Our research efforts to institute systemic change centers on a transition from the more traditional approaches – which are often jargon-laden and slow to reach decision-makers — to modes of scholarship that are timely, accessible and digestible. The research we conduct addresses community college practitioner needs and provides actionable data that leaders can use to make informed improvements at their institutions. Further, the broader practice-focused research agenda we develop dovetails with continuous institutional improvement efforts at North Carolina community colleges.
This innovative approach to research positions NC State to better support, and deepen connections with, North Carolina community colleges. All Belk Center research will link to Aspen’s student success framework for community college excellence that addresses completion/transfer outcomes, labor market outcomes, equity outcomes and teaching/learning outcomes.
Our doctoral students are uniquely positioned to identify problems of practice on their campus. Problems of practice are focused on directly observable and actionable student success practices that can be improved. Through the dissertation process, our doctoral students and faculty will work together to address these problems with the aim to foster immediate change.
Our current body of research focuses on five areas:
Reinforced Instruction for Student Excellence (RISE)
We are currently working on an evaluation of the RISE, the co-requisite developmental remediation model in North Carolina. During the Spring 2019 semester, the first group of community colleges piloted the new model. Our evaluation work will focus both on the implementation and student outcomes. Current Reports:
- 2018 Mid-year Report
- Spring 2019 Student Report
- Spring 2019 Faculty Report
- RISE Spring 2019 Evaluation Overview
Finish Line Grants
We are currently working the North Carolina Governor’s Office to gather feedback on the initial implementation of the Finish Line Grants program. The program is designed to provide emergency aid to community college students facing financial challenges.
Transfer of students from community colleges to four-year institutions, including the UNC System, is a priority for North Carolina. Our research is focused on how policies and practices within the state help to facilitate successful transfer and degree attainment. We have previously worked with the Transfer Advisory Committee to provide an overview of transfer graduation rates by student demographics and credits earned. We are currently working on projects evaluating the impact of the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) on credit loss and credit applicability at NC State.
Role of North Carolina’s Comprehensive Articulation Agreement on Excess Credits
This study looks at how the CAA implementation impacted excess-credit-earning behaviors of transfer students under the new policy compared to those who transferred before the policy.