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What Happens When Colleges Broaden Access to Transfer-Level Courses? Evidence from California’s Community Colleges

By Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Olga Rodriguez, Hans Johnson

California community colleges that have significantly expanded access to transfer-level courses—important steps toward degrees and transfers to four-year schools—have seen increased student success, particularly in English. Prompted by a new law (AB 705), placement and curricular reforms are now being enacted system-wide; it will be important to monitor their impact.

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Reforming California’s Community College System

By Hans Johnson, Olga Rodriguez, Marisol Cuellar Mejia

Community colleges are implementing a number of reforms designed to help more students get a degree or a certificate or transfer to a four-year institution.


English as a Second Language in California’s Community Colleges

By Olga Rodriguez, Sarah Bohn, Laura Hill, Bonnie Brooks

English language proficiency can facilitate social and economic mobility for non-native speakers—and California’s community colleges are key providers of ESL education. Now that a new law is motivating colleges across the state to reexamine their ESL programs, we need a better understanding of ESL students and the policies that help them succeed.

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Leveling the Playing Field in College Admissions

By Hans Johnson, Sarah Bohn, Marisol Cuellar Mejia

Although students from low-income families are less likely to enroll in college than students from high-income families, California is faring better than the rest of the US in broadening access to higher education.

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Helping Community College Students Succeed

By Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Olga Rodriguez, Hans Johnson

California’s community colleges are moving toward system-wide implementation of concurrent remedial support for students in transfer-level classes. Early evidence suggests that such “co-requisite” support increases course completion.

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