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College and Career Readiness through Blended Learning


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The following post was originally published on the Youth Transition Funders Group’s blog on 8/14/12

College and Career Readiness through Blended Learning | JFYNetWorks

A recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that “students who obtain certificates/degrees from a public or not-for-profit institution receive a large wage premium. The value of an associates degree is large and statistically significant at the .05 level or better… with magnitude as large as 14 log points.”

The new data surfaced in an August 4 editorial in the New York Times. The June 2012 NBER study compared the benefits of associate degree programs at public and non-profit colleges with programs at for-profit colleges. In contrast to the benefit of a public or non-profit degree, the study found “little evidence of a return [increased earnings] to any certificate or degree from a for-profit institution.”

Early College Reduces Inequity

A Promising Pathway to College and Careers

Bridgewater State University, B.M.C. Durfee High School and JFY’s New Partnership

by Eileen Wedegartner, Blended Learning Specialist

The college admissions scandal that broke in March kept unfolding through the weeks and months like an origami of shame, exposing story after sordid story of gross inequity in the college admissions process.

As the national networks uncoiled twisted tales of bribery and deception that famous parents of means had braided to get their kids into elite colleges, local news stations were swarmed by flocks of ordinary people calling in anonymously to admit that they had written their children’s essays for them.

Summer Study for Accuplacer

by Joan Reissman, Blended Learning Specialist

Many students don’t understand the connection between Accuplacer scores and their immediate future.

They may not see any connection until they meet with an admissions counselor and find out how many remedial courses they have to take. Although some community colleges are now waiving remedial math courses based on certain high school GPA levels, many institutions still require a minimum Accuplacer score for math and all still require it for English classes. Improving Accuplacer scores is a worthwhile idea regardless of remediation policies, because it signifies improved foundation skills. Tests like Accuplacer are not just arbitrary exercises: they measure the skills required for an academic or vocational pursuit. Math and English are the foundation skills. Today, let’s look at some strategies for improving English skills. (Part II will deal with math.)

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    It’s a question that looms large at this stage of education reform: How can the Commonwealth help more kids earn a college degree?

    That’s a particular challenge for low-income students, who are less likely to enroll in the first place and more prone to drop out when they hit an academic bump.

    One approach that has shown real promise is exposing students to college courses, and the college experience, while they are still in high school. Around the country, early college programs boost students’ interest in college and give them a head start on course work. The average participant accrues a semester’s worth of college credits by the time she or he graduates from high school. Read more here.

    Excerpt: The Boston Globe Editorial, April 2017

    6-2019_Investing in Early College

    June 2019: by The Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth (MassINC)

    8-2018_Dual Enrollment Good College Behavior for Some

    August 2018: by Shalina Chatlani using data from the National Center for Education Statistics


    September 2017: by Community College Research Center; Teachers College, Columbia University (View INTERACTIVE MAP to the right)

    9-2017_What Happens to Students Who Take Dual Enrollment Courses in HS-Map by state

    September 2017: by Community College Research Center; Teachers College, Columbia University INTERACTIVE MAP of FINDINGS

    12-2016_Breaking down silos

    December 2016: by Parthenon-EY Education practice Ernst & Young LLP

    1-2016 WHat we know about transition courses

    January 2016: by Community College Research Center; Teachers College, Columbia University

    1-2015_Early College Designs-Achieving CnC

    January 2015: by Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy, INFOGRAPHIC

    3-2014_Early College Expansion_ Propelling Students to Postsecondary Success

    March 2014: by Webb, Michael with Carol Gerwin, Jobs For The Future

    1-2014_Early College, Continued Success_ Early College High School Initiative Impact Study

    January 2014: by Berger, Andrea, et al, American Institutes for Research

    12-2013_Why Students Do Not Prepare for Math Placement Exams

    December 2013: by Fay, Maggie, Susan Bickerstaff & Michelle Hodara, Community College Research Center

    11-2013_Partners in Innovation_ How HS and College Are Improving Outcomes in San Diego

    November 2013: by Coates, Joy & Michael Webb, Jobs for the Future

    7-2013_Improving Students College Math Readiness-A Review of Interventions and Reforms

    July 2013: by Hodara, Michelle, Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment

    5-2013_Reshaping the College Transition_ States That Offer Early College Readiness Assessments

    May 2013: by Barnett, Elisabeth A., Maggie Fay et al, Community College Research Center

    3-2013_The Economic Payoff for Closing College-Readiness and Completion Gaps

    March 2013: by Vargas, Joel, Jobs for the Future

    10-2012_Taking College Courses in HS_ Strategy College Readiness-Dual Enrollment in TX

    October 2012: by Struhl, Ben & Joel Vargas, Jobs For The Future

    7-2012_Broadening Benefits of Dual Enrollment Reaching Underachieving Underrepresented Students

