Connection by Design: Students' Perceptions of Their Community College Experiences

Connection by Design is the second of two reports based on student focus group discussions conducted in spring 2012 by staff from WestEd and Public Agenda. Across focus groups consisting of current and former community college students in four states (Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas), a consistent message from students was heard. Students want to be more connected to their colleges, faculty, staff, and peers. This report finds that many first time students did not know they would be tested upon enrollment, many were disatisfied with their developmental education experience, and needed more supports to help them through the early phase of college.  Consistent with existing research, this report finds that students need help getting engaged, colleges need to be more deliberate in engaging students in positive ways, and pedagogy has got to improve.

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