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The Impact of Community College Baccalaureate Adoption on Associate Degree Production


by Justin C. Ortagus, Dennis A. Kramer, Manuel S. González Canché & Frank Fernandez - 2020

Background/Context: As of 2018, a total of 19 states allow at least one community college to offer baccalaureate degrees. Previous researchers have suggested that community college baccalaureate (CCB) adoption will lead to a host of unintended consequences, including decreases in associate degree production.

Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: This study empirically examines the impact of CCB adoption on associate degree production and adds to conversations surrounding the consequences of CCB adoption.

Research Design: We use a quantitative quasi-experimental research design to examine the effect of CCB adoption on associate degree production.

Findings/Results: When comparing adopting and non-adopting community colleges within the state of Florida, the authors find that the adoption of CCB degree programs has a positive impact on overall associate degree production, but this impact varies considerably according to the type of academic degree program.

Conclusions/Recommendations: Opponents of CCB legislation have argued that giving community colleges the authority to confer baccalaureate degrees will detract from the sub-baccalaureate institutional mission of community colleges, but our results suggest that the adoption of a CCB degree program is associated with an overall increase in associate degree production. Findings from this work should be an important consideration for policymakers seeking to increase baccalaureate degree production in addition to—not at the expense of—associate degree programs.



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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 122 Number 1, 2020, p. -
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 22955, Date Accessed: 11/19/2019 3:04:54 PM

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About the Author
  • Justin Ortagus
    University of Florida
    E-mail Author
    JUSTIN C. ORTAGUS is Assistant Professor of Higher Education Administration & Policy and Director of the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Florida. His research typically examines the growing impact of online education and technology, the role and influence of community colleges, and the effects of various state policies on the opportunities and outcomes of historically underrepresented students.
  • Dennis Kramer
    University of Florida
    E-mail Author
    DENNIS A. KRAMER II is Assistant Professor of Higher Education Administration & Policy and Director of the Educational Policy Center at the University of Florida. His prior research has focused on the economics of higher education, the evaluation of federal and state policy adoption, and impact of state decisions on community colleges and four-year institutions.
  • Manuel González Canché
    Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania
    E-mail Author
    MANUEL S. GONZÁLEZ CANCHÉ is Associate Professor of Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania. His research examines issues of access, persistence, and success, with an emphasis on institution effects on students’ outcomes. He also focuses on higher education finance, with emphases on spatial modeling and competition based on spatial proximity and spillover effects.
  • Frank Fernandez
    College of Education, University of Houston
    E-mail Author
    FRANK FERNANDEZ is Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University of Houston. His research typically examines community colleges, legal issues, graduate education, international/comparative education, and institutional theory.
 
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