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Top Priorities for Community Colleges in 2024

Episode 175

December 5, 2023 34 minutes


EAB experts Dr. Tara Zirkel, Dr. Christina Hubbard, and Allison Peeler discuss the major shifts and trends impacting community colleges over the past year. The three share specific examples of institutions doing innovative work and overcoming post-pandemic challenges. They also offer advice on what community college leaders can do in 2024 to improve student retention and modernize the student experience.



0:00:11.0 Speaker 1: Hello and welcome to Office Hours with EAB. Today we are joined by three experts in the community college landscape who discuss some of the major shifts that have affected community colleges over the past year. They also share what they consider to be the most urgent 2024 priorities for community college leaders. Give this episode a listen and enjoy.


0:00:39.3 Allison Peeler: Hello, and welcome to Office Hours with EAB. My name is Allison Peeler and I’m a senior analyst with EAB’s Community College team. Much of my work is focused on studying and serving two-year schools, and like every higher education institution, community colleges face their share of challenges. Today we’re gonna look at some of the major shifts and trends that have affected community colleges across the past 12 months or so, and we’ll offer advice on steps that community college leaders should take now to strengthen their institution for the months and years ahead. With me today to explore the topic are two of EAB’s leading experts on the challenges and opportunities facing community colleges; Dr. Tara Zirkel, Director of Strategic Research, and Dr. Christina Hubbard, Senior Director of Research Advisory Services. Tara and Christina, welcome to the program. Before we dive in, please take a moment to introduce yourself and tell our listeners a little bit about your role. Tara, do you wanna start?

0:01:41.5 Dr. Tara Zirkel: I sure can. So as Allison mentioned, my name’s Tara Zirkel, and I serve as a director of strategic research here at EAB. My focus is and always has been on community colleges, so I come from a two-year background, like many people on this call, and assist EAB by doing research on best practices, emerging trends and emerging topics.

0:02:03.4 Dr. Christina Hubbard: And I’m Christina Hubbard. I’m part of our Research Advisory Services team. So here at EAB, I get the opportunity to work with our partners on implementing best practices that are scored from across the world, really, and try to bring those to life on individual campuses. I’ve been working in the higher education space for about 25 years, and the past 15 years has been spent specifically with community colleges, where I still actually serve as an adjunct faculty member in addition to my full-time role over here at EAB. So thanks so much for the invitation to be here today.

0:02:34.5 AP: Excellent. Thanks to you both. Okay, let’s kick off our questions with a look back. What were a few of the major trends and shifts for community colleges in 2023?

0:02:46.3 TZ: I think, and this is Tara, that I can jump in there. And I really think when we look back over the past year, past two years even, enrollment’s really the thing that we all talk about, right? It’s the thing that permeates the news, it’s the thing that we talk about with our partners, is how do we begin to get control of enrollment declines? And a really positive thing that we’re seeing, a positive trend is that those enrollment declines are starting to stabilize. We’re starting to see this flat lining where many of our institutions have stopped the bleeding, which is really great. One thing really specific about that trend that I know that we are watching and that many of you are watching, is the phenomenon where a lot of that enrollment is being recovered in dual enrollment students, so our younger students that come to us to take courses while they’re still in high school. And something I think is really interesting is this shift where on a national level, 20% of community college students are actually dual enrolled students.

0:03:45.6 TZ: So one in five of our students is under the age of 18. And what’s really fascinating is when we look at the recovery and the growth that we’ve seen, we’ve actually seen dual enrollment steadily either be flat or increase since the pandemic. So in fall ’22, about 10%, we saw a 10% enrollment gain in 17-year-olds. And then this past fall, another 9% gain in students enrolled who are under 17. So this is the only demographic to really show marked growth in community colleges, and one that I think we really need to be paying attention to because this is a place where we can continue that student’s journey, where by building these relationships with these younger students, we open up this bridge to potentially having them continue on at the institution for a credential, for a certificate, or even have the opportunity to have these students complete credentials while they’re still in high school.

0:04:45.4 TZ: So definitely a trend and a shift that I’m paying a lot of attention to. And I think a trend that runs alongside that, that we are watching really closely at EAB is the notion that we’re seeing many young folks, and this is a little bit maybe younger than our dual enrolled students, so students that are middle school age right now are showing evidence of this potential academic unpreparedness where we’re seeing decreases in their math attainment scores and decreases in their English attainment scores. And I think one thing that we need to be really aware of as we are in 2023 now, but looking forward to 2024, is that these 13-year-olds who are having maybe some difficulty or some struggles in math and English, in about three years, they’re going to be that dual enrollment population that makes up 20% of our enrollment. So just a trend and shift that I think we should really watch is not only these dual enrollment students that we currently have, but the dual enrollment students that are kind of in the hopper and getting ready to come up and join our institutions.

