When College Students Start Behind
Smith Jaggars, Shanna
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Almost two-thirds of students who enter community colleges every year are judged to be academically not ready to engage in college-level coursework. The bulk of the evidence, however, suggests that the $4 billion annual investment in services to help underprepared students is having a little positive impact on the success of those students in community colleges. In this report, the authors review that research, describe findings from studies on four types of reforms underway at various colleges, and conclude with the argument that a wholesale redesign of the student experience at community colleges is needed to make a real difference in the outcomes of underprepared students.