Tracking alive and well in community colleges?

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In summary: The problem is that these community colleges are not providing a good enough stepping stone into a 4-year degree because they are becoming more like universities. They are also taking control of all student loans.
  • #1
"Tracking" alive and well in community colleges?

I just want to pass on a blog that was passed on to me. It details some of the changes that have been going on in the community colleges of Chicago. These changes may be seen elsewhere, as well. I'm not sure that these changes are beneficial for the underpriviliged (and other) people that need these colleges as stepping stones into higher education." [Broken]
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  • #2

"Tracking" and "Reinvention" all sounds so scientific, so beneficial. Don't forget the government is taking control of ALL student loans. In the not too distant future, high school graduates may be tested and informed what career path they will pursue (if they can not self finance). This is some progressive's wet dream. Control the herd!

  • #3
Well, there is a thought process that not everyone benefits from a traditional 4-year degree. I think that there are some points - why drag down the overall effectiveness of post-secondary education in favor of enrolling more students?

The eternal" as discussed recently at - closing statements for the 'quality' argument (below, bold theirs) serves as good rhetoric to support this type of tracking in my opinion.

1. Everyone should have access to college, but not everyone should go to college. Anyone with the ability, no matter his income level or background, should be able to go to college. College must be a destination for those with special interests and abilities in scholarly subjects, not a club for the wealthy and well-connected (see Louis Menand’s “Live and Learn”). Theoretically Pell grants and institutional and independent scholarships are available for poor but competent students; perhaps more can be done to ensure that these go to the genuinely promising among the needy.

2. President Obama’s call to make the U.S. the most-higher-educated nation by 2020, which will require doubling the size of the higher education industry, sounds admirable but altogether fails to understand that most-educated is not the same as best-educated. We believe that while indeed, America is falling behind the rest of the world academically, the solution lies in improving the quality, not the quantity, of education.

Kevin Carey has yet to demonstrate that the decline in academic standards over the last 50+ years was not caused by the huge increase in the number of Americans attending college. We are open to arguments, but so far we’ve heard none.

3. If almost everyone goes to college, a degree won’t signify any particularly noteworthy achievement. Jobs that don’t require advanced study have already begun to demand a bachelor’s degree of their employees, and this generation already feels the need to attend graduate school in order to stand out. This trajectory puts students on a long and expensive treadmill and cheapens the value of college.

4. We need more pathways for young people to achieve successful adult lives. A new report, Pathways to Prosperity, published this year by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, makes the case for not restricting the American dream to college graduates; it seeks to identify an American version of other countries’ emphasis on career training. And the website is a great resource for young people – it offers help in finding a career, getting into college, and exploring the military.
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  • #4

skippy1729 said:
"Tracking" and "Reinvention" all sounds so scientific, so beneficial. Don't forget the government is taking control of ALL student loans. In the not too distant future, high school graduates may be tested and informed what career path they will pursue (if they can not self finance). This is some progressive's wet dream. Control the herd!


The government already had controlled ALL student loans. The banks would give you the money, and then borrow the money directly from the federal government. It was inefficient.

If you don't want a student loan from the government, you do what other people do and just get a normal "Loan" from the bank. It's not rocket science.

Also, your post was very sensational in nature. America will not stand to test students and inform them of what career path they have to go into and probably never will (at least not in the near future), and I doubt very many people think that it would be the right thing to do. I'm very leftist in nature but even I respect free choices to a good extent, and career paths is one of those things that should be chosen. I'm sure most leftists in the USA would agree. The same might not be true for Europe, but leftists in America are not = leftists in Europe. Far from it.
  • #5

One thing that I don't really get with the OP - how does these policies eliminate the opportunity for someone to obtain higher education?

If you take away the Chicago-corruption claims, where is the real problem with the community college attempting to focus more on job skills than University transfer?

Specifically, I also don't buy into the blog's opening statement: "This mission, like that of most community colleges across the U.S., has been to provide a path for millions of working class, poor or immigrant students to access a university education which offers personal intellectual enrichment that has long been recognized as one of the important foundations of democracy as well as professional advancement." I think CCs have morphed more into that budget stepping stone over time, but that's mostly because of the rising cost of University education. Community Colleges have stayed fairly steady in their increases, while universities have had significant increases in costs. Even ~12 years ago when I was looking at different school options my local CC was only about 1/2-2/3 the yearly cost of the public State University I chose to go to - now it's not uncommon for public universities to be 3-4x the cost of a Community College. The cost disparity is rising, but to say that the mission of CCs is purely a budget college for minorities I feel is false.

I think in an attempt to remarket themselves, many CCs have reimaged themselves for the transfer student. They've attempted to shield their vocational programs to make the CC seem more scholarly, and in a sense they've neglected some of their roots - which was to provide certification and vocational education for the 'working masses'. As such, what is the real problem with the CCC going back to it's roots a bit? What tracking is really happening? (I feel like I'm missing part of the blog, but I've read it through twice - and have seen it discussed elsewhere).

Are admission requirements for universities (and various programs therein) considered tracking?

1. What is tracking in community colleges?

Tracking in community colleges refers to the practice of monitoring and recording the academic progress and success of students, particularly those from underrepresented or marginalized communities. This is done in order to identify and address any disparities or barriers to success that these students may face.

2. Why is tracking important in community colleges?

Tracking is important in community colleges because it allows for the identification of any potential obstacles or gaps in student achievement, and enables the development of targeted interventions and support systems to help students succeed. It also helps to hold institutions accountable for promoting equity and inclusion.

3. What types of data are typically tracked in community colleges?

Data that is typically tracked in community colleges includes retention rates, graduation rates, course completion rates, and achievement gaps among different demographic groups. Other data may include student demographics, enrollment patterns, and transfer rates to four-year institutions.

4. How does tracking benefit students in community colleges?

Tracking benefits students in community colleges by providing a more comprehensive understanding of their academic achievement and progress. It can also help identify areas where students may need additional support or resources, and can lead to the implementation of targeted interventions to improve student success.

5. What challenges may arise with tracking in community colleges?

Challenges that may arise with tracking in community colleges include ensuring the accuracy and privacy of student data, addressing any biases in the tracking process, and effectively using the data to inform decision-making and support student success. Additionally, tracking may also require significant resources and time commitment from institutions.

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