Credit Transfer Cited as a Consumer Protection Issue
A presentation on college transfer credits was held in early June at the Center for American Progress (CAP) featured an issue brief by the center and the Council for Adult & Experiential Learning. The brief reports that community college students who transfer to a four-year college find that not all of their earned credits are accepted. “The average community college student, for example, is forced to amass 140 credits while pursuing a bachelor’s degree even though only 120 credits are typically necessary. Those 20 extra credits represent individual time, effort, and money. But they also represent public investment in the form of federal aid to these students and state subsidies to public colleges.”
In his opening remarks at the event, Frank Chong, OVAE’s deputy assistant secretary for community colleges, called the transfer problem a “consumer protection” issue and “an old problem … begging for new solutions.” Indeed a variety of new solutions will be required, given the diversity of community colleges. Among the examples discussed at the CAP event were:
- California’s recent Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act, which assures that community college graduates earning selected associate degrees will be accepted as juniors into a California State University “baccalaureate program.”
- Ohio’s new Transfer Assurance Guides, “groups of foundational courses that represent a commonly accepted pathway to the bachelor’s degree.”
- Cross-state agreements, which depend on the member states
LINCS Now Offering Four Online Professional Development Modules
Four online professional development modules that have been part of the Learning to Achieve program are now available to the general public, at no cost through the Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS) Regional Resource Centers. Learning to Achieve is an OVAE initiative designed to build state capacity to increase the achievement of students with learning disabilities (LD). The modules are
- Learning to Achieve: Accommodations is a 60–120 minute module about testing and instructional accommodations appropriate for individuals with learning disabilities.
- Learning to Achieve: English Language Learners is a 60–120 minute module that identifies testing and instructional accommodation considerations for non-native English speakers.
- Learning to Achieve: Neuroscience is a 60–120 minute module about the neurobiology of learning in general as well as its application to learning disabilities.
- Learning to Achieve: A Professional's Guide to Educating Adults with Learning Disabilities is a 30–60 minute module providing an overview of the popular research-based online publication of the same title.
Interested parties may register for the free online modules at: http://mp.cls.utk.edu/
President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics Sworn In
In late May, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor swore in the members of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. The commission is charged with working with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics to meet President Obama’s goal for the nation to lead the world in the number of college graduates by 2020.
At more than 54 million, Hispanics are both the largest and fastest-growing minority group in the U.S., yet they have the lowest educational attainment levels of any group in the country. Large numbers of Hispanics lack the education or literacy skills they need to advance their careers; they also are less likely than members of other groups to have taken job- or career-related courses, with the exception of basic education classes.
As the executive order creating the initiative noted “… there is no doubt that the future of the United States is inextricably linked to the future of the Hispanic community. To reach the ambitious education goals we have set for our Nation, as well as to ensure equality of opportunity for all, we must provide the opportunities that will enable Hispanic students to raise their educational attainment at every level of the American education system. America’s future competitiveness in our global economy will be substantially enhanced by improving educational outcomes for Hispanics.” Eduardo J. Padron, president of Miami Dade College and chair of the advisory commission, commented, “America’s progress [will be] impossible if [Hispanic students] continue to lag behind.”
Community colleges play a central role in the postsecondary education of Hispanics. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, among students who enrolled in postsecondary education immediately after high school, a greater percentage of Hispanic students enrolled in a community college than any other racial or ethnic group except American Indians/Alaska Natives.
LINCS Holding Discussion on Health Literacy
The Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS) will hold a meeting— Evaluating and Measuring Health Literacy—June 13–20, 2011. This year’s discussion is designed to advance the ideas and efforts that emerged as a result of the March 2010 meeting.
Last year’s discussion explored the existing screeners and measures of health literacy and their uses and limitations. Participants and experts also discussed elements that a rigorous measure of health literacy should include, and the kinds of conceptual work and testing are needed in order to create and validate such a measure. This year’s discussion hopes to: extend the process further, gauge the consensus on more specifics of a new measurement tool, and agree on a course of action to develop and test it. Participants will look at the consensus numbers from last year’s survey and engage in a discussion of proposed questions. To learn about this year’s discussion, please visit LINCS.