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SNAPSHOT: College Writing

Many students begin at two-year community colleges and transfer to four-year senior colleges.

A new article published in the journal Higher Learning Research Communications aimed to find out how prepared those students are to complete their full degree programs. Prior research has suggested “students from community colleges may not be as well prepared to complete higher-level college coursework.”

A student types on a laptop

The article was co-authored by three CUNY scholars, Professors Katharine Pace Miles (Brooklyn College) and Leslie Craigo (Borough of Manhattan Community College), and Ph.D. Candidate Selenid Gonzalez-Frey (The Graduate Center, CUNY).

The researchers focused their study on students preparing to become teachers. Examining 29 students — 17 of whom came from a community college — Miles, Craigo, and Gonzalez-Frey noted one major difference. Most community college students had taken advantage of an array of support, such as writing centers or learning centers, before transferring to a four-year college, while most senior college students had not.

As for required classwork, which included in-class writing, research papers, and a final exam, there was no significant difference among the students.

They concluded, “Because community college students in this study are able to perform well, it is important that college educators recognize the value of community college students as part of 4-year institutions.”

Pace previously co-authored an article about the efficacy of using flashcards to teach young readers sight words.