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Early Childhood Education Vocational English as a Second Language
Career Pathway Certificate Program

Lane Community College

Hampton Roads Marine Skilled Trades Training Program
Thomas Nelson Community College


Utilizing Data and Labor Market Information

What about Certificates? Evidence on the Labor Market
Returns to Non-Degree Community College Awards in Two States

Matching student records with Unemployment Insurance data in Virginia and North Carolina, this study examines the relationship between earning a certificate and subsequent employment status, and between earning a certificate and wages. Many program certificates have positive financial and non-financial benefits. The return on investment varies by field of study, program, and location, demonstrating the importance of using local labor market information to guide program development.

Community College Research Center, November 2014
Di Xu & Madeline Joy Trimble

Evaluating Workforce Programs: A Guide to What Policymakers Need to Know to Structure Effective, User-Friendly Evaluations

This brief discusses the value and purpose of program evaluations, highlights different evaluation tools and techniques, and illustrates how policymakers and program managers can structure and implement evaluations of workforce development programs.

John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development
Kathy Krepcio, William Mabe and Charyl Staci Yarbrough

Unlocking the Treasure Chest of Labor Market Information: Crucial Information for Job Seekers, Educators, and Employers in a Tough Economy

Quality labor market data and analysis is critical to developing effective market-driven workforce and economic strategies in states, regions, and localities. Such information can be complex, intimidating, and overwhelming to many users, however. This issue brief offers a framework for understanding workforce information, including a summary of the different types of consumers of information and their need for comprehensive data and analysis about the labor market.

John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development
Aaron Fichtner, Ronnie Kauder and Kathy Krepcio


Turning the Tide: Five Years of Achieving the Dream in Community Colleges

This interim report examines the experiences of the first 26 colleges to join the ambitious Achieving the Dream initiative. Launched by Lumina Foundation for Education in 2004, Achieving the Dream helps community colleges collect and analyze student performance data in order to build a "culture of evidence," enabling the colleges to use that knowledge to develop programs to increase students' academic success.

Community College Research Center (2011)
Elizabeth Zachry Rutschow, Lashawn Richburg-Hayes, Thomas Brock, Genevieve Orr, Oscar Cerna, Dan Cullinan, Monica Reid Kerrigan, Davis Jenkins, Susan Gooden, and Kasey Martin


College Graduation Rates: Behind the Numbers

This publication is a true primer on data sets, from institutional to state to national. This document discusses the advantages, disadvantages, and policy implications of using IPEDS, National Student Clearinghouse, state data systems, non-institutional databases, something that program developers might need to know more about.

American Council on Education, Center for Policy Analysis (2010)
B. Cook and N. Pullaro


Putting Data to Work: Interim Recommendations From
The Benchmarking Project

As public and private funders have focused on evaluating the effectiveness of workforce development programs, a myriad of data collection systems and reporting processes have taken shape. Navigating these systems takes significant time and energy and often saps frontline providers' capacity to use data internally for program improvement. Furthermore, given the fragmentation of the workforce development system, it is difficult for funders, policymakers and practitioners to discern what outcomes actually constitute "good" performance. This report draws on data submitted by more than 200 programs from around the country, as well as P/PV's work with program staff, to shed light on the challenges faced by service providers as they attempt to understand and improve their outcomes. The brief outlines five specific recommendations for public and private funders about how they can better support a culture of learning and continuous improvement across the entire workforce system.

Public Private Ventures

Marty Miles, Sheila Maguire, Stacy Woodruff-Bolte and Carol Clymer


Performance Accountability Systems for Community Colleges

Policymakers, higher education associations, blue-ribbon commissions, and researchers are calling for a greater focus on institutional accountability. Thus, the American Association of Community Colleges and the Association of Community College Trustees, in partnership with the College Board, have launched an effort to develop a Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA) for Community Colleges to ensure that the effectiveness and contributions of these colleges are properly measured.

Community College Research Center
Kevin Dougherty, Rachel Hare & Rebecca Natow


Employers, Low-income Young Adults, and Postsecondary Credentials: A Practical Typology for Business, Education, and Community Leaders

Funded by the Gates Foundation, this report investigates a number of education and training programs involving employers in efforts to help disadvantaged young adults attain postsecondary credentials leading to career track employment.

Workforce Strategy Center (2009)
M.R. Bozell and M. Goldberg


Counting the Hidden Assets

In this age of accountability, community colleges need to demonstrate that they are meeting or exceeding performance goals using measures that allow accurate, apples-to-apples evaluation of programs based on nationally recognized standards. Currently, however, there is no standard national measurement of the direct educational and economic benefits of noncredit courses to their communities, so they are not systematically evaluated. The lack of relevant and appropriate measures leaves vast holes in policymakers' understanding of the scope, impact and effectiveness of the work of community colleges.

Simply stated, the underlying issue is that existing data collection systems are not designed to capture the most basic information about noncredit activities delivered by community colleges. As an urgently needed first step, this paper makes the case for the training hour as the basic unit of measurement and proposes a taxonomy to classify and describe the range of noncredit activities delivered by community colleges.

The Business Roundtable, The Community College Research Center, Macomb Community College, LaGuardia Community College


Results and Reflections: An Evaluation Report. Making the Numbers Add Up: A Guide for Using Data In College Access and Success Programs

This contains several concrete examples, checklists, and a set of electronic resources for data solutions and usage.

Lumina Foundation (2009)


Adult Education NRS Database

Contains current and past state-by-state and country-wide data for the 13 indicators that adult education must report to Congress on, along with a general narrative and financial report for each year.


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