FCAN’s Research Roundup is a monthly feature highlighting reports and projects related to student access and success that we think are worth sharing. You will also be able to find a link to this page in FCAN’s monthly newsletter. Happy reading!
1. Undergraduate and graduate enrollment both decreased nationally for the Fall 2022 semester through Sept. 29, according to a report written by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, although the decline was not as steep as in previous semesters. Four-year institutions saw the greatest declines in enrollment while community college enrollment was nearly stagnant compared to last fall (-0.4%). The Center suggests that increased dual enrollment among high school students and higher enrollment of 18–20-year-olds at community colleges may help explain the difference between community college enrollment and that of four-year institutions. Enrollment in the state of Florida has decreased 2.5% since Fall 2019.
2. A qualitative report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE) explored the factors leading to student persistence at Texas community colleges that implement a guided pathways framework. Most of the students interviewed considered dropping out at least once during their academic careers but cited the role of clear, consistent communication and caring faculty/staff members as keys to their persistence. At least twelve members of the Florida College System (FCS) have committed to developing a guided pathways framework on their campuses.
3. The average ACT composite score for the class of 2022 was 19.8, according to the ACT, marking the lowest score in 30 years. Testing scores have declined in each of the past five years, continuing concerns about the college preparedness of high school students. Although 54,000 more students from the class of 2022 took the ACT compared to the class of 2021, overall test-taking is down from its peak of 2.1 million tests taken by the class of 2016. One explanation for the decline in test-taking is the increase in test-optional admissions policies by higher education institutions spurred by the pandemic.