Supplemental Enrollment Partnerships in Higher Education


Dr. Vivian Liu, Postdoctoral Research Associate at Columbia University’s Community College Research Center joined the podcast to talk about whether institutions should see our students’ supplemental enrollment at 2-year colleges as a revenue threat or a retention boost?

Many of them are free now and they are a lot of student who choose to do the two plus to model, which is started two year in the Comic College and then transferred to a full year. You're listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education, the best professional development podcast for higher education leaders looking to grow enrollment at their college or university. Whether you're looking for fresh enrollment growth techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to enrollment growth university, a proud member of the connect Edu podcast network. I'm Eric Olsen with Helix Education and we're here today with Dr Vivianlu, Postdoctoral Research Associate at Columbia Universities Community College Research Center. Vivian, welcome to the show. Thank you. Thank you for inviting me to join you. So excited to talk with you today about why we should see two year colleges not as a revenue threat but as a retention partner. Before we dig into that, can you give the listeners a little bit better understanding of both Columbia University and your rule there? Sound good. So my row here at Commit College Resource Center have been to conduct quantitative research on college and Laba Marcas. Assessed, for a the serf population. Many of them are in community colleges, and what I do is I use a lot of administrative state data and also we start to use national data and look at, for example, how financial a or enrollment in the summer or different transfer path have any academic and labor market benefit to students. Love it, Vivian, to kick off our conversation today. Should for year institutions see two year community colleges as a revenue threat, especially right now during covid so my short answer will be no, but is a lot more complicated than that. So many of your listener with know for Year and two year institution they bear very different role. For for year, student go to for you to seek bachelor's degree and for two years the main row so far is to get a technical degree or, as a transition, to get a BA degree. And you know, interestingly, for you still serve the majority of the student as of two thousand and eighteen. Then Roman in four year institution actually double that of two year. And with that being said, I know there has been a lot of emphasis on two years these days. That may make for you institution feel nervous with Comic College. There are many of them. Are Free now and they are a lot of student would choose to do the two plus to model, which is started two year in a comedic college and then transferred to a four year. So now many for you, institution, may be nervous that a lot of the student going to the two year colleges. However, I would say that the existence of two years self is not the threat, but what really changes is student need. So to continue to attract student to for Year institution, for Year really need to be able to accommodate this student. And whatso of change that I'm talking about, number one is not the raising job and requirement. A lot of the student that wouldn't otherwise be able to enroll ten to fifteen years ago and now thinking about college. So you have a very different group of student and they are not not similar to the traditional student that that four years institution used to see. Many of them are from no income background. I love myority student are even working adults. So this new group of student that we are seeing and combined with...

...the fact that many of them are scared by increasing tuition and the whole talk of student debts. People are aware of this is happening and many student are actually looking for more economic co option to get the education. So I would say if for year willing to work with two year, they may actually see more of when venue on their side. So, just to give like a little bit of a nerfact, amongst all students who have a four year degree in two thousand and fifteen, two thousand and sixteen, forty three percent actually have enrolled at a two year college for any given amount of time. And we're talking about close to half of the BA degree holder. That is a lot. So No, with no, it's not just just a two butts to model that was talking about, although note with two plus two, your four year receiving a lot of student that they would otherwise not received. No, comming college are sending you student they already ready they have already have two years of schooling, they have been successful and have the motivation to go to four year institution. And there's two other different kind of ways that student have been into happen basically kind of intersecting between two year and four year. One is what we call reverse transfer, which is student that struggling with a forty institution or seeing that is not really fit for them, then they will choose to transfer to a two year. In that case, you're really not losing revenue by now having the student transferred to two year, because they're struggling anyway and you may lose them anyway. But by doing this reverse transfer or helping student to commit this kind of transfer behavior, you are actually helping the student to be successful. And finally, I know we'll be talking a lot more about in this podcast, is a supplementary and Roman. What it really means is for a four year primarily student to be taking some sort of two year course. No, it could be two course, three course and a community colleges and this group of student, according to the data, they are more likely to be under three pointo GPA, which means that, if you look into the data itself, they have a much lower graduation rate and sometimes below fifty percent. And if working with two year colleges means that commer college can help the middle to lower achieving student to stay in college, they are also more likely to stay in the four year for longer and taking more costs at the end. So I would say, you know, this is you're really actually having more student taking more course and in a sense you're not losing ran when you but actually gaining. So one thing you remember, like you can always set row of know how many percentage of course student can take it a two year and or you can have student to take a certain new de Luctury courses at the Fort You to maintain a title born in certain cohort at the four year. So this is a long answer to to your question saying that there's that's no, you know, have nothing to be afraid of. Now the background is super helpful and your expertisems field is walk. I am so excited to talk with you day and what you're learning about these kinds of dual enrollment students. Can you give us a high level overview of your working paper studying the outcomes of these students and what you learned? Okay, that sound good. One thing I do want to emphasize is that I'm going to be careful to say or to define this group student, a suppermental and Roman, because during Rollman have been used in many ways to describe high school student who have taken credit at the college. So I don't want to confuse your listeners. I'm going just gonna refer it to a suppermental and Roman student. Great Correction. Thank you. So there's two main question I want to look at.