0:05:53.5 CH: I think that’s a really great point, Tara. I think I’m maybe a little bit more on the opposite side of the house. I think one of the things that I’ve been watching really closely is sort of this increased level of skepticism that’s happening around the value of higher education. What we’re seeing then is that our partners are starting to turn their attention toward helping to craft that ROI narrative, helping students to see what they’re going to gain by investing in their education to reach their goals. I think we all know that on a high level, earning a college degree is absolutely the best pathway to a more secure future, but we’re starting to see more of our community college partners reaching out to us to better understand how they can reframe the value of earning that college degree.

0:06:39.4 CH: I actually saw this happen just a few months ago. I was at Northwest State Community College over in Ohio. They actually were recently recognized as the top community college in their state, so definitely a school to be watching without a doubt. But one of the ways that they rose to that acclaim was by having their team really focus on shining that light on the value of the programs that they’re offering. When you look at their promotional materials, they talk about the fact that for every dollar a student spends at Northwest State, they receive $3.30 in return. And they talk about how their academic programs are aligned to jobs in the communities, things along those lines. And for them, it’s really starting to pay off. They’ve seen their enrollment climb across the past four years by 31%.

0:07:22.4 CH: So huge, huge increases there. Persistence rates are increasing, those are up by 26%. So broadly, when I think about what schools can do in order to better focus on these students in talking about the value of the programs that they offer, I think one of the big points here is that we need to make sure that we’re aligning our programs and our credentials to the actual needs that our students have. So making sure that we’re doing a little bit more in personalization and articulating those tangible outcomes of having earned that degree. So for example, one thing that we are all keenly aware of is that the main reason that our community college students tend to enroll with us typically has something to do with their career goals. They might already be working, they’re enjoying a pretty secure job, but they’re looking to upskill, move to that next level, so they’re gonna come to us looking for things like short-term credentials, something that allows them to move up that corporate ladder.

0:08:17.1 CH: We have other folks who are facing replacement, or maybe they’re returning to the workforce after staying home to raise kids or recover from a medical absence or something along those lines. For those folks, maybe they stay in the same line of work, maybe they completely change career fields and move into a different part of the workforce. But we really need to make sure that we’re aligning the credentials to the needs that students are coming to us with. So I think that that’s been a pretty big shift, is really making sure that whatever our students’ motivation is for enrolling, we need to make sure that we are customizing that early advice and making sure our students are starting off really strong.

0:08:51.6 CH: If I could double down a little bit more though, one other point that I wanted to make here is that on the opposite end of the spectrum, we talked about dual enrollment, we talked about making sure that when we’re engaging some of our students coming to campus now, that we need to align to their career motivations, but we also need to be thinking about those stop outs, right? So we have a lot of individuals who have put their faith in higher education, but they ended up leaving before they earned any kind of a credential. I’ve been watching this for a few years now. Back in, I guess it was maybe 2018, National Student Clearinghouse reported at that time, we had 36 million stopped out students across the country. Even as more people have been focused on this population and have started to be investing in services and supports, etcetera, that number is actually up over 40 million students now.

0:09:39.2 CH: Those are individuals that have some college and no credential. A lot of these students then end up leaving with debt. They have no credential to help them get those better paying jobs. They’re dealing with some of the mental consequences of having attempted something but not necessarily finishing it. So again, I think that that’s another area that we’re starting to see some pretty major change in our partners, and they’re really starting to double down in those efforts to make sure that they are able to reengage those students and help them to finish what they started.

0:10:07.5 AP: That’s an excellent point, and I’d love to dig in a little bit more on that ROI piece. And how are successful institutions, in addition to some of the ones that you already mentioned, adapting their strategies to really stay relevant and effective in light of these challenges?

0:10:26.4 CH: In the same vein of what I was talking about related to public skepticism and those concerns about increasing numbers of stop outs, we need to make sure that every student who enrolls with us has a clear path to graduation. I think the institutions who are doing this well right now are really just focused on simplifying access to support. And I kind of think about this in three different ways. So one would absolutely be technology, infrastructure, what can we do on campus in order to make it really easy for students to get information on their own, through technology? We know that a lot of the time when students need support, it may not necessarily be during our office hours, it may not necessarily be when they’re actually physically on campus. So what can we do to make sure that technology is serving as that conduit?

0:11:09.4 CH: Certainly, we see a lot of our partners who are doing that through Navigate. They’re getting students connected to information and resources, maybe making it easier for students to access their academic planning information, how to contact their advisor, connecting with their faculty members. So again, just really, really super handy for students because they’re able to connect easily to those people that are going to provide them that support. The second way that I see schools doing this is more of a place-based approach. So there’s actually a really great resource at Union County College in New Jersey. They have what amounts to a one stop for students, so it’s just a central location where students can go and get access to nearly any resource that they might need on campus. When the students walk into that facility, they have a friendly team that greets them, helps to triage their questions, and then gets them connected over to the right resource to address whatever need the student came in with.

