Targeting the Technical: Prioritizing Analysis of Student Transcripts in Degree Reclamation Efforts to Improve Student Completion OutcomesPublished Jan 2022
As the economy struggles to recover amidst ongoing uncertainty, adults across the country could benefit from earning a degree and opening the door to new careers. Colleges and universities recognize the importance—but also the challenge—of getting “some college no degree” (SCND) students back on track and supporting them, along with currently enrolled students, across the degree finish line.
Degree reclamation is a proven strategy to capture the momentum of existing credits and put SCND students back on track to a degree. To identify best practices and areas of potential to improve student outcomes through degree audits, researchers from the University of Utah and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) examined transcript data from Oakland Community College (OCC), a community college in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan that implemented degree reclamation strategies for several years’ worth of transcripts with a focus on the potential of expanding auditing efforts to include technical and applied associate’s degrees, which can yield more immediate employment gains after graduation.
As outlined in this brief, targeting resources and efforts toward reviewing transcripts against the technical field in which each student began his or her studies, combined with auditing for transfer-oriented credentials, can maximize the return on institutional degree reclamation efforts.