Effects of Promising Practices on Graduation Rates of Public Two-Year Colleges
University of Wisconsin--Stout
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Current graduation rates indicate a lack of persistence at public two-year community and technical colleges. This study identifies promising practices found to be effective in the way they help improve graduation rates at public two-year colleges in the United States. The research outcomes recommend effective strategies of practice targeting increased student persistence. A National longitudinal dataset, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), was queried for graduation rates that increased significantly between 2009 and 2014. The colleges demonstrating significant increases in graduation rates were surveyed, and interviews were conducted with those self-selecting to participate by providing a context to the student success experience on their campuses. Graduation rates of all 910 public two-year colleges consistently demonstrated a negatively skewed 21 percent mean graduation rate in 150 percent of completion time associated with first-time, full-time students. The research determined that coaching and advising, in addition to supplemental instruction and tutoring intervention, had the largest impact of the programs, processes, and practices identified by colleges surveyed and having significant graduation rate increases between 2009 and 2014. There were enduring themes that emerged from the iterative process of thematic analysis employed in the qualitative aspect of this mixed methods study.