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The Recipe for Promising Practices in Community Colleges


This study identifies and examines the key practices of California community college programs that have demonstrated success in improving (or that have shown significant potential to improve) the achievement of underrepresented groups whose educational attainment often lags behind the attainment of relatively well-off White students. Unlike many examinations that focus only on the transfer mission, this study includes other vital areas of the community college, including workforce preparation and developmental education. Study findings reveal that the practices of these programs had four common characteristics: cohesion-the ability of program personnel to operate as a unit in which behaviors and actions mesh or are rationally consistent; cooperation -the degree to which program personnel work together toward common goals and form good working relationships with each other and with students; connection-the ability of program personnel to sustain interdependent relationships with internal and external entities, such as other departments within the college and industry representatives; and consistency-the presence of a distinctive and stable pattern of program behaviors that promote program goals. In addition, study results show the central and critical role played by the faculty in assuring program success. © The Author(s) 2010.

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