1st Half Transition Policy Essay

1203 words - 5 pages

The New Transition in America’s Community College Students

There is an epidemic in America. This epidemic is more devastating to Americans than _____. This is a problem because it can keep the people it affects in generational poverty. The problem is so profound that the advocacy group Complete College America dubs it the "bridge to nowhere”. This epidemic can affect up to 60% of all community college students and up to 40% of all students entering four-year institutions. This epidemic is called remediation in some circles, foundation in others, and developmental education in a lot. However, I am now going to refer to the problem of colleges needing to get their new students college course ...view middle of the document...

In my research, I found evidence of transitional services as far back as the Morrell Land-Grant Act of 1862. The Morrell Acts created institutions of higher education in every state. This institutions where primarily created to increase the education of farmers (agriculture) and mechanic arts (technical education for adults). Unfortunately, many of the students enrolling into these institutions were not college ready. Therefore, these colleges created and implemented transitional services to support the students in becoming college ready and preparing them for success in post-secondary education. These colleges were willing and able to assist their new students becoming better as were the student willing and able to receive these services, because both the colleges and the students understood this was the way for them both to succeed.
Over the years, PSE has changed. In addition, transitional services have also changed. The majority of four-year institutions, including the land-grant schools, do not desire to provide transitional support. Entrance exams and standards have increased in order to select students who should not need transitional services making colleges more selective in their enrollment procedures. However, the science behind standardized testing in enrollment and placement is not exact and will be discussed shortly. Nevertheless, the increased objectivity of enrollment standards at four-year higher education institutions has placed the majority of the burden of transitional services to the open door policy wielding community colleges. Community colleges, as we currently appreciate them, were created in the 1960s with a general mission to service students who need or want transitional services before transferring to a four-year school (associates of arts (AA)/ transfer degree) or students who are looking to earn or improve their vocational training/ credential. All students are accepted into community colleges, their open door policy, and campuses are considered community or commuter based. Therefore, due to their mission alone, community colleges endure most of the challenge in getting all students ready and able to complete PSE.
Providing transitional services is a challenge to colleges and universities for many reasons. There are a top few. One is the lack of overall success for students who use the classic transitional services, especially students of color, first generation college students, and the poor who enroll in college. In addition, there are added financial obligations on students, institutions, and taxpayers. The students have to pay for and spend time taking classes that do not earn credit towards their credential, all while jeopardizing the depletion of their financial aid. Institutions have to pay staff to teach these classes. Moreover, the taxpayers often foot the bill for students having to retake coursework...

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