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Texas Billboards Blast Community Colleges for Low Graduation Rates

The Texas Association of Business is taking aim at low graduation rates in Austin and Dallas.



It's no secret that four-year universities are struggling to increase graduation rates, but the situation is even more dire at the nation's community colleges. According to federal data, only 22 percent of community college students complete their degrees within three years. Now, the Texas Association of Business is bringing attention to that state's dismal community college graduation rates through a series of billboards.

The latest ad, running in Dallas, blasts the Dallas County Community College District with the message "8% of DCCCD students graduate in 3 years. Is that fair to the students?" A similar billboard ran in Austin in October advertising that city's 4 percent community college graduation rate.

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Cutting the Higher Education Graduation Gap in Half

Getting "super-seniors" to finish and ensuring that incoming freshmen graduate has to be a central focus of the nation's colleges.


Figuring out how to say goodbye to our college students may seem counterintuitive when it’s only December, but with shrinking resources and a growing demand for graduates to fill high-skill jobs, colleges can no longer afford "super-seniors"—students with a surplus of credit hours in the wrong combination to graduate. And we can no longer afford students who drop out after their first year.

In my 11-plus years as president of California State University at Northridge, I've given a lot of thought to life transitions and tendencies to cling to what’s comfortable. Nudging super-seniors to finish and ensuring that incoming freshmen persist to graduation is a central focus at our university. If that’s not our end game, we are failing students and higher education’s role in our nation’s competitiveness.

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More NCAA Athletes Are Graduating Than Ever Before

Athletes even graduate at a rate higher than the general student body.


Forget the stereotype of the student-athlete heading to college on scholarship and then flunking out or heading to the pros before graduation. According to the latest data from the NCAA, the number of Division I athletes earning a degree within six years jumped 3 points to 82 percent—a record high.

The data reflects the achievement of students participating in every sport—that means gymnasts and cross-country runners as well as baseball, basketball, and football players—who entered college in 2004. The NCAA uses a measurement called the Graduation Success Rate which officials say "provides a more complete and accurate look at actual student-athlete success." Unlike the more rigid Federal Graduation Rate, which only measures whether a freshman graduates from the same school within six years—if a student transfers, he's considered a dropout—the GSR counts students who switch schools and student-athletes "who leave an institution while in good academic standing" and haven't yet exhausted their athletic eligibility.

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College Graduation Gap Between Black and White Football Players Increases

Ready to watch your favorite team play in a bowl game? Some of those players won't be graduating next spring, especially if they're black.

With the BCS bowl games just around the corner, college football is about to have its day in the sun. But a new study, Keeping Score When It Counts: Assessing the 2010-11 Bowl-bound College Football Teams - Academic Performance Improves but Race Still Matters says that off the field, black players are losing out when it comes to completing their degrees.

Graduation rates for student athletes across the board clearly need improvement, but the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport study found that the graduation rate for white players is increasing faster than the rate for their black counterparts.

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Education: Morning Roundup, Laura Bush Is Looking for Great Principals

Laura Bush announces principal-training effort, Obama's loner school year proposal faces reality, and the Gates Foundation targets college graduation.

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