The Relationship Between Student Success Courses and Academic Achievement of Community College Students

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Importance of the problem
With the intent of raising the state’s mediocre ranking among higher education institutions, the Tennessee Legislature passed into law the Complete College Act (CCA) in 2006. Setting a goal of increasing the number of college graduates by 3.5 percent annually, the law has radically reformed the way Tennessee funds its public community colleges and universities. Eliminating the old enrollment formula, which funded the institutions based on student enrollment headcounts, the CCA is a model of incentive funding, based on the retention of students and the production of degrees. Its impact on Tennessee’s higher education institutions became a frightening prospect for some under-performing institutions, especially within the state’s community college system. With a limit to the available monies earmarked for higher education, the community colleges suddenly found themselves in the precarious position of competing with each other for available state funding (Jones, 2011).
As a result, the colleges were forced to switch gears from strategizing how to get students into the college, to strategizing how to retain them until graduation, and thus receive an adequate, if not bigger, piece of the funding pie. Acting independently from their fellow institutions, college administrators and faculty began to brainstorm ideas of how to keep students in college and how to increase their achievement. Many possible solutions came to the forefront of the
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