    July 2012: by Katherine L. Hughes, Olga Rodriguez, Linsey Edwards and Clive Belfield, Community College Research Center, a James Irvine Foundation initiative

    2-2012_What We Do Know About Dual Enrollment

    February 2012: by Research Overview, Community College Research Center, Columbia University

    3-2011_Making the Grade-TX Early College HS Prepare Students

    March 2011: by Thad Nodine, et al, Jobs For The Future

    4-2005_Dual Enrollment State Strategy to Increase Success for Underrepresented Students

    April 2005: by Nancy Hoffman, Jobs For The Future

    Road less traveled...leads to college success

    One Student’s Journey

    by Joan Reissman, Blended Learning Specialist

    Today’s high school students are told constantly that they are on a long journey from school to college to career. They are urged to build their skills in order to succeed in a demanding job market. But for many, the transition to college is not mapped clearly enough. They enroll, but then find that their road to graduation is longer and more winding than expected. They discover that college acceptance does not guarantee enrollment in credit-bearing courses that lead to a degree. The road can detour through remedial courses that cost money and take time but do not count toward a degree. This is the story of one student who straightened out her college journey by taking a road less traveled by.

    Labor shortage continues. 99% of jobs go to college graduates

    Labor Shortage Continues

    99% of Jobs Go to College Graduates

    by Gary Kaplan, JFYNetWorks Executive Director

    “There are no jobs for high school diplomas.”

    The May jobs report reiterates a theme we have been hearing with increasing urgency: the shortage of skilled labor. The current 4.3% unemployment rate is a 16-year low. That means there are very few unattached workers available at a time when job openings are near all-time highs. For employers who can’t find qualified workers it means foregoing opportunities for expansion. For the economy at large it means slower growth. But it’s not just a quantitative problem, it’s also qualitative: there aren’t enough workers with the specific skills employers need. The wide range and varied dimensions of the skills shortage are indicated by a survey of Saturday’s newspaper reports.

    Early College initiative

    ‘Equitable Access’ a Priority

    Earlier this month a Boston Globe editorial gave a good overview of the state’s new early college initiative.

    As the editorial points out, the great challenge will be to include low-income students, whose rates of college completion lag far behind more affluent students. The resolution that created the program prioritizes “students underrepresented in higher education enrollment and completion.” This language includes the overlapping categories of minority and special needs students as well as low-income. It will be necessary to include all these groups if the goal of 16,000 early college students per year is to be met. To put that goal into perspective, the total number of public high school graduates entering the state public higher education system each year is about 20,000.

    The “design principle” that spells out these priorities is headed “Equitable Access.” It recommends “student supports to prepare students for entry into the program” and “student supports to promote success.” These student supports will be necessary to broaden and deepen the early college pool; and they are exactly what JFYNet College and Career Readiness provides. Early College will require that students meet the goal of “college readiness” one, two or more years earlier than at present– a significant boost in high school performance standards. Raising the skills of “underrepresented” students to college level is not a trivial task. Remediation rates at community colleges, the best available gauge of the skills of this group, have hovered over 60% since the 1990s.

    The success of this initiative will depend on a strong program of skill-focused academic supports to bring these students to college readiness. JFYNet is extending its instructional sequence, currently MCAS Prep and College Readiness (Accuplacer), to encompass early college supports. This move links our mission, expertise and experience in raising the skills of “underrepresented” students to the next stage of education reform. As a tested and proven method of achieving college readiness in high school, JFYNet can provide the academic support component that early college needs. College readiness is still the necessary pre-condition of college success—especially when college starts early.

    Gary Kaplan
    Executive Director

    44 School Street, Suite 1010
    Boston MA 02108
    Phone 617-338-0815 x 224

    $1 Million of College Savings for Students

    One million dollars.

    That’s how much JFYNetWorks has saved college-bound students.

    How? By helping them build the skills to meet college entry requirements. Our high school-based blended learning programs have helped thousands of students improve their skills and eliminate over 2000 remedial college courses. The savings in tuition and fees have now passed the one million dollar mark.

    A million dollars. The idea has deep American resonance. No amount of inflation can dim the luster of its gold-rush gleam.

    Today’s gold rush is college. A two-year degree is worth $300,000 more in lifetime earnings than a high school diploma. A four-year degree gains $800,000.

    'Pre-medial' Education: Heading Off the Need for Remedial Coursework in College

    This piece was originally published on’s Blog 11/6/15
    By guest blogger Caralee J. Adams


    High School Principal Damon Smith feels responsible for his graduates beyond the time they leave his building. And he doesn’t want the likelihood of their success in higher education to be a mystery until they take a placement test the fall of their freshman year in college.

    At Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in Cambridge, Mass., teachers and counselors look closely at students whose test scores and grades as underclassmen indicate they might not be on track. Then, in 11th or 12th grades they are given the ACCUPLACER tests that community colleges use to gauge readiness for college-level work in math, reading, and writing.