top of page

Understanding Higher Education in America

Student retention.


Persistence toward graduation.

Performance funding.

The buzzwords of higher education today

have less to do with what happens in the classroom as outside the classroom,

and today’s institutions must prepare.

GreyPrint can help.

“In 2013, approximately 1,200 U.S. community colleges served more than 13 million students – 46% of the total undergraduate population nationwide.” (American Association of Community Colleges [AACC], 2012).

Yet, fewer than half of these students will earn a post-secondary credential within six years. The completion rate is even lower for minority students (AACC, 2012). The President’s (Obama) graduation initiative calls for a 50% increase in college completion (degree, certification, or credential) by 2020. However,

[M]ost institutions lack the ability to meet such demands, saddled as they are with unacceptably low success rates, dysfunctional practices, inadequate support services, and disconnected employment preparation to meet workforce needs (AACC, 2012).

Community colleges are especially hardest hit with respect to student drop-out rates given their mission of ‘open enrollment’ – whereas four-year universities may be selective in their admission policies, community colleges must accept all students (open enrollment).


What factors place community college students at risk?

Seven factors place community college students at risk:
  • Delayed entry

  • Part-time enrollment

  • Full-time employment

  • Financial independence

  • Dependent responsibility

  • Single parenthood

  • Lack of HS Diploma


Food for thought.

  • The viability of current constructs to ensure student persistence, achievement, and graduation may be based on outdated models of student engagement practices.

  • In many cases, institutions turn to technology as the solution, pouring countless thousands or millions of dollars into ‘quick fixes’ that, unfortunately, fall short of their intended outcomes.

  • A better strategy requires – assembling key stakeholders in developing and communicating a clear vision of mission-critical goals; an integrated audit of talent, technology, and time; and implementation that allows for course adjustment.

For assistance, turn to GreyPrint Consulting – There is a Better Way.


American Association of Community Colleges. (2012, April). Reclaiming the American dream, community colleges and the nation’s future: A report from the 21st-century commission on the future of community colleges. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from

Coley, R. J. (2000). The American community college turns 100: A look at its students, programs, and prospects. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Center. Retrieved from Educational Testing Center website:

112 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page