and the likelihood that they will earn a credential; workforce partners to effect transformative change
on a national scale. Through strategic development of
• Offer healthcare occupations core curriculum that networked partnerships, the Consortium is leveraging
expands access to diverse student populations, the national TAACCCT stage to build interest in
raises student awareness of career options, and curriculum reform, most notably scaling the healthcare
prepares students for the rigor of healthcare studies; occupations core curriculum. Please see OCCRL (2015)
Third-party Evaluation of Implementation of the Health
• Implement incumbent healthcare programs that Professions Pathways Consorium: Nine Co-Grantee
advance lower-skilled healthcare workers into College Site Reports for in-depth description of the
professional positions; implementation of strategies by H2P.

• Provide intrusive retention and student success
services to foster student success in their career
pathway; and


H2P Participation in Programs of Study UPDATE, Spring 2016 7

Overall, the nine co-grantee colleges that comprised the H2P
Consortium served more than 6,500 participants, nearly 5,000
of whom enrolled in one or more of the 41 TAACCCT-funded
programs of study. The remaining students participated in one
or more of eight strategies specified above. Impacted programs
of study include eight very short-term certificate programs (12
or less credits), fourteen short-term certificate programs (more
than 12 credits but less than a year), eight long-term certificate
programs (one year or greater), and eleven associate degree
programs. The reformed and improved programs of study with
the highest enrollment were: a) Certified Nursing Assistant, b)
Practical Nursing, c) Registered Nursing, d) Medical Assisting,
e) Pharmacy Technician, and f) Emergency Medical Technician.
Three key facts about the H2P participants:

• 31% highest level of previous education was a high school
diploma or equivalent,

• 29% were not employed when they enrolled in H2P, and

• 24% had some college but no credential.

Educational Outcomes 68% of H2P Participants Earned
at Least One Credential or
In terms of the educational outcomes of H2P
students, our analyses revealed that the majority Were Still Enrolled as of Fall 2014

of H2P participants received educational benefits

from participating in a grant-funded program of study, and there is compelling evidence that the reforms that H2P

colleges implemented made a positive impact on the attainment rates of healthcare students. Of the 4,888 students

who enrolled in a program of study that was created or modified through TAACCCT funds, roughly two-thirds had

either earned a postsecondary credential or were still enrolled in their H2P co-grantee college by the Fall 2014 se-

mester, and this figure was higher than 90% at one college. More than 1,000 long-term certificates and associate’s

degrees were awarded to students, in addition to more than 1,000 short-term and very short-term certificates.

Nearly one out of every ten students who earned a credential earned more than one, supporting the assumption

that the stackable credential strategy

improved credential attainment rates

for H2P participants. Additionally, our

analyses provide support that H2P

increased the likelihood that students

enrolled in healthcare programs of

study would complete their creden-

tials, particularly in regards to the

LVN/LPN programs across colleges.

H2P participants in LVN/LPN pro-

grams were roughly 18% more likely

to earn that credential compared to a

retrospective cohort of students in the

same programs when using the most

rigorous methods available to control

Figure 2. The number of credentials H2P participants earned, by for potential differences in background
credential length. characteristics between the groups.


THE IMPACT OF THE HEATH PROFESSIONS PATHWAYS CONSORTIUM High Impact Strategies

Out of the six student-focused strategies emphasized by the Consortium, four stand out as particularly important
in terms of the number of students who participated and the degree of student engagement. These strategies are
enhanced retention services, stackable credentials, healthcare occupation core curriculum, and credit for prior learning

Enhanced Retention Services
Bolstered by the student success/retention coaches hired with grant funds, all co-grantee colleges increased efforts
to provide students with intrusive advising and targeted retention services to increase their chances of success.

H2P used a four-pronged approach to enhanced retention services: a) build relationships with community-based
organizations and workforce partners, b) provide students career planning services, c) provide proactive advising,
and d) provide technology-assisted employment services.

Among three of the colleges that collected particularly detailed data on retention services, 2,221 students received
14,473 individual services, for a total of 9,504 hours of services, or roughly 4.5 hours of services per student who
received retention services.

Stackable Credentials
The H2P Consortium selected industry-recognized stackable credentials with the goal of accelerating time to
completion and streamlining pathways to the labor market for students (H2P Consortium, 2011).

Eleven sets of stackable credentials, involving 13 new industry-recognized credentials, were developed or
enhanced through the H2P grant.

Fifteen percent of all credential earners (356 graduates) earned multiple credentials, and an additional 523 stu-
dents were continuing their studies after having earned at least one credential.

Credit for Prior Learning
The Consortium selected this strategy as a means to recognize the knowledge and skills gained by displaced and
incumbent workers through previous work and life experience (H2P Consortium, 2011).

Across the Consortium, 415 students Four Potential Benefits to a
earned at least some credit for prior Healthcare Occupations Core Curriculum
learning, for a total of 3,055 credits,
averaging about seven credits of credits
granted or waived, per student who
received any credit for prior learning.

Healthcare Occupation Core Students are Students Students Underserved
Curriculum Aware of are Better Enter Their Students Gain
A competency-based healthcare occupa- Prepared for Program with Access to Health
tions core curriculum was implemented to the Array of Rigor of Health Foundational Careers through
some extent at all nine colleges. Health Care Programs and Knowledge
Occupations More Likely to Leading to Integrated
In total, 2,202 students enrolled in one and Make be Retained and Improved Developmental
of the 40 healthcare occupation core Bettter Program Complete Their Mastery of Education and
curriculum courses implemented across Program of Discipline the Opportunity
the Consortium, for a total of 3,682 of Study Specific Skills
student-course enrollments with an Selections Study to Build
overall pass rate of 97.5%. Foundational
Health Care
Given that only El Centro College had
a pre-existing healthcare occupations Skills
core curriculum, the breadth and depth
of implementation of this strategy by A Healthcare Occupations Core Curriculum is:
the Consortium is noteworthy.
A set of interdisciplinary courses, clinical training, and other

educational exposures designed to provide allied health students at

each level with the common knowledge, skills, and values necessary

to perform effectively in the evolving health care workplace.

(McPherson, 2004, p. 30)


Employment Outcomes UPDATE, Spring 2016 9

This report also demonstrates that the labor market outcomes of H2P participants improved greatly when comparing
their employment and earnings prior to H2P to their labor outcomes at the end of the grant period. Across the
Consortium, students gained $1,400-$1,700 in average quarterly earnings (depending on the precise method of
calculation). When assessing earnings growth between the quarter immediately preceding when each student enrolled
in H2P and final earnings, students gained $1,900-$2,500 in quarterly earnings. Earning a credential of any length was
shown to have a beneficial impact on the likelihood that students were employed post-H2P, and the earnings gains
for students who completed long-term certificate and associate’s degree programs were particularly pronounced.
Students who completed long-term certificates earned roughly $2,500 more quarterly compared to their pre-H2P
average and $3,600 more compared to their earnings in the quarter immediately prior to enrollment in H2P. For
students who completed associate’s degrees, these gains were $4,000 and $6,000. These results underscore the high
labor market value of the majority of credentials awarded to H2P participants.

Our results also support the positive impact
that H2P made on the labor market outcomes
of healthcare students, although our
conclusions are tempered by the fact that the
economy was improving over the course of
the grant and substantially changed between
the time periods of enrollment for the
retrospective and H2P groups. Nevertheless,
H2P students experienced median earnings
gains roughly 60% higher than retrospective
students, and they were significantly more
likely to be employed at the end of the cohort
time period. They also had significantly higher
quarterly earnings, even when controlling for a
broad range of student characteristics and the
specific credentials students earned. Using
rigorous quasi-experimental techniques,
H2P students had an estimated 8% greater
likelihood of employment and 22% higher
wages than retrospective students, both
significant differences.

