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Sara Goldrick-Rab Katharine Broton Christin Gates University of Wisconsin-Madison EPS 10 th Annual Conference, March 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Sara Goldrick-Rab Katharine Broton Christin Gates University of Wisconsin-Madison EPS 10 th Annual Conference, March 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sara Goldrick-Rab Katharine Broton Christin Gates University of Wisconsin-Madison EPS 10 th Annual Conference, March 2013

2 Community colleges have controversial origins Created to broaden access and/or Created to protect elite institutions? Community colleges have multiple missions Primarily financed by local taxpayers Repeatedly tasked with national agendas But all community colleges have one very clear goal: providing second chances to anyone in need

3 Serve nearly 18 million students per year in credit courses (up from 6 million in 1967) Serve about 50% of all undergraduates of color Serve about 40% of all undergraduates in poverty 35% of older students and 14% of younger cc students come from families making <$20,000

4 About 51% of entering students stay for a second year of college About 30% of entering students have graduated or continued enrollment 3 years later Only 29 students earn any credential per 100 entering students

5 Many students have needs that extend that go beyond the academic But most colleges arent well-connected to providers of non-academic services Welfare agencies Workforce development Legal Services Tax preparation The second-chance community college may be insufficiently tied to the social safety net

6 What are the consequences of the disconnect between community colleges and social service agencies? How might this disconnect be addressed? Would addressing this problem improve the odds that the second chance opportunity will be a success?

7 In Putting Poor People to Work (Russell Sage, 2006), Shaw, Goldrick-Rab, Mazzeo & Jacobs examined: Policy rhetoric in welfare & workforce development that promotes education as social mobility Policy rules that forbid access to college Social institutionscommunity collegescaught in the middle Clear consequence: post welfare reform, college enrollment among low-income women dropped rapidly

8 Comparative case study– pilot effort Single Stop USA, a Harlem-based non-profit Works directly on-site at community colleges to bring social services to students Currently operating in 17 community colleges in New York, San Francisco, New Orleans, Miami and more Thus far we have visited 6 of these–3 each in New York and Miami Were conducting interviews and observations, and analyzing administrative data

9 Developed initially at the Robin Hood Foundation and involving community-based organizations Expanded to community colleges 3 years ago SS USA operates an office at each site providing: Comprehensive case management Benefits access Legal counseling Tax preparation Financial coaching

10 Increase the money that students and their families have to live on Increase the social capital students can access to navigate college Serve as a point of emotional support and a place of trust, non-judgment for students Fill a need that the college has difficulty providing Enhance the colleges mission by connecting educational opportunities to social supports

11 People + Technology SS provides the technological apparatus for benefits, the legal counselors, and the research needed to connect the systems A site coordinator works at the college, in the students services or financial aid office, often seamlessly with cc staff That coordinator is supported by SS USA central staff Costs are shared between SS USA, backed by foundation support, and community colleges

12 Students are very aware of the disconnects between school and life They report having money for their books, but: Insufficient money for transportation A lack of food to eat Unstable housing Health care needs that are unmet Needing to provide for their families Both parents and other elders And often their own kids

13 In 1998, started community college in NYC Attended for a few weeks Quickly realized that the cost of her 45-minute subway commute was draining her budget She began hopping the subway turnstiles, trying to stay in school and get by Tried to find help– and failed Deciding it wasnt worth hopping turnstiles to go to college

14 Many administrators, including those in student services, revealed feeling a tension over whether providing a safety net for students is part of their job. Sometimes you have a student thats in front of you that may have an illness and cant get their medication, and thats part of why theyre missing classes. You have no opportunity to be able to line up the services. There is this culture of I cant help you thats not our realm. --Miami administrator

15 There is no such thing as free money. But for me, getting this college degree depends on whether I can afford it.

16 It's not really shelter. Its that they {SS} are trying to give us an opportunity. You know we dont really have anything to stand on, we cant get out in the real world. Its just you alone. There is nobody really to fight for you but at least theyre trying to help us. I hope this program lasts forever. Student at a Miami community college

17 10 years later, shes out of work again and now has 2 kids She decides to return to the same community college This time, as she walks in, she sees One appointment later, she has a Pell Grant, food stamps, transportation vouchers, and child care benefits This spring, she will complete her associates degree

18 Single Stop is able to consolidate resources. I wouldn't know where to start to get food stamps on campus. I could do it, but it would take a lot of time and money. A lot of law firms would do a pro bono thing once in a while, but not an ongoing thing. SS is a continuous service. You would need more than one area to figure this out-- SS brings it together pre-packaged. Then our staff can work on the extras because the foundation is there. Single Stop isnt a set a tools for our students alone, its a set of tools for us to serve our students. We can now open a door and have a screwdriver called Single Stop to use that we didnt have before. 2 different community college admin.

19 Our students are resilient survivors. They dont want to ask for help, but when we provide it they appreciate it. Our students are college material if they have the support that they need. But they need to have a place where they can go and at least have the basics. You have to help the students so they can have hope. Its just hand-in-hand. Youve got to help so they can have hope because once you have hope, there is something to strive for. Now, we work with the whole environment of the person. -4 different community college administrators

20 Will community colleges achieve greater success with their students, earning degrees, if the safety net is brought to campus? How will sharing responsibility for both the educational second chance and the safety net change these public institutions? Will the transformed community college be sustainable? Our case study is a prelude to a large evaluation– stay tuned

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