Well, I did look at in this working paper, is that how do this group of student do in school and in the labor market compared to similar student who never take any Comic College cloud courses? And the second question is one of the answer to the first question differ based on who the student is. So to do that I have. Well, we take a national data of student who were ten grade in two thousand and two and this date attract them for eight years. About twelve percent of this student have taken any comedic colleges courses and every seven out of ten of the student take about one to ten commit college credit. And this is what I cause supplementary and roastudent. Just to take a step back the answer this question now, first of all, what's the motivation to do this kind of supplementary and Roman I mean is is a lot of work learning a new system. You go to a new campus and you're facing peers that you don't know. You know who your classmates are, you don't know who that your teachers are and you don't know the quality of instruction and you may risk losing money and time if you are not able to transfer the credits that you take in a comic colleges. But on the other side, know what my research have shown me is that student are very sensitive to cost this day is, like I've mentioned earlier, the student that go into colleges are very different these days. They one more economical way to finish the education. So causes one of the big issue. They want to Incurag US little deb as possible, but there are also many other factors. So, for example, conveniences. I mean you were mentioning about covid earlier. I didn't really answer your question, but now these days to student want to have conveniences in terms of location and whether they can do it online or not, as well as the timing. They get to choose and very often for Year Institution and re strength in that cause they hire a lot of ten year track professor and know there's only a certain number of courses that the ISA professor teaching and to be able to expand in terms of the availability of timing and on delivery method is a little difficult for some for a year institution and also for student. Very often transfer credit doesn't affect the GPA in their primary for a year. So some student may want to take cost that they perceive difficult, for example, no stamp course or like again, the chemistry. Those are some of the requirement of their degree and yet they don't feel very competent in those subject so it might be a good way to just take so courses at comic colleges so they were able to finish that requirement without compromising the GPA. And finally, student have the opportunity to have two causes at the in the summer. So in a way you can help students to finish faster. So imagine if you take some of courses, you could potentially finish specials degree in three years Intel the for so there's a lot of money safe and the student can get to the labor market earlier as well. and not to mention they are also faced with us much high availability and diversity of courses that not just restrict to causes at the four year but also have many other commuter college course to choose from. So there are many of the the pro I would say, to take courses at commer colleges. So back to the paper. With the result that I found actually mirror what I just mentioned to you. On average, student that take a few courses, that coming colleges, they have four point five percentage point higher bachelous degree completion rate.