Figure 3. The mean quarterly gain in earnings of H2P participants,
by credential length.

Full Evaluation Reports

Bragg, D. D., Giani, M., Fox, H. L., Bishop, C., &
Bridges, K. (2015, July). Third party evaluation of the
impact of the Health Professions Pathways (H2P) Con-
sortium. Champaign, IL: Office of Community
College Research and Leadership, University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign. Available at http://occrl.illinois.
edu/files/Projects/TAA/h2p-impact.pdf

Office of Community College Research and Leadership.
(2015, September). Third-party evaluation of imple-
mentation of the Health Professions Pathways (H2P)
Consortium: Nine co-grantee college site reports.
Champaign, IL: Author.

Debra D. Bragg may be reached at dbragg@illinois.edu.
Matt Giani may be reached at matt.giani@austin.utexas.edu.

Heather L. Fox may be reached at hlfox2@illinois.edu.


ALTERING THE PIPELINE TO PRISON AND PATHWAYS TO POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION Altering the Pipeline to Prison and Pathways to
Postsecondary Education

by Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher, OCCRL Director
Kadeem Fuller, Office of Multicultural Affairs Graduate Mentor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The United States prides itself on being a world leader in many areas. For instance, the nation is a leader in technology,
natural gas production, and wind power. There are many other areas in which the United States is a recognized world
leader, including the incarceration of its people. During the last four decades, the United States has experienced a
500% increase in imprisonment (Mauer & King, 2007) and well over two million people are presently incarcerated in
jails and prisons around the country (Carson, 2015). When combined with the formerly incarcerated who are under
correctional supervision in the form of parole or probation that number increases to 7 million (Rivera, 2015). With 698
people in prison for every 100,000, the United States ranks first in the world, with Rwanda (492 per 100,000) and
Russia (446 per 100,000) running a distant second and third in mass incarceration (Walmsley, 2015).

Mass incarceration in this country is costly. One out of every 15 state general fund discretionary dollars is spent on the
U.S. criminal justice system with 90% spent on prisons (American Civil Liberties Union, 2016). This is roughly $80 billion
annually spent on jailing 2.4 million people in America (Kearney, Harris, Jácome, & Parker, 2014). While federal prisons
from Alcatraz to super-max facilities are more famous in popular culture, the fact is 98% of the nation’s incarcerated
are housed in state prisons (Spycher et. al, 2012). In 2013, this translated into nearly $52 billion in state expenditures
(National Association of State Budget Officers, 2013). Despite continuing fiscal burdens on states, especially amid the
country’s recovery from the Great Recession, prison populations continue to increase rapidly. How did this happen?

The War on Drugs and Mass Incarceration

The “war on drugs” was popularized in 1971 when framework for law enforcement; and, it entailed mini-

President Nixon launched a national campaign to com- mum mandatory sentences for drug convictions, which

bat what he declared to be “public enemy number one.” structured court proceedings. State politics and policy

To understand the connection between the war on drugs followed suit, with the most notable war waged in Cali-

and mass incarceration, it is helpful to view the former fornia, which invoked the baseball adage, “Three strikes

along multiple axes. First, the war was waged by and you’re out.” While three-strike laws sprung

Republican administrations such as Nixon up in multiple states aimed at violent crime,

and Regan, and Democratic presidents In 2013, non-violent convictions — including drug

including Carter and Clinton, and even nearly $52 billion convictions were swept up in the policy

dating back to the Johnson admin- dollars in state ex- (Courtwright, 2014).

istration. Thus, the war on drugs penditures were spent
spanned decades and was waged by on corrections (National The multiple axes of the war on drugs
both political parties. Association of State combined systematically to criminal-

Budget Officers, ize, arrest, convict, and incarcerate

Second, the war entailed two areas 2013). individuals at a profound rate. Con-

of operation and policy fields, foreign sequently, prison populations swelled.

and domestic. Foreign policy introduced For example, between 1987 and 2006,

to Americas to their Latin American neighbors the U.S. prison population increased threefold

through political, military, and paramilitary inter- from 585,084 to 1,596,127, reaching its present

ventions in Panama, Nicaragua, and Columbia, among level of over 2 million. In 2010, the U.S. federal gov-

others, which were part of a complex engagement with ernment spent over $15 billion dollars on the War on

drug trafficking and regional realpolitik. On the domes- Drugs accounting for $500 every second (Miron & Wal-

tic side, the war enlisted legislation, law enforcement, dock, 2010). The questions with any war of course are

the courts, and prisons in order to eradicate drug sales who won? In any case, was it worth the price? The first

and use within the country. Federal legislation entailed question, concerning drug policy, is beyond the scope of

an expanded list of Schedule I controlled substanc- this article. Not surprisingly, the answer is highly con-

es including crack cocaine, which erected the legal tested in the United States and internationally. Perhaps


our consideration of the second question regarding the price paid for the war on drugs helps to answer the first UPDATE, Spring 2016 11
question-- namely, who lost?

Who is Locked Up and Locked Out of Opportunities?

“In too many places, black boys and black men, and Latino boys and Latino men,
experience being treated different under the law.”

President Barack Obama, NAACP Annual Convention, July 14, 2015

During his remarks at the NAACP convention, President Obama discussed the flaws in the U.S. justice system noting
that it “remains particularly skewed by race and by wealth” (Liptak, 2015). The President observed that the interplay
between arrests, convictions, and time served with race and income is not anecdotal and is not “barber shop talk” but
an empirical fact, supported in evidence.

Research has found a statistically significant race effect on sentencing and imprisonment with African Americans re-
ceiving the harshest sentences by race and ethnicity, representing approximately half of those in jail (Bobo & Johnson,
2004; Mauer & King, 2007; Mitchell, 2005). There is a racialized criminal profiling of males of color that corresponds
with disparate sentencing and imprisonment (Mauer & Huling, 1995; Welch, 2007). Case in point, from 1980 to 2000
the rate of African American incarceration tripled, making the ratio of incarceration between Blacks and Whites 8 to
1 (Blumstein, 2001). There is a disproportionately higher number of individuals from low-income, racially, and/or
ethnically underserved backgrounds overrepresented in prisons, many of which have low levels of educational attain-
ment (Coley & Barton, 2006). When considering American incarceration
by race/ethnicity and gender, males are incarcerated in larger
numbers than females and people of color at higher rates
than their white counterparts (Alexander, 2010; Blum-
stein, 2001; Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2004).
While African Americans make up 13% of the U.S.
population, 1 out of 6 African American males
are incarcerated. Latinos account for 17% of
the population, with 1 out of 36 Latino men
incarcerated. In contrast, Whites make up
77% of the population, with 1 out of 106
White males incarcerated (Kerby, 2012;
U.S. Census Bureau, 2015).

Not surprisingly, education levels cor-
respond with levels of incarceration.
According to Pew Charitable Trusts
(2010), when considering incarceration
by educational attainment, 1 in 3 black
men, 1 in 14 Hispanic men, and 1 in 8
White men between the ages of 20 and 34
who are without a high school diploma or GED
are incarcerated. In all, 40% of state and federal
inmates do not hold a high school diploma or GED
-- double the national rate (Tolbert, 2012). More-
over, less than 25% have some form of postsecondary
education (Contardo & Tolbert 2008).

