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Tuesday, October 03, 2017

City College gets its groove back for adult learners | The Guardsman Online

"Guess what? City College actually appeared on the list of America’s Best Colleges for Adult Learners (Two Year Colleges). We ranked at nineteen on a list of one hundred colleges with similar demographics" summarizes Diane Carter, The Guardsman.

Photo: Elena Stuart.

Eleven years ago, a policy magazine, Washington Monthly presented a new way of ranking the best colleges and universities in the United States.

Instead of using the traditional method to measure best outcomes, the magazine focused its data collection on niche institutions with special kinds of learners.

Where traditional sources of collegiate ranking would collect educational data tending to elevate selectivity, wealth, and prestige as indicators of best academic outcomes, Washington Monthly sought to measure more practical metrics for a variety of educational institutions outside of the four year institutions and liberal arts colleges.

New metrics would measure the college’s’ ability to serve adult learners.

Paul Glastris in his magazine article, “America’s Best Colleges for Adult Learners,” noted that 40 percent of 20.2 million students attending american colleges are twenty-five years old or older and juggle time constraints in order to manage careers, family responsibilities, and upgrade skills.

Adult learners returning to college enhance economic mobility, increase skills needed in the general economy, and advance the number of people with post-secondary knowledge.

To rank the best colleges for adult learners, data from two federal government sources was reviewed. The first source of data was the Department of Education’s Integrated Post-Secondary Educational Data System survey and the other data source was the College Board’s Annual Survey of Colleges.

Categories used to measure America’s best colleges for adult learners included
  1. Ease of transfer of units from other colleges.
  2. Flexibility of programs including night courses.
  3.  The percentage of students over twenty-five.
  4. The cost of tuition and fees.
  5. Services for Adult Students including part-time child care if available at the college.
  6. Adult student median earnings rank.
  7.  Loan repayment where a loan had been accepted for tuition.
  8. Mean earnings of adult students ten years after college.   
Commenters on the college ranking website show little faith in the list, “ranking colleges and universities with any degree of accuracy is a fool’s errand, but there are a lot of “fools” on both sides of this “errand” willing to put money toward it”.
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Source: The Guardsman Online


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