If you think of an average of sixty percent graduation rate and increase of open five percentage point is pretty high. And because they are more likely to graduate, they also earn more, and my papers show that the student they are able to earn about one point four dollar dollar more per hour. It may not sound very much to you right now, but if you modify it by forty hours a week, you get about no to fifty a month more, which is pretty good. So I know this is just on average. No, I've said before, different students have different preferences and will expect this kind of enrollment pattern to work in different ways for student of various background, for example women, which should have shown that they are more sensitive to distance, you know, just because they take on on average, higher percentage of household chores or no, especially if we are talking about women with with a child. Most of the childcare responsibility of bear on women and no other other group, for example low income student. They are more sensitive to cost and time. To them it is important to finish assume as possible about so that they can start making money so that using this education that they have earned. And you know, there's also a particular group of student that are under representative in stem. No, namely no black and that text student. Also women and the income student. They are a lot more easily discourage if they have failing great as saying a stamp course. So if they're interest in stem and they worry about what if I fail my my old cam course in for a year, being able to take a course in the community college and knowing that even if they fail, not do well, it wouldn't affect their GPA would actually be very reassuring to them. So my result actually support this this theory. I found that among this group of student they able to earn the highest dam credit. Also, they have six to eleven percentage point highest damp bachelors degree completion rate. So I surprise and wow at this particular result. So one last resort to mention is for my earity student. So what I found is that they, you know, not only they have higher completion rate, earn more after take graduate they actually accumulate six thousand dollar less in debt. So that is pretty encouraging result or around. That's my paper. Yeah, the success metrics are super, superfascinating. What do these findings suggest might be the ideal Roman path from for a student, both from a student success now come standpoint, as well as from in institutional revenue standpoint? I am sorry to say that there's no one super bullet and ideal path for student. What I can offer is that you know not for your institution know. If they can gifts, more choices to student in terms of cost, location, different format and different difficulty level to promote the more individualized learning, that would be the ideal path. However, one for you institution cannot achieve everything, and that's why they should partner with a community college or a whole cooming the call systems. So, from the institution perspective, like what do they want? No, at the end of the day, they wants to be successful and we cook the cost. No, and you know what that means? Is to increase retention rate, increase completion rate, and this is exactly the same goal as students have. They want to graduate to and find a job, and our result have shown that. Note like this is what student a trying to achieve and if you're able to help them and give them choices from, you...

...know, the communic call system that the for you institution is working with it, we able to you a beat up their degree completion rate and help student they are not so confident to be able to attend more difficult courses knowing that it won't ruin their GPA or, you know, just no on average. Help student to have a more cost attack effective way to to finish a whole actualist degree. Those are very helpful for a student because they're morea starch. Have shown that financial aim comfort tuition, but there's many different types of cost that is not account for. For example, no child care, like who's going to take care of my kid, or like elderly care while I'm away at school. They also know cost with it to fees, books, transportation, parking. So there's many other factors to take into account to and no. Finally, adult student know they want a more flexible schedule during covid time. You are det having multiple a responsibility. I write now as I'm talking to you, my five months I was sleeping. So I mean those kind of fassibility is very helpful. For adult student, and I would say so. This is how we can help student and if student successful, institution we see a high revenue because your student keep coming back to take courses with you and graduate, and you also look better on paper to in terms of students who are so appointing their enrollment at to your colleges during the summer. I've seen for your institutions get nervous about if they lose their students for the summer they may lose them forever. Is there anything in your studies findings that should quell that fear in any way? I can definitely see where the sphere come from. You know, a student could be comfortable in a coming colleges? No, it's cheap. They may know you think they would and it won't just stay. But I would think that you know if your for years doing a good job, students should appreciate the whole cohort system, enjoy being with the peer enjoy the quality of instruction and and the prestiture of being able to get that betterus degree from the institution. I think all of these this is to say that there's nothing for you to worry about and if anything, I'll study have shown that student who have taken a few courses and comic colleges, they generally return back to their for year and take more for you courses than those who have never take any comic college courses and eventually graduate because now the student, they feel they find a way to do high education and they're more encourage. So at the end of the day, you want this to happen. The most successful student is the longer, they say, in a four year institution, and therefore you actually enjoy a higher avenue. And I will say one more thing. What institution should were really about is actually some learning lost. This is a phenomenon that is very common in Katy twelve education, in that student take us on a break. Their brain that was no all prepare for learning all of a sudden just go off on vacation and they are not able to learn as much as they come back. And in College, why we should even weary more is because the break in colleges is much longer, is a fore month brick. A law student know they might go work at a Madonna or intern a bank, and just having that increase in earnings during the summer may actually make them not when to come back. All of a sudden you're paying money, ens up earning money. And there's another line of research. Have shown that summer school actually increase retention rates for student while you come back in the fall. I mean. Finally, one more thing I can offer is that student do recognize the substantial difference between four year community... They want to come back, they want to graduate from their primary institution. So I would say they have nothing, nothing to be afraid of if we start seeing to your college is not as threats but potential partners. Any suggestions for ways that we should consider developing more formalized bridge programs with these local community colleges? Yeah, I will say, just take baby steps. No, just start talking to other for you institution turns. Are they also thinking about the exactly same, exact same question, and its important start understanding your student needs. Know if, let's say, you know you are Yale, it's like know your student. You contact a servant. You Sudn't have no need for taking courses in the other place than you have the worry of this, but we know if your student do express interests of doing so. Next step start talking about start talking to the comic college leaders. Very often they would welcome more university student, especially nowadays seeing a decline and declining and Roman also. They would think that university student can bring positive change to the student or encourage the shouldn't be more motivated? But at the end of the day, like I would be mindful of the Comic College and Think About No, you know, if you are sending a lot of universe student to their colleges, do they have the capacity to take it? And how is that impact other comedic college student? No, other curving in that particular classroom. Is that going? That means that comedic college student will fail more often because now the teacher is seeing more high quality universe student. So you know, those are like notice, kind of like talking sorts other talk about it. Now, if you go deeper, like how do you start set the whole thing up? Know, start with elective or requirement at the lower level. Of course, sequence I would choose based on different institution, Party and strength of the partnering Community College. You can start with no one school, I feel around you or you know nearby, ambitious the entire commical system. And you know, talk about know what cost you one student to be able to take you know, and what makes sense and also what are some minimum achievement student need to achieve before they can transfer the particular course? No ticking one step or no. In order to to facility two year in four year transfer, is very important to have common course numbering system. So math one hundred and one is the same for all of the school. Otherwise get really confusing. Also, agree on point curriculum for each level. No, math one. You need to learn particular thing. No, you want to be sure that your student coming back to your four year institution have achieved a certain level of math, for example. And then two more thing. No, be transparent and make sure student know, like where they get information and you know what they can transfer. What do you have to achieve that sort of thing. And look into your current existing particulation agreement. There might be something that you can know just change and student can use easily, or you may just write a new one or you don't have one. And finally, we look into existing example that have a well established two year and four year system. So some of them that come to mind is North Carolina commed call system. They work with the universe and really, really well with is samously taxes as is another great example. So this know, all of these different ways. I think will be helpful if institution considering to move this forward, basically giving...