Percent of Populations Who Are Incarcerated and
Are Not Incarcerated by Race and Gender.

(Data Source: Carson, 2015 & U.S. Census Bureau, 2015)


ALTERING THE PIPELINE TO PRISON AND PATHWAYS TO POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION The price of mass incarceration vis-à-vis the war on drugs, gangs, poverty, and racial profiling, among other factors,
is paid disproportionately by generations of males of color. If the solution to war on drugs was mass incarceration,
the latter begets its own set of problems that rise to the level of public enemies. For example, 95% of all inmates who
entered prisons will be released at some point (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2004). The outcomes are predictable and
interconnected -- on the one hand, few educational or employment opportunities and recidivism on the other. A Pew
Center study found that 4 in 10 prisoners committed new crimes or violated the terms of their release, and were in-
carcerated again (The Pew Center on the States, 2011). There is less spent on education than incarceration (American
Civil Liberties Union, 2016; Kearney, Harris, Jácome, & Parker, 2014). Mass incarceration is a phenomenon that once
created, expands and regenerates itself. What is to be done?

Building a New Pipeline: Prison to School to Society

“He who opens a school door, closes a prison.” -Victor Hugo

The history of American prison education , is a study in the central tension between punishment and rehabilitation. The
Penitentiary Act of 1799, for example, combined solitary confinement with labor and religious instruction. In the early
1800s (alongside capital punishment), the Quakers advocated for the humane treatment and the moral uplifting of
prisoners. Later in the 19th and early 20th centuries, model prisons in New York, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere insti-
tuted systems of education as well as democratic participation for inmates. For example, Zebulon Brockway instituted
a system of academic and vocational education, sports, and military discipline at Elmira Reformatory in New York State.

The 1950s saw a return to reform in which even the term “prison” was replaced by “correctional institution,” and
education mapped coincide with growing emphasis on behaviorism and psychoanalytic therapy. Present-day prison
education can trace its origins to the 1970s, in the same period interestingly, as the commencement of the war on
drugs.

The Pell Grant Program, enacted in 1972 as the Basic Educational Opportunity Grants, sought to offer students with
financial need grants that would provide modest college aid. Among those eligible for Pell grants were incarcerated
individuals. Inmate participation was a small component of the total Pell grants awarded. In fact, less than 1% of Pell re-
cipients were inmates and did not adversely affect Pell grants available for other students demonstrating financial need
(U.S. GAO, 1994). However, inmate eligibility was no mere afterthought. Senator Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island, sponsor
of the program, felt strongly that postsecondary opportunities should be extended to inmates. He declared, “As I have

often said, education is our
primary hope for rehabil-
itating prisoners. Without
education, I am afraid most
inmates leave prison only
to return to a life of crime”
(Congressional Record,
1994). The numbers bear
this out. Pell grants for
prisoners are critically im-
portant given the correlation
between educational attain-
ment and lower recidivism
rates (Duwe & Clark, 2014;
Harer, 1995). Another
study found that the recid-
ivism rate within three years
of release was 43% less for
Photo: Flickr/vickens_dan those who participated in a


prison education programs (Davis, Bozick, Steele, Saunders, & Miles, 2013). In addition, nearly 600 crimes are pre- UPDATE, Spring 2016 13
vented for every $1 million invested on correctional education in contrast to 350 crimes prevented applying the same
amount on incarceration only (Bazos & Hausman, 2004). In all, postsecondary education behind bars is arguably both
a public and private good as an individual’s risk of recidivating is lower, odds of gaining employment following release
increase, and state costs of incarceration over time decrease (Davis, et al., 2013, 2014).

In 1994, however, Pell grants for inmates became a casualty of the war on drugs. That year, the Violent Crime Con-

trol and Law Enforcement Act, written in part by then-Senator Joe Biden, and signed into law by President Clinton,

eliminated inmate eligibility for Pell grants. Because most inmates who work earn pennies on the dollar — pointing to

its own set of moral and economic problems — they simply cannot pay for their education. Consequently, the effect of

eliminating Pell eligibility was profound. Prior to 1994, college programs were offered

to inmates in 39 of the 50 states (Lillis, 1994; Messemer, 2003). In addition,

Tewksbury, Erickson and Taylor (2000) report that “ 92% of correctional

systems offered some form of post-secondary educational programming Much of the

in 772 prisons, enrolling more than 38,000 inmate students” before education of inmates

1994. Two years later, 63% of correctional systems offered edu- beyond the high school

cational programming, with a 44% decrease in enrollment. As part diploma or General Equivalency

of the decline of prison education, important dimensions, such as Diploma (GED) level is geared to

course diversity and credential stepping stones, from certificate provide skills that can serve as a

and associate’s degree to bachelors’ and even graduate degrees, foundation to reintegrate individuals,

suffered. By 2005, only 32% of all state prisons offered postsec- post-incarceration, and to help

ondary education, with only 10% of inmates enrolled in courses. them acquire the requisite skills

On the federal side, 98% of federal prisons offered education — life, academic, and vocational

programs, though only 13% of inmates were enrolled (Spycher, — necessary for a successful

Shkodriani & Lee, 2012). transition from prison.

On the federal level, the Department of Education’s Office of Career,

Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) houses the government’s education

efforts in juvenile justice confinement facilities, as well as many detention centers, Community colleges
jails and prisons, with the aim of rehabilitating correctional populations. In addi- are an attractive option
tion, the Second Chance Act (2013) established the program titled “Promoting for postsecondary prison
Reentry Success through Continuity of Educational Opportunities” (PRSCEO), education because of their
administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, which included a one-time affordability, open door
discretionary grant opportunity totaling $924,036. Through the program, adult
education providers in Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin were awarded policies, and locale.

grants to develop correctional education and workforce training programming

geared to ease inmate transition post-incarceration utilizing the U.S. Department

of Education’s Reentry Education Model for the betterment of low-skill individuals in

corrections (Tolbert, 2012).

Various local and state prisons have provided education programs through other avenues of federal support. For
example, the Office of Correctional Education (OCE) was created in 1991 by the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and
Applied Technology Education Act to improve coordination and support for correctional education. The Office of
Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) Division of Adult Education and Literacy (DAEL) houses the OCE
(U.S. Department of Education 2015). Much of the education of inmates beyond the high school diploma or General
Equivalency Diploma (GED) level is geared to provide skills that can serve as a foundation to reintegrate individuals,
post-incarceration, and to help them acquire the requisite skills — life, academic, and vocational — necessary for a
successful transition from prison.


ALTERING THE PIPELINE TO PRISON AND PATHWAYS TO POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION The Vital Role of Community Colleges

Many of the postsecondary prison programs are delivered by community colleges (Mercer, 2009). Community col-
leges are an attractive option for postsecondary prison education because of their affordability. By comparison, in the
broader educational landscape, in 2015 the average tuition and fees for public in-district community colleges was
$3,347 compared to $9,139 at public four-year counterparts (American Association of Community Colleges, 2015).
Community colleges are also a viable option for educational prison programming due to their open door policies and
locale. Community colleges are often located in rural areas where prisons are also built. The close proximity between
state and federal prisons and community colleges translates into ease of access for the educators delivering instruction.

