Promising Practices for Supporting Part-Time Community College Students


In the United States, the majority of community college students—about 65 percent—enroll part time. Unfortunately, graduation rates for part-time students are low. Only 20 percent of students who attend community college part-time graduate within six years, compared with 33 percent of full-time students. Currently, little is known about what practices exist at community colleges to support this important student population.

To address that knowledge gap, this project is investigating promising practices that colleges are implementing to support part-time students and improve their outcomes. The team will conduct a scan of promising supports for part-time community college students and conduct a descriptive study at up to five colleges to learn about their support strategies and student populations. In the descriptive study, the team will interview staff and students and collect quantitative data, including demographic and outcome data for part-time students targeted by the supports. The findings will provide lessons on promising practices to support part-time students and offer recommendations for policy, practice, and future research.