THE 2016 INSIDE HIGHER ED SURVEY OF Community College Presidents

By Jaschik, Scott; Lederman, Doug | Planning for Higher Education, October 1, 2016 | Go to article overview

THE 2016 INSIDE HIGHER ED SURVEY OF Community College Presidents


Jaschik, Scott, Lederman, Doug, Planning for Higher Education


A study by Gallup® and Inside Higher Ed

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Foreword....................................................................................................5

Snapshot of Findings...................................................................................5

Methodology...............................................................................................7

Detailed Findings.........................................................................................9

Free Community College and Debt-Free College........................................9

President Obama's Support for Community College..................................11

Declining Enrollment..................................................................................12

Graduation Rates........................................................................................14

Institution and Personal Characteristics ....................................................15

About Inside Higher Ed..............................................................................16

About Gallup...............................................................................................16

FOREWORD

Inside Higher Ed's second annual survey of community college presidents aims to understand how these leaders perceive and address the challenges facing two-year institutions of higher education in the U.S.

Some of the questions addressed in the study are:

* Do community college presidents support the politically popular idea of free community college?

* Will future presidents of the United States be as supportive of community college education as President Obama has been?

* Are most community colleges experiencing enrollment declines?

* What factors do presidents believe are behind enrollment declines at their instituiton?

* What is a reasonable expectation for community college graduation rates?

* What do community college presidents set as a goal for their own institution's graduation rate?

SNAPSHOT OF FINDINGS

* Most community college presidents support the idea of free community college education and believe the debate over the proposal has helped raise awareness of the financial needs of community colleges and their students.

* At the same time, community college presidents are largely divided on whether they believe free community college education will be adopted in at least one-third of states in the next five years.

* Although half are neutral, more community college presidents are optimistic than pessimistic that the next U.S. president will be as supportive of community colleges as President Obama has been.

* The majority of community college presidents, 58 percent, say their enrollment has declined in the current academic year. The main reason they give for the decline is a better job market.

* On average, community college presidents say a 41 percent graduation rate is a reasonable expectation for community colleges nationwide. Their average reported goal for their own institution is slightly higher, at 47 percent.

METHODOLOGY

The following report presents findings from a quantitative survey research study that Gallup conducted on behalf of Inside Higher Ed. The objective was to examine how presidents of associate-degree granting institutions perceive pressing issues they face in higher education.

To achieve these objectives, Gallup sent email invitations to 933 college presidents of associate degree-granting institutions, with regular reminders sent throughout the Jan. 7-Feb. 2, 2016, field period. Gallup collected 220 completed Web surveys, yielding a 24 percent response rate. As an incentive for participation, Inside Higher Ed offered respondents a chance to win one of 10 $100 gift card prizes.

The results reported here are derived from a larger survey of 727 college and university presidents using the most comprehensive sample information available. …

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