Postsecondary Prison Education in Practice

RCC Correctional Education Programs California Community Colleges
Richland Community College (RCC) contracts Four prisons in California have partnered with community
with the Illinois Department of Corrections to college programs to begin offering courses (i.e., 2-3)
provide postsecondary correctional education. beginning fall 2015 that will provide an opportunity
RCC postsecondary education programs are for students to receive an associate’s degree in Liberal
housed across several correctional facilities Arts (Rivera, 2015). In California alone, there are over
and involve full- and part-time college faculty 6,000 incarcerated students enrolled in distance learning
and staff. General studies courses are offered courses. The partnering between California prisons and
as well as occupational, career development, community colleges, in Illinois and California among other
in addition to college-level coursework for states, appears to be a promising and effective relationship
inmates. that could be successfully replicated across the county.

Education Justice Project (EJP)
One example of the next educational stepping stone is the Education Justice Project (EJP) at the University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which was established in 2006. hile community colleges provide prison
correctional education program for the adult basic education, GED, occupational and general education courses,
UIUC provides upper-level college courses and educational workshops for inmates at Danville Correctional
Center, a medium-security state prison, 30 miles east of the university campus. Students of EJP typically
enter by way of Danville Community College, which also offers onsite courses and degree attainment. Their
credits are articulated so that students who have a minimum of 60 hours of college credit are eligible to enroll
in EJP courses. On the financial side, EJP is funded through grants, donations, as well as university support
and delivers programming at Danville with UIUC volunteer professors, graduate students, and members of
the community. Similarly, groups such as the VERA Institute of Justice and the Bard Prison Initiative endeavor
to promote prison programming that curbs recidivism and contributes to the development of inmates to
successfully transition after release.

Where Things Stand Now

Returning to the basic tension between punishment and rehabilitation, the pendulum seems to be swinging in the latter
direction. There has been a surge of interest in recent years about how to equip our nation’s incarcerated with the skills
and tools needed to return to society and to help them prepare to earn a livable wage and lead a crime-free life. On
July 16, 2015, President Obama became the first sitting U.S. President to visit a federal prison, El Reno in Oklahoma,
(Kaplan, 2015). He has openly contended that the American prison system is overcrowded, costly to federal and state
governments and that reform is critical. President Obama stated that “everyone willing to work for it deserves a second
chance.” Importantly, one-step in his reform efforts is to bolster postsecondary correctional education programs.
There also appears to be interest convergence in the President’s new prison reform efforts with his postsecondary
education initiatives and college completion agenda (e.g., the American Graduation Initiative (AGI), and America’s
College Promise, whose centerpiece is free community college education).


Then, on July 30, 2015, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the Obama UPDATE, Spring 2016 15
administration’s new Second Chance Pell Pilot Program while visiting a Maryland correctional facility. While the
administration’s pilot initiative will not lift the ban on Pell grants for prisoners absent congressional approval, the
Department of Education does have the authority to reinstall access to federal Pell grants for inmates temporarily
(Collins, 2015). The aim of this initiative is to provide Pell grant funding to incarcerated individuals that are qualified
students eligible for release from prison within five years of program enrollment. The administration feels that if
students are provided with high-quality educational opportunities and given skills necessary to succeed in society, the
future life trajectories of former inmates will improve and recidivism will be prevented.

The Obama Administration’s announcement that Pell grants are returning to incarcerated students for a pilot program
shows a return to recognizing correctional education as a public good and an important part of individual rehabili-
tation. Over the past decade, the number of course offerings delivered by community colleges or technical schools
in academic and vocational/career technical education programs have been reduced or elimination across 20 states
(Davis et al., 2014). The State of Illinois is one of the states where there has been erosion in academic and vocational
prison programs (Erickson, 2011). At the same time that postsecondary correctional education programs are declining
the Illinois prison population has grown; community colleges are poised to aid prison systems on a much larger scale,
increasing the enrollment of postsecondary incarcerated students and subsequently contributing to the overall college
completion agenda (The John Howard Association of Illinois, n.d.).

Concluding Thoughts

In the era of mass incarceration, the question of prison education as a public and private good is a timely one. From our
standpoint, community colleges are positioned to play a vital role in fashioning pathways to postsecondary education
and a promising future. In closing, we hope this essay serves to provoke thought on the complex landscape of incar-
ceration and the potential of community college research and practice to advance educational policy and social justice
for a discounted population of learners.

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Baum, D. (1996). Smoke and mirrors: The war on drugs and Jessup to announce Pell grants for inmates. The
the politics of failure (p. 21). New York: Little, Brown. Baltimore Sun.
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education as a crime control program. UCLA School record, 140 (12). Washington, DC: Author.
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Black and white Americans’ views on the death Davis, L. M., Bozick, R. Steele, J. L., Saunders, J., & Miles, J.
penalty and the war on drugs. Du Bois Review, 1(1), N. V. (2013). Evaluating the effectiveness of correc
151-180. tional education: A meta-analysis of programs that
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the U.S. Releases from state prison. Washington, DC: Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.
Author.


ALTERING THE PIPELINE TO PRISON AND PATHWAYS TO POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION Davis, L. M., Steele, J. L., Bozick, R., Williams, M., Turner, S., Spiller, M. J., & Porter, J. (2014). Bringing an end to the
Miles, J. N. V., Saunders, J. & Steinberg, P. S. (2014). school to prison pipeline in the age of “post-
How effective is correctional education and where do racialism.” In E. M. Zamani-Gallaher (Ed.), The Obama
we go from here? The results of a comprehensive Administration and Educational Reform (pp. 71-90).
evaluation. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Duwe, G., & Clark, V. (2014). The effects of prison-based The John Howard Association of Illinois (n.d.). Cuts in prison
educational programming on recidivism and education put Illinois at risk.
employment. The Prison Journal, 94(4), 454-478. The Pew Center on the States (2008). One in 100: Behind
Erickson, K. (2011). Prison education: The percentage of bars in America 2008. Washington, DC: Pew
inmates who are involved in educational programming Charitable Trusts.
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years. Illinois Issues, University of Illinois Springfield. Incarceration’s effect on economic mobility.
Erisman, W., & Contardo, J. B. (2005, November). Learning Washington, DC: Pew Charitable Trusts.
to Reduce Recidivism: A 50-state analysis of post Tolbert, M. (2012). A reentry education model supporting
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DC: The Institute for Higher Education Policy. individuals in corrections. Washington, DC: U.S.
Garland, D. (2001). Mass imprisonment: Social causes and Department of Education, Office of Vocational and
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Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher may be reached at ezamanig@illinois.edu.
Kadeem Fuller may be reached at klfulle2@illinois.edu.


Three Views on Concurrent Enrollment UPDATE, Spring 2016 17

by Kent Scheffel, Vice President of Enrollment Services at Lewis and Clark Community College

In this article, I would like to draw together

three policy and practitioner vantage points on Kent Sheffel

concurrent enrollment: national, state, and local. Kent Scheffel offers a
To do this I would like to take up questions of unique combination of ex-
quality, program accreditation, and educational pertise on dual credit, and
policy, among others, by changing hats through- more generally, concurrent
out based on my roles in the National Alliance of enrollment. Kent is vice
Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP), president of enrollment
Lewis and Clark Community College, and Illinois services at Lewis and Clark
Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships Community College, where
(ILACEP). My hope is to provide a view of cen- he oversees one of the
tral concerns about concurrent enrollment from largest dual credit programs
different vantage points. In some cases the three in Illinois. The program
perspectives will align. But this isn’t always the extends to eighteen high
case and I hope to highlight these as well. schools in his college district, and is currently the only Nation-

NACEP: A National View al Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP)
accredited program in the state. In addition, Kent is currently

I would like to begin at the national level, and serving a two-year term as president of NACEP. Finally, in the
in particular NACEP accreditation of concur- past year Kent has taken an active role in establishing an Illinois
rent enrollment programs. NACEP began as a state chapter of NACEP, also known as the Illinois Alliance of
conversation among educators at the American Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships.

