Reporter’s notebook

  • A more accurate picture of community college successes
  • Lumina names 10 finalists for $1M branding prize

A more accurate picture of community college successes

Bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate aims to ensure that reporting of graduation rates more accurately reflects the success of community colleges.

The Higher Education Act requires the U.S. Education Department to report institutions’ graduation rates for first-time, full-time students, but it excludes millions of nontraditional students. The Graduation Reporting for Accuracy and Decision-Making (GRAD) Act — introduced on April 28 by Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado) and John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) — would modify reporting requirements to better reflect those diverse populations.

“Schools like Snow College and Salt Lake Community College have students enrolled from all walks of life — from the first in their family to go to college, to veterans, to single parents,” Romney said in a release. “Current reporting requirements fall short in reflecting community colleges’ unique make-up of students, and every year students who receive degrees are classified as ‘drop-outs’ by the federal government. Our bill will fix this problem and ensure that the government more accurately measures success at community colleges in Utah and across the country.”

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) supports the bill.

“The current metrics are designed to reflect traditional college attendance patterns that community college students do not always follow,” said AACC President and CEO Walter Bumphus. “The GRAD Act also reflects community colleges’ own Voluntary Framework of Accountability metrics, which hundreds of institutions use to foster public accountability and institutional improvement.”

Lumina names 10 finalists for $1M branding prize

Lumina Foundation has announced the 10 colleges that are finalists for an initiative to help two-year colleges refine their branding in order to raise their profiles in the communities they serve.

Through its Million Dollar Community College Challenge, Lumina looked for colleges that were already showcasing their students’ experiences to help the colleges refine and amplify the message. The finalists will now have until June to submit a video narrative about their college’s promise to adult students.

In August, Lumina will select one college that will receive $1 million for its brand building and strategic marketing. Each of the other nine colleges will receive $100,000. All the colleges will get technical assistance for their efforts.

The finalists are:

Check out the marketing videos that the finalist colleges submitted for the competition.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
Matthew Dembicki edits Community College Daily and serves as associate vice president of communications for the American Association of Community Colleges.
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