“The Community College Route to the Bachelor’s Degree,” by Paul Attewell and David Monaghan, both of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, will be published online today inEducational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (EEPA), a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). 

Attewell and Monaghan found that students who begin their postsecondary education at a community college are indeed less likely to earn a bachelor’s degree than otherwise similar undergraduates who begin at a four-year school. However, contrary to an earlier generation of research, there are no significant differences in BA completion rates between those students who started at a community college and successfully transferred and their peers who began at four-year schools. 

While cool grandpa Paul Krugman is not very impressed with the new FiveThirtyEight website (Nate Silver’s new venture with ESPN and Bill Simmons), we are not as bearish!

The difficulty of writing about data in a way that is comprehensive but also not “mind numbingly boring”, is something we grapple with daily! (Which is one of the reasons this side-blog lacks good #content that helps our #brand). So we give those folks a little leeway in finding their footing, particularly given that it includes so much new talent.

Yesterday one of their posts brought to light a new study by the good people at the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

It’s a longitudinal survey, meaning it tracks the same people from one year to the next. Wednesday’s report looks at people born between 1980 and 1984 and how they were doing from 18 to 27 years old. That means the report lumps together people who turned 27 in 2007, before the recession began, with those who turned 27 at the height of the recession. But the report also provides insights that aren’t possible from traditional economic data.

Interesting! The full study can be found here, and Fivethirtyeight’s post is at the link above.



As Latinos become the state’s largest racial group, KCRW looks at the history of California’s changing population.

If you have a few minutes, this is very much worth your time. As an FYI, Hispanic/Latino students are SMC’s largest racial group at about 37% of the credit population.


Step 1: Admissions officers immediately reject all applicants who have the same first name as anyone they don’t like

Have we mentioned that SMC is an open admission college?


Step 1: Admissions officers immediately reject all applicants who have the same first name as anyone they don’t like

Have we mentioned that SMC is an open admission college?

Tags: Jokes SMC

The Expected Family Contribution, or EFC, is calculated with data families provide on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. That figure is subtracted from a college’s cost of attendance to determine a student’s financial need. Eligibility for federal financial aid is based on that calculation of need, and many states and colleges also use it to distribute their need-based aid.

Here is the great intro to this answer:

I am weary of the lie that increasing numbers of public high school graduates are grossly unprepared for college. The picture painted is one of inept students roaming college campuses unable to operate pencil sharpeners or read their class schedules. We are told it is a national emergency. And the villain, of course, is the usual suspect—the American public high school. The lie, like Pinocchio’s nose, gets bigger every day as the facts about college remediation are  exaggerated  and distorted by those who know better.

We have always been on team #Datais


The Pew Research Center’s Paul Taylor was the guest on The Daily Show last night, discussing salient characteristics of the millennial generation in his book “The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown.”

See more about The Next America here.


Could this 2013 Nobel Laureate afford college today?

Randy Schekman, one of this year’s Nobel Prize winners in medicine, says access to affordable, public higher education was crucial to his success. Can today’s scientific talent afford to pursue a career like his?

When Randy Schekman attended the University of California-Los Angeles in the late 1960s, getting a good college education was unimaginably cheap. Student fees were just a few hundred dollars; room and board was a few hundred more. “I could work a summer job and pay myself for the whole school year,” says Schekman, now a cell biologist at the University of California-Berkeley.

On Monday, Schekman was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine for his pioneering researchon how cells transport proteins to other cells—a process fundamental to cellular communication.

Schekman’s college experience at UCLA, from which he graduated with a degree in molecular sciences in 1971, shifted him from wanting to pursue a career as a medical doctor to a fascination with scientific research. It was pivotal to his success—in science, the ultimate success. That’s why it’s so striking to hear Schekman say that as a Nobelist, he now wants to use his newfound influence to stand up for publicly funded higher education, which he considers to be “really in peril all over the country.

Listen to his interview on Inquiring Minds: Could This 2013 Nobel Laureate Afford College Today?

UC Davis, we salute you

Make one off-hand Allen Ginsburg reference…

…and three tweets later you have a conference presentation proposal in the bag.
(Or not).