Association of Higher Education conference,

held at Syracuse University in 1997. Two year later, 20 founding institutions officially established the organization

in order to help ensure the quality of college classes offered to high school students though concurrent enrollment

partnerships.

NACEP has reached several milestones since its establishment in 1999. In 2002, NACEP adopted national standards
for concurrent enrollment programs. Two years later in 2004 the first four programs successfully earned accredi-
tation after documenting to a peer review team that their programs had implemented the standards. Interest in the
accreditation process has grown over the past decade as institutions and states seek to raise the caliber and stature
of their programs. As of the 2015–2016 school year, 97 concurrent enrollment programs around the country hold
NACEP accreditation: 59 two-year public colleges, 29 four-year public universities, and 9 four-year private colleges
and universities. The most important concern for concurrent enrollment courses is quality. Courses that are truly
college-level both produce positive learning outcomes for students, and assure colleges and universities of that value
of course credits.

Vision

The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships will lead
in advancing seamless education through secondary and postsecondary
collaborations.

Mission

NACEP fosters student success and achievement by supporting standards of
excellence that promote program and professional development, accreditation,
research and advocacy.

Visit the NACEP website for more information.


THREE VIEWS ON CONCURRENT ENROLLMENT Concurrent enrollment courses also have the ability to transitioned from credit-in-escrow, in which students

respond to local, state, and regional needs in a distinc- received college but not high school course credits, to

tive manner, even beyond other accelerated high school dual credit. Program growth underscored the need to

learning. For example, if community leaders and elected maintain and ensure quality especially concerning high

officials in a metropolitan area begin an economic de- school instructor credentials, the curriculum, and meth-

velopment initiative related to the technology industry, ods of assessment. We also saw the value in offering

concurrent enrollment courses can be designed and of- a program that was recognized in the same manner as

fered to students to help them learn the technical other academic programs within Lewis and Clark

skills and to ready them for a certificate or that were nationally accredited. In short,

degree program to meet employment because national accreditation was the

needs and opportunities. Concurrent standard for other college programs,

enrollment courses are also read- What we found is that and because the standards trans-
ily adapted to new programs and NACEP accreditation late into quality assurance, it was
fields at the four-year college provided the blueprint for essential to elevate our dual credit
level as well. For example, new course standards as well program to the same academic
transfer agreements are being as program operation and level.
developed to include new Res-
toration Ecology and Computer management. What we found is that NACEP ac-

Networking courses. creditation provided the blueprint for

course standards as well as program

Most colleges and universities are operation and management. It allowed

continually looking for new programs and us to feel confident that high school learn-

strategies to prepare and enroll top students, and ing outcomes aligned with those on campus. And it

to see them through to certificate or degree attain- enhanced the reputation of the dual credit program in

ment. Importantly, research by the National Student the college and in our partner high schools. While many

Clearinghouse shows that students who take concur- programs throughout the country operate at a high level

rent enrollment courses are at least 10% more likely to and have admirable outcomes, a limited number have

complete a degree. In all, concurrent enrollment is an taken the steps to earn NACEP accreditation. In fact,

extremely cost effective program that can be a win for currently, Lewis and Clark offers the only accredited

students, high schools, and colleges. program in Illinois. (From the NACEP standpoint, we

hope to increase membership in the state.) From the

With that said, I want to change hats and speak from college standpoint, accreditation allows us to promote

the standpoint of Lewis and Clark Community College, the program, internally and externally, with added stat-

which is NACEP accredited. While this is partly a way to ure when people realize that it has been recognized

emphasize the benefits of accreditation at the college through national accreditation. Accreditation is also

district level, I want to paint a realistic picture of the beneficial in working with college or university regional

benefits as well as the challenges in offering an ac- accreditors. The regional bodies recognize the value of

credited concurrent enrollment, or dual credit in Illinois, NACEP accreditation, and the policies and practices it

program, especially for colleges that are considering the entails, and this only helps the college meet the expec-

application process and trying to weigh the costs and tations of regional bodies. But like any other worthwhile

benefits of the standards. academic endeavor, securing and maintaining accredita-

tion is not easy. Fortunately, our college administration

Lewis and Clark Community College: and high school partners were supportive of the process

Accreditation from the District and were committed to earning accreditation. But the

Perspective phrase I would use is “time intensive.”

Lewis and Clark, located in Godfrey, on the Illinois border The application process entails a comprehensive peer re-
north of St. Louis, received our accreditation in 2007. view, an institutional self-study, and extensive planning
And just last year, 2014, we went through the re-ac- in order to implement NACEP’s 17 national standards
creditation process. Our decision to pursue accreditation for program quality in the areas of curriculum, faculty
was spurred on by a rapid growth in enrollment when we credentials, student qualifications and assessments, and


program evaluation (more on this in a moment). And, as The level of cooperation also extends to college and UPDATE, Spring 2016 19

other colleges might expect, the main challenge of the high school administrators. Both groups are aware of

application process was producing the necessary docu- the challenges faced by the other and work together

mentation. NACEP requires a self-study of applicants’ to produce mutual benefits. For example, high school

programs in the same manner as regional accreditors. administrators often confer with the college regarding

While a NACEP self-study is not on the same scale as teacher qualifications during the hiring process to en-

one required for college-wide accreditation, we also had sure that she or he could offer a dual credit course. And

fewer staff and faculty to complete it, and the time and the college regularly attends school board meetings in

effort of those involved was considerable. On the one order to report on student data, credit hours earned, and

hand, we discovered that we were already adhering to tuition savings. Importantly, accreditation also serves as

NACEP standards for the most part. On the other hand, quality assurance for parents who are unfamiliar with

documenting adherence is a time consuming effort. concurrent enrollment or accelerated learning. In all,

the key to overcoming the concerns we anticipated or

We faced a bigger hurdle once we received accredita- faced in the evaluation process was the development

tion, because in a sense the process was just beginning. of a collaborative approach between high school and

I highlighted the final element above — program eval- college personnel, and the broader community, and a

uation — because this has been the real challenge: the shared focus on program quality and positive student

ongoing assessment of ourselves. While Lewis and learning outcomes.

Clark was following most of NACEP’s standards, even

before accreditation — due in part to rigorous but less The biggest challenge, even frustration, in the evalua-

comprehensive Illinois state standards — the evalu- tion process, which is much less controllable than high

ation regime was an added and substantial dimension school and college involvement, is student responsive-

we needed to implement and maintain. Course evalu- ness to our surveys. It is very difficult to achieve the

ations were required, as well as surveys of counselors, desired evaluation response rates from students who

teachers, principals, recent high school graduates, and are no longer in the dual credit program. Conducting

graduates who were four-years removed from high course evaluations and surveying teachers, counselors

school. Site visits to the high schools by our college and principals can be completed in an efficient manner.

program coordinators were added as well. The site vis- They are invested, motivated, and we know where they

its were implemented to ensure the course content and are. By contrast, former dual credit students, four years

learning outcomes were aligned for on-campus out, have often moved and are hard to stay in con-

and off-campus courses. Some college co- tact with, and in general have moved on with

ordinators and high school faculty were Importantly, their lives. Understandably, they are not
initially hesitant about the visits. In accreditation also concerned with program evaluations or
some cases coordinators were re- serves as quality longitudinal studies. Even being able
luctant to evaluate the high school assurance for parents to contact them does not guarantee
teachers’ courses, and the teachers who are unfamiliar with that they will answer. Yet this is an
were unsure about the coordinators’ concurrent enrollment important part of understanding the
expectations. impact of dual credit: college en-
or accelerated rollment, persistence, certificate and
Our evaluation process also requires learning. degree attainment, and career paths.

