Community College Students: Part-Timers Are Less Engaged

Article excerpt

RESEARCH AND COMMON KNOWLEDGE SAY THAT STUDENTS who are engaged with their school have a better chance at success. This is especially important at the community college level, where students are more likely to be juggling work and family along with their courseload. The Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) helps institutions track progress and evaluate and target areas for improvement.

"That's the major purpose of the survey," says Kay McClenney, CCSSE director. The survey focuses on engagement in the five areas of active and collaborative learning, student/faculty interaction, academic challenge, student effort, and support for learners. This year's survey shows a difference in the experiences between part-time and full-time students. Part-time students are less likely than full-time students to discuss grades or assignments with an instructor (40 percent vs. 51 percent), use email to communicate with an instructor (34 percent vs. 47 percent), or talk about career plans with an instructor or advisor (19 percent vs. 30 percent). McClenney points out the purpose of the survey is for individual schools to track their progress, because to see trends at the national level would take major changes at several colleges. …


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