...really great stuff. Finally, any next steps? Advice for institutions who maybe no longer seeing there to your college neighbor as a threat, but even taking it one step forward and in actively looking to potentially promote these subminal enrollment opportunities to their students because of these really, really compelling outcomes? Where should they start first? So, assuming that you know, I thing I just said is established, I would know mention again, just be transparent. Knowledge is power to the student. I would highlight a plus. Maybe you know. They don't even know this. This was the benefit of this supplemental enrollman. No, highlight. No, it can be very convenient. There's a lot of flexibility the low cause and you know that ability to finish early. Student do value this, but they sometimes they need to be the mind that this is a good pathway because there are the inconveniences of doing doing this particular transfer pathway that I have named before and it could scare some student to go to a brand new system, brand new colleges and some sort of may be afraid of what you know if I take a course, is it going to be transferable? And No, institution one. This to be very clear as well. Now this is a certain gray you have to achieve. This is the course that you can transfer that. It should take no more than three click or three Google search to be able to find this information. And mean to other things. That's very important. is known has effected great like if I know, Dude, have a two Bono in a very difficult course, like no, is that going to affect my four year GPA? Know, how was that mean? And finally, tuition, financial A. Sometimes we can get complicated if you're taking courses a different institution, like for student, like who do I pay tuition to? Like with the financial a work in a different school, and it's really important for for institution to help student to know all these. So knowledge is power. That's all I can say, may being, thanks so much for your time today. What's the best place for listeners to connect with you if they have any follow up questions? Google, Google my name, vivindew come, a college restos center or just such more food comic clash, resurce center. I have many more working paper, presentation or News Autit Code that have talked about my research. If anyone's interest in taking a indepth look of these topics. Awesome thics. Against so much for joining us today, Vivian. Thank you so much. Attracting today's new post traditional learners means adopting new enrollment strategies. Helix educations data driven, enterprise wide approach to enrollment growth is uniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this new education landscape, and Helix has just published the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook with fifty percent brand new content on how institutions can solve today's most pressing enrollment growth challenges. Downloaded today for free at Helix Educationcom. Playbook. You've been listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the shown itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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