ongoing professional development for And, it is part of the accreditation evalu-

faculty, and we initially thought some high ation regime. Student tracking is daunting in

school teachers may be reluctant to take part in general, and unfortunately we are no exception to

the workshops. The response from the teachers quickly the rule. The irony is that we want them to venture out

proved that we were incorrect. Teachers appreciated the into the world, but not so far that we can’t follow their

opportunity to discuss changes and updates with their paths.

discipline and to share ideas with colleagues. Many high

school teachers now look forward to the professional The good news is that we do have the ability to promote

development sessions and respond with high marks on success for students in dual credit courses, and to know

the session evaluations. when they do succeed. For example, our college math

department provides common exams for most sections


THREE VIEWS ON CONCURRENT ENROLLMENT of math offered on-campus and at high schools. The exams provide the math department with the assurance that high
school students are graded on the same course content and performing in the same manner as their traditional college
student counterparts. Our English dual credit goes one step further. The college coordinator actually gathers the
same writing assignments from high school and college students, and they are blindly distributed among high school
and college instructors to achieve consistency in grading. And quite often the high school students have better overall
outcomes than on-campus students.

One final note from the Lewis and Clark standpoint. An ongoing challenge will be the retirement of many qualified
instructors who are being replaced by teachers who do not have the necessary credentials to teach concurrent enroll-
ment courses. Many school districts are seeking teachers with a bachelor’s degree and limited experience as a result
of budget constraints. While the moves aid the districts in budgeting, a reduction in teachers with a master’s degree
and academic credentials required by NACEP (and state) standards will result in fewer concurrent enrollment courses
for students.

National Goals

Returning to the national level and looking ahead, NACEP has three overarching goals. First, we will enhance our
membership services at all levels, in part through the creation of a new position, Director of Accreditation and Member
Services. Our goal is partly a response to institutional member calls for additional publications and electronic resourc-
es, as well as the increased demand for services through the formation of state and regional chapters. We will also
increase our connection with and support of high school district and state agency members, through new networking
opportunities and the development of new resources. And overall, we hope to increase membership and accreditation,
especially given the extensive national landscape of concurrent enrollment programs and the importance of quality
and support.

Second, NACEP, through our NACEP’s Four Step Accrediation Cycle
Accreditation Commission, is em-
barking on our periodic review of SELF
standards. The accreditation stan- STUDY
dards were originally adopted in
2002, and revised in 2009. At our PEER FILE INTENT
national conference in Denver, in REVIEW FORM &
October, preliminary information UNDERGO
was gathered from attendees. In- PREPARE
ternal discussions regarding the & SUBMIT CANDIDACY
standards are continuing, and the COMPLETED REVIEW
concerns of regional accrediting ACCREDIATION
bodies and various state standards APPLICATION
will be reviewed prior to adopting
any changes

Third, we are strengthening the role
of NACEP, nationwide, as a central
voice and organizer for concurrent
enrollment policy and practice.
For example, NACEP is currently
working with members in over 20
states to organize state or regional
meetings of concurrent enrollment
professionals, conduct professional
development workshops, and hold


state conferences. We are enhancing the technical assis- state chapter will also amplify the reach of NACEP and UPDATE, Spring 2016 21
tance we provide to statewide initiatives to develop and its services in areas such as professional development,
sustain high quality concurrent enrollment programs, especially to help high school teachers earn the required
and forming closer relationships with policy agencies credentials to teach a dual credit course. This is one of
and organizations such as state education commissions the biggest challenges faced by Illinois and other states.
and ACT. And, NACEP continues to advance concurrent Our approach to forming a chapter has been by the num-
enrollment through its advocacy work. The annual Policy bers. We modeled our organizing process and bylaws on
Seminar in Washington, D.C., proves very successful at the Ohio and New England chapters. We formed work
increasing member knowledge of policies that impacts groups around developing by-laws, contacting poten-
their work and building awareness among Washington tial members, developing a professional development
policy-makers about the value of concurrent enrollment. workshop, and the election of officers. And, in Septem-
ber 2015, the by-laws were approved by an electronic
A final aspect of NACEP that I will focus on is the grow- vote and we elected our first officers. I am please to
ing trend of forming state and regional chapters. This say that Dr. David Naze of Prairie State College, in
also leads me to change hats a final time to speak from Chicago Heights, is serving as the first chapter presi-
the standpoint of Illinois’ efforts in this area. State and dent. Our next step will be to determine our immediate
regional collaboration is not new. States such as Utah and longer-term goals and objectives in areas such as
and Minnesota have had collaborative networks of con- professional development or member engagement with
current enrollment professionals that date back a decade state policy questions.
or more. What is new is the formal establishment of
chapters that work on the ground, at the regional, state, I am excited about the future of ILACEP, in part be-
and local levels, and also have a direct position and role cause of the collaborative relationships that it promises
within NACEP. to foster. Like other volunteer organizations, it is the
members who will realize the success and sustainability
Forming a State Chapter of NACEP of the chapter. There are many people, administrators,
coordinators, and faculty, who are committed to the
The first two NACEP chapters are the state chapter, ongoing growth and development of concurrent en-
Ohio Alliance of Dual Enrollment Partnerships, which rollment. Their belief in its value and their passion for
was recognized by NACEP in 2014, and the regional students will be vital to the chapter’s long-term success.
chapter, the New England Alliance of Concurrent En-
rollment Partnerships, which was recognized in 2015. Please feel free to contact me with questions or thoughts
In addition, chapters are in various stages of develop- about any aspect of concurrent enrollment, national,
ment in eight states: Utah, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, state, and district. Referencing the “OCCRL Newsletter”
Missouri, Wyoming, Kansas, and Arkansas. will help me to make an immediate connection!

Let me conclude by speaking to the Illinois effort,
known as the Illinois Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment
Partnerships (ILACEP), which, as I noted, is still under
development. While Illinois dual credit programs period-
ically connected at statewide conferences or at meetings
convened by the Illinois Community College Board
(ICCB), there has not been a regular forum for these
programs to gather to share resources and best practic-
es, or to work collaboratively on a statewide level. For
example, dual credit standards and funding in Illinois fall
under the administration of ICCB and the Illinois Higher
Education Board. A state chapter will allow members to
identify common concerns and to engage state agencies
in a constructive and strategic way. Our hope is that the

Kent Scheffel may be reached at kscheffe@lc.edu.


NEW RESEARCH ON APPLIED BACCALAUREATE DEGREES New Research on Applied Baccalaureate Degrees:
Implementation in Five Regions of the United States

by Debra D. Bragg, OCCRL founding director
Maria Claudia Soler Salazar, OCCRL Graudate Research Assistant

The Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL)
was the recipient of a $1.2 million research grant from the National Sci-
ence Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technology Education (ATE) program.
From August 2010 to October 2015, a team of researchers at OCCRL
conducted studies on the implementation and evaluation of Applied Bac-
calaureate (AB) degree programs in science, technology, engineering,
and mathematics (STEM) fields of study across the country.

Early work on this project included document review, website analy-
sis, and online and telephone surveys of NSF ATE center and project
grantees, to learn about their integration of AB degree programs at the
community college and university levels. This initial research, led by Dr.
Julia Panke Makela of the University of Illinois Career Center, produced
a report titled, Investigating Applied Baccalaureate Degree Pathways in
Technician Education.

