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Higher and Postsecondary Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Higher and Postsecondary Education

In the Department of Organization & Leadership

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Community College Research Center


The Community College Research Center (CCRC) was established in 1996 with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and is housed within the Institute on Education and the Economy (IEE). The main purpose of the CCRC is to frame critical questions concerning the fundamental purposes, problems, and performance of community colleges, and chart a course for strengthening scholarly research on the future of these important institutions.

'When we speak of the transition from school to work, we will be speaking more often of the community college,' says Professor Thomas R. Bailey, who is also Director of the Center. 'When we speak of retraining our nation's labor force, we will also be speaking more often of the community college.'

The Center has taken a broad and comprehensive view of the community college over the course of the grant, but focused primarily on the roles of community colleges in workforce and economic development. The specific purposes of the Center are to: (1) synthesize existing research on the roles community colleges have been playing and the extent and determinants of their effectiveness within those; (2) formulate and answer new research questions on important issues confronting the community college sector; (3) begin exploration of alternative policies and directions for community colleges; (4) attract new researchers to the field and solidify a network of community college practitioners and scholars; and (5) suggest directions for data collection. The Center draws on expertise from a national advisory panel of community college practitioners, policy makers, and research scholars. The Center funds fellowships to doctoral students who are interested in writing dissertations on community college issues. The fellowship recipients work at the CCRC and participate in research projects. Reports of research findings, occasional papers, and non-technical Briefs are available through the CCRC website, or for a nominal cost.

National Center for Postsecondary Research

The National Center for Postsecondary Research (NCPR) focuses on measuring the effectiveness of programs designed to help students make the transition to college and master the basic skills needed to advance to a degree. NCPR is currently pursuing research in dual enrollment; postsecondary remediation, including learning communities; and financial aid.

NCPR is housed at the Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University, and is operated in collaboration with partners MDRC and the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, and with a professor at Harvard University. Established in 2006, the Center is funded by a grant of $9,813,619 from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.