The College Puzzle Blog
Prior PostingsAbout
Dr. Michael W. Kirst

Michael W. Kirst is Professor Emeritus of Education and Business Administration at Stanford University since 1969.
Dr. Kirst received his Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard. Before joining the Stanford University faculty, Dr. Kirst held several positions with the federal government, including Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Manpower, Employment and Poverty. He was a former president of the California State Board of Education. His book From High School to College with Andrea Venezia was published by Jossey Bass in 2004.

Most Recent Blog
::Two Year Colleges Come In Many Varieties>
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::Guest Blogger Su Jin Gatlin of WestEd: Admission ...>
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::New Remedial Approaches Can Increase College Compl...>
::New System to Measure College Success>
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::Dual Enrollment Grows In Washington>
::AP Audit Finds Course Content Variation>


My blog discusses the important and complex subjects of college completion, college success, student risk factors (for failing), college readiness, and academic preparation. I will explore the pieces of the college puzzle that heavily influence, if not determine, college success rates.

For Profit 2 year Colleges Focus on Completion

My last blog covered the variety of 2 year public colleges. But many for profit firms focus on less than 4 year degrees such as Devry, ITT, Phoenix, Heald, and Career Education. The business models for these firms rely on student retention and growth to increase their stock price. So they try to limit dropouts and help students complete their program. It costs about 30% of tuition they get to recruit a student, so this is another incentive for retention
Public 2 year schools are not paid for completion. In California the community colleges are paid for third week in a semester attendance. So they can use a "churn business model "that keeps them solvent if new entrants equal drop outs. There is an urgent need to rethink the institutional funding incentives in the 2 year public sector. For some ideas on how to do this read Invest in Success by Sacramento State,

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