Building on these findings, OCCRL launched case study research that
delved into AB degree program implementation, with the goal of providing
in-depth information on program quality, significance, and effective-
ness, in order to help inform future endeavors. This newest research
brings together a collection of case studies conducted in five regions of
the United States. Typically involving partnerships of higher education
institutions and employers, each case describes the goals, roles, and
activities of critical stakeholders in implementing AB degree programs. Titled, Applied Baccalaureate Degrees in STEM
and Technical Education: Program Implementation in Five Regions of the United States, the report offers a total of
11 institutional case studies that are organized into five meta-cases involving community colleges, universities, and
their employer partners. These cases describe the associate’s of applied science (AAS) and applied baccalaureate (AB)
degrees that are conferred in numerous STEM and technician education fields of study. The five cases are listed below.

Five Regional Cases

North Bismarck State College’s Bachelors of Applied Science (BAS) in Energy Management
Dakota

Maryland CyberWatch Center and Partners’ AB degrees associated with CyberWatch Center: NSF-ATE
and Center; Prince George’s Community College’s Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Information
Delaware Security; University of Maryland-University College’s Bachelor of Science (BS) in Cybersecurity;
and Wilmington University’s Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer and Network Security.

Florida Daytona State College’s Bachelors of Science (BS) in Engineering Technology.

Ohio Lakeland Community College, in Lake County, Ohio, and Partners’ AB degrees associated with
Lakeland Community College’s Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Biotechnology Science;
and, in Cleveland, Ursuline College’s Bachelors of Arts (BA) in Biotechnology.

Oklahoma Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology and Partners’ AB degrees associated with
Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology’s Bachelor’s of Technology (BT) in In-
formation Technology, Associate of Science (AS), and Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in
Information Technology; Rose State College’s Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Networking
and Cyber Security; and Tulsa Community College’s Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in In-
formation Technology.


The AB degree programs that are profiled in this report methodology, supplemented with participatory action UPDATE, Spring 2016 23
reside in Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and the research. The research design was similar to one used
2-state region of Maryland and Delaware. These pro- in Department of Education-funded research project
grams emphasize various areas of STEM and technician called Sharing What Works: Exemplary and Promising
education, including biotechnology and biotechnology Career and Technical Education Programs (Bragg, Bobik,
sciences; energy management; engineering technology; Maxwell, & Palovik, 2002). This multi-year project for
information technology; and, cybersecurity. Each case the Office of Career-Technical and Adult Education en-
analyzes program implementation from the perspective tailed the development of criteria and an evidence-based
of institutional context, program goals, key components process for identifying and recognizing exemplary and
(curriculum and instruction, support services, etc.), and promising programs, including postsecondary technical
intended outcomes. education programs. An extensive literature review and
practitioner-expert input were used to identify four cat-
This phase of the research on AB degree programs egories of criteria for promising and exemplary technical
in STEM and technician education used case study education programs of study.

Four Categories of Criteria for Promising and Exemplary
Technical Education Programs of Study

Program Quality Demonstrates clear goals, evidence-based, reflective of high
expectations, and supportive of career pathways.

Educational Significance Uses state-of-the-art technology, innovative instructional
methods, work-based learning, and culturally inclusive
curriculum.

Evidence of Effectiveness Demonstrates student academic achievement and outcomes
consistent with industry, state, and national standards.

Replicability UUsessepsropgrroagmraanmd paanrdtneprasrhtipnedressihginps dtheastiagrnesfetahsaibtleatroeimfepalesmibelnet tboy
oitmhepr liensmtietunttiobnsy, opatrhtenerrisnhsiptsit, uantidoenmsp, lpoayerrtsn.erships, and employers.

In the original Sharing What Works project and in this a promising expansion of college access and completion
study, practitioner-experts identified AB degree pro- in STEM education, including technician education, but
grams that would provide optimal insights into AB degree only if these degrees prove to be beneficial to students
implementation, optimal sites for participatory field re- and employers.
search. Thus, from the outset of this study, University of
Illinois researchers worked alongside technical experts Individuals interested in learning more about AB de-
drawn from NSF-ATE projects and centers and from grees should also consider attending the Community
the advisory committee, which fostered active dialogue College Baccalaureate Association’s (CCBA) 16th An-
among site personnel and researchers and contributed nual International Conference in Chicago, March 18–20,
to a deeper understanding the current state and the po- 2016. A central feature of this year’s conference is the
tential of AB degrees. Applied Baccalaureate (AB) Design Lab where partici-
pants can attend dedicated sessions that extend from an
Results of this report, along with other papers gen- introduction to AB degree programs, to implementation,
erated by the NSF-ATE research are available on the to stakeholder analysis, to policy and accreditation, to
OCCRL website. Results of this project are intended evaluation and continuous improvement.
to assist postsecondary institutions to implement,
enhance, and evaluate AB degree programs. Because References
college credentials, from certificates to degrees, have
growing importance in the United States, knowing how Bragg, D. D., Bobik, C., Maxwell, C., & Palovik, D. (2002).
to implement high quality AB degree programs, including Enhancing America’s workforce one exemplary
knowing when these programs are and are not needed, is program at a time: Highlights of 2000 and 2001
important. Partnerships between community college and postsecondary exemplary CTE programs. Columbus,
four-year institutions that involve the articulation of ap- OH: National Center for Dissemination in Career and
plied associate coursework into AB degrees represents Technical Education, The Ohio State University.

Debra D. Bragg may be reached at dbragg@illinois.edu.
Maria Claudia Soler Salazar may be reached at solersa2@illinois.edu.


REVERSE TRANSFER: TAKING STOCK AND MOVING FORWARD Reverse Transfer: Taking Stock and Moving Forward

by Jason L. Taylor, Assistant Professor Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, University of Utah
Matt Giani, Research Scientist, Office of Strategy and Policy, University Texas at Austin

Reverse transfer (or reverse credit transfer) is an emerging policy in higher education. Reverse transfer programs are
intended for students who transfer from a community college to a university without earning an associate’s degree.
College credits earned at the university are then transferred back to the community college where a degree audit is
conducted and students are awarded an associate degree’s if all degree requirements are met. Our research published
in early 2015 found that all states, except Alaska, either have a statewide reverse transfer policy or at least one institu-
tional program (Garcia, 2015). We also found that the majority of states with reverse transfer legislation enacted those
policies within the past five years (Garcia, 2015). In short, reverse transfer policies are expanding and they will likely
continue to proliferate as states and institutions around the country develop new reverse transfer agreements and
partnerships. This momentum points to the need and opportunity to take stock of what we are learning about reverse
transfer and to consider directions for moving forward. What follows is a summary of select findings from OCCRL’s
research on reverse transfer programs in the 15 states funded through Credit When It’s Due (CWID).

