AACC and ACT release comprehensive reports which present findings from the national aggregate data. Further, each community college receives a customized and comprehensive research package including summary and graphics reports for their credit and noncredit students.
Key Findings 2004-2006
(Click on a chart at right to view a larger version.)
- 25% of the noncredit students had already attained a bachelor's degree or higher.
- 25% of credit students are employed full-time and 44% are employed part-time.
- 59% of credit students and 47% of non-credit students recently had a change in jobs or had lost their job.
- Nearly half of community college students are first-generation students. First generation students are significantly less likely than students who had at least one college educated parent to list parents as a source of funds for college.
- A significant difference emerged between native and non-native English speakers. Non-native speakers were more likely than native speakers to want to own their own business.
- 83% of credit students responded that they are satisfied or very satisfied with their community colleges.
- The top three reasons for credit students to take classes were: transferring to a four-year university (45%), preparing for work (42%), and earning an associate’s degree (39%). For non-credit students, 37% were taking courses for self improvement, 35% to prepare for work, and 20% for their current job.
- 72% of students who enrolled in credit courses to upgrade skills and advance their careers indicated that community college had made a major contribution to learning skills required for their job.
- 76% of students who enrolled in credit courses because of a major life change said the community college experience had increased their academic competence; 66% said it had helped build their self-confidence.
The survey questions are intended to obtain useful information about credit and noncredit students at community colleges. The following list outlines the topic areas covered by the survey items.
General Student Background Information:
- Racial/ethnic background
- Native language
- Income and personal education finances
- Parental education level
- Broad based "life goals"
Student Employment Background:
- Current employment status (hours, number of jobs, etc.)
- Occupational field, if currently working
- Employer compensation for education
Student Educational Experiences and Background:
- Highest academic degree earned to date
- Current academic effort (number of credits/courses)
- Courses to date (from this college)
- Other current academic institutions attended
- Academic goals
- Relationship between college attendance/course taking and employment
Current College Experiences:
- Reasons for attending this college
- Satisfaction with the college
- Impression of the campus climate
- Areas of growth while at the college