Degree Completion Many reverse transfer-eligible transfer students
ydeoanrsoto5f%cotrmanpDsleefgtereereaCbomacphleetiolonr’s degree within four
15% 52%
33% A central problem driving the developm3e%nt of reverse transfer
policies is that many community college transfer students who
Completed Bachelor's or Higher transfer an associate’s degree do not complete their bachelor’s de-
Did Not Complete Bachelor's gree. Re4s3e%archers have52d%ocumented this 4p9h%enomenon (Shapiro et
Did Not Complete Bachelor's, Enrolled al., 2013), and we observed this problem in the CWID states as
at Receiving Institution Spring 2012 well. Using a cohort of first-time transfer students in fall 2008,
we estimated which students were potentially eligible for reverse
FiguaFrniegdu1ere.nBr7o.allBmcahecenhltoeslrot’asr’tsudsdeebggyrreSeeeprcinogm2p0le1t2io.n transfer and observed their college enrollment and degree comple-
completion and enrollment status by tion outcomes four years after transfer. As displayed in Figure 1, the
Spring 2012. results showCoemdptlhetaetd4B8a%choelfors'stuodreHnigthsewr ho were potentially eligible
for reverseNtoraDnesgfreere associate’s degrees did not earn a bachelor’s
degree withCinomfopulerteydeaArsssoocfiattrea'snsNfOerBa(Tchaeylloorr's, Bishop, Makela, Bragg,
& Ruud, 20C1om3)p.leMteadnAyssoofciatthee'ssAeNsDtuBadcehnetlsor'hsad accumulated large
numbers ofCcormedpiltest,eydeBtatchheeylohr'asdOnnoly degree to show for their efforts.

ReverseFigturrae n8.sBfaechrelporo’slaicndieasssoacniatde’spdreagrceteices are
evolvingcomapnledtiotnhsetartues bayrSeprminga2n01y2.opportunities to
optimize and scale reverse transfer in states

The CWID initiative provided states the opportunity to develop and
experiment with reverse transfer, including the planning and devel-
opment needed to bring reverse transfer to scale. In a paper released in early 2015, we described and defined five
dimensions of reverse transfer practice and processes; Figure 2 displays and defines these five dimensions (Taylor &
Bragg, 2015).

For each dimension we described ways in which states and institutions were optimizing reverse transfer to expand the
number of students that may benefit without reducing the quality or integrity of the associate’s degree. For example,
a state might scale reverse transfer by integrating the student consent process into existing transfer admission appli-
cations or by investing in technology to automate transcript exchange and degree audit functions. Although simple in
theory, these policies require investment of time and resources that should not be overlooked.


Taylor, J. L., & Bragg, D. D. (2015, January). Optimizing reverse transfer policies and processes: UPDATE, Spring 2016 25
Lessons from twelve CWID states. Champaign, IL: Office of Community College Research
and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Figure 2. Definitions of the five dimensions of reverse tranfer practice and process

Initial evidence on the impact of reverse transfer is mostly positive, but also suggests
that reverse transfer may influence students differently

Because reverse transfer is a recent policy development, and one that requires adequate time to observe transfer
students’ 4-year retention and degree attainment, we are just beginning to learn the policy outcomes. For example,
in a recent study using data from Hawaii and Minnesota, which was presented at the 2015 Association for the Study
of Higher Education conference in Denver (Taylor & Giani, 2015), our analyses showed that students who received
the reverse transfer associate’s degree were more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree within one year of receiving the
degree, when compared to other transfer students (see Figure 3). However, in the same paper there was evidence
that some reverse transfer associate’s degree recipients (~10%) stopped-out of the university within one year. These
results suggest that receiving the reverse transfer degree may influence students differently. These results should
be interpreted with caution because more research is needed and more time is needed to monitor reverse transfer
recipients’ progress toward the baccalaureate degree.


REVERSE TRANSFER: TAKING STOCK AND MOVING FORWARD Figure 3: Average marginal effects from logistic regression analyses that estimated the impact of receiving an asso-
ciate’s degree through reverse transfer on baccalaureate attainment rates within one year of RT implementation. The
four comparison groups were: 1) students eligible for reverse transfer but who did not receive the associate’s degree;
2) students who transferred from a CWID-participating community college but did not meet the residency requirement
prior to transfer; 3) students who transferred with the associate’s and were thus ineligible for reverse transfer, and; 4)
students who transferred from a non-CWID institution, whether 2-year or 4-year.

Figure 4: The number of associate’s degrees conferred through reverse transfer during the 2013–2014 and 2014–2015
academic years, by state.


Reverse transfer has the potential to increase states’ associate’s degree attainment UPDATE, Spring 2016 27
numbers

In general, reverse transfer has the potential to increase states’ associate’s degree attainment numbers, but we know
little about the extent of these increases. Many states are still developing and refining their reverse transfer policies
and practices in order to maximize the number of associate’s degrees awarded through reverse transfer, but our
research suggests that reverse transfer has the potential to help states meet their degree attainment goals (Taylor
& Bragg, 2015). Figure 4 displays the number of degrees each state conferred in the 2013–2014 and 2014–2015
academic years. Importantly, the associate’s degrees conferred through reverse transfer represent as much as a 17%
increase in Hawaii’s annual number of degrees conferred, but most states we studied increased their associate’s de-
grees. We anticipate these figures will continue to grow as states refine their reverse transfer policies and practices
and scale reverse transfer within and between states.

Moving forward with reverse transfer

Existing evidence and practices from the CWID states suggest several ways for states and institutions to proceed with
reverse transfer. First, there is tentative evidence that reverse transfer can have a positive effect on the bachelor’s
degree attainment rates of transfer students, although additional research is needed to expand the evidence base.
This preliminary evidence is critical because it shows that reverse transfer can have a positive influence on transfer
students’ bachelor’s degree attainment. Second, although some states have scaled reverse transfer and demonstrated
the potential of reverse transfer to make an important contribution to states’ degree attainment goals, there remains
great, untapped potential for the expansion and refinement of reverse transfer programs. Third, a number of strategies
have emerged as promising practices for the optimization of reverse transfer, including:
• The integration of consent for reverse transfer transcript exchange and degree conferral into existing applications

for enrollment and/or transfer
• The investment in and integration of technology that can automate electronic transcript exchange and the degree

audit process
• The incorporation of targeted advising to help students understand the benefits of the associate’s degree, how to

become eligible for reverse transfer, and what courses to take in order to receive the associate’s degree
This article only summarizes what we have learned about reverse transfer, and more research and publications are
available on the CWID website.

References

Garcia, S.A. (2015). CWID DATA NOTE: Reverse Transfer: The National Landscape. Champaign, IL: Office of Community College
Research and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Shapiro, D., Dundar, A., Ziskin, M., Chiang, Y., Chen, J., Harrell, A., & Torres, V. (2013). Baccalaureate attainment: A national view
of the postsecondary outcomes of students who transfer from two-year to four-year institutions. Herndon, VA: National
Student Clearinghouse.
Taylor, J. L., Bishop, C., Makela, J. P., Bragg, D. D., & Ruud, C. M. (2013, October). Credit When It’s Due: Results from the
baseline study. Champaign, IL: Office of Community College Research and Leadership, University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign.
Taylor, J. L., & Bragg, D. D. (2015, January). Optimizing reverse transfer policies and processes: Lessons from twelve CWID states.
Champaign, IL: Office of Community College Research and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Taylor, J. L., & Bragg, D. D. (2015). CWID DATA NOTE: Increasing state associate’s degree attainment: The potential of reverse
transfer. Champaign, IL: Office of Community College Research and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-
Champaign.
Taylor, J. L., & Giani, M. S. (2015). Modeling the effect of the reverse transfer associate’s degree: Evidence from two states. Denver,
CO: Association for the Study of Higher Education 2015 Conference. Paper presentation.

Jason L. Taylor may be reached at jason.taylor@utah.edu.
Matt Giani may be reached at matt.giani@austin.utexas.edu.


Office of Community College Research and Leadership

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
51 Gerty Drive, Champaign, IL 61820
http://occrl.illinois.edu
Email: occrl@illinois.edu
(217) 244-9390


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