0:12:05.3 CH: And then the final example that I’ve seen as far as really trying to improve those access to services is from Pueblo Community College. So we’ve talked about them for years at this point. Their student success coach model is really based on this idea of centralizing support in one single individual. That student success coach is where the student turns when they are going through the enrollment process, when the student is trying to complete the financial aid paperwork. They would turn in verification paperwork and engage with the student success coach. They help with academic advising, getting them connected to emergency funding, and of course, they’re monitoring the student’s progress and success throughout the entire life cycle of the student. So I think that that’s a really neat approach too on simplifying services for students by giving them just one point of contact to address whatever the student needs to do. It’s kind of this from application to graduation sort of approach. So I think that those are some of the more interesting strategies that I’ve been seeing. But what about you, Tara?

0:13:07.5 TZ: I think I really like what you said there about application to graduation. So as a former admissions director, I’m always really interested in the front end of the process in addition to the retention piece. And I actually think that retention really starts on day one with, how do we recruit, onboard and engage our students as they’re beginning their journey with the institution? So a place where I’m seeing a lot of institutions shift gears is really abandoning the notion of, “If we build it, they will come,” which I think has been an approach in two-year schools where students do kind of osmosis, will end up in a chair in a classroom, and really doubling down on being very thoughtful about how we actually walk students from the inquiry process into their enrollment and really treating that process with a lot more care and intention.

0:13:56.4 TZ: And to the point made earlier, students are being really critical shoppers right now. They’re really questioning the ROI of institutions. And we actually, from survey research that we’ve done with high school students of high school students who have opted out of college, they’re not enrolling at an institution after they graduate, 20% of those students said they made that choice because they don’t see a value in it. So knowing that when we receive inquiries from students, when we take students on tours and we do all those kind of top of funnel activities with students, a lot of them already have one foot out the door before they’ve even really become engaged in the process, means that we have to convey our value early, concisely, in a targeted and personalized way that comes with also a lot of warmth and a lot of understanding.

0:14:43.5 TZ: A phrase that we use a lot at EAB is “coordinated care,” which is kind of this notion that we have to wrap students in a care team of different professionals that have different forms of expertise. And what we’re seeing is coordinated care starts on day one. So some practices that we’re seeing institutions lean into are kind of leaning into things like hiring admissions navigators, where now the student, as soon as they submit an inquiry and application, they have a buddy essentially that’s going to be their person that walks them through that inquiry and admissions process so they don’t miss a step and they have a clear person that they can reach out to. Some people are trying to increase the rapidness of how students move through that inquiry process, so I can give an example. Mt. Hood Community College used to have a process, and I think those of us that work in admissions will feel this when I say this, where it could take days to weeks for a student to maybe receive a student ID number or receive the things that they need to unlock the next steps in their process.

0:15:43.6 TZ: What Mt. Hood was able to do through working with us at EAB is actually turn that acceptance time down into two hours, which is a radical change for a student who’s balancing work, life, family, all these things where they have a block of time where they’re trying to accomplish this enrollment-related task. Another institution that’s done really well with the idea of an admissions navigator or giving that student sort of their enrollment buddy is Germanna Community College. And they have done just basically almost a system-wide redesign of how they do onboarding to make sure that there’s not this phenomenon where the student is admitted to the college and now they’re kind of in a queue. Some people… I remember when I was on campus, we called it the DMV where the student walks in, they sit in an office, they kind of take a ticket and they wait for the next person.

0:16:36.5 TZ: Germanna now has this very intentional process where students, using technology, are guided from step to step. And as they’re guided from step to step, they’re actually with the same person the whole time. And I think the last practice that I’m seeing is really a concerted effort to make sure that we understand who these students are as they enter the institution. Not after they have entered, but while they’re actually in the onboarding pipeline, through things like welcome surveys. This is something that Arapahoe does really well, community college in Colorado, where they actually launched very quick one to two-question surveys with incoming students to kind of get to know them. Are you a parent? Are you working? And making that part of that onboarding conversation to, again, make sure there’s very intentional conversations from, again, the point of inquiry to the point of graduation. But again, a shift I’m seeing is that top of funnel doubling down, we’re gonna be your best friend on day one.

0:17:36.3 AP: So like we’ve alluded to already, we know that student expectations are rising. Why is it crucial for community colleges to modernize the student experience now?

0:17:50.4 TZ: I think something that jumps to mind to me is when I think of a modern student, like what is a modern student right now? We talked a lot about ROI, and these are students that are very motivated by understanding that their time committed to the institution is going to translate into social mobility and economic mobility for that student. And it’s actually something we are tracking in an upcoming paper that we’re going to release in January, is that when we surveyed high school students who were interested in community colleges, they were actually more likely to say that their economic output is the thing that’s motivating them to pursue a two-year institution. And one thing that we’re seeing play out in national data is that there is a lot of growth in certificate enrollment and short-term credential enrollment.

0:18:37.5 TZ: And often, many of us that have worked in two-year schools, you kind of have your credit side of the house. We even use that phrase, “side of the house,” and you have your non-credit side of the house. And never should the two touch. And there’s a lot of institutions that are making progress and thinking basically, all of these students are our students. And having sort of a one front door approach where anyone who’s interested in the institution, including students who are interested in short-term programs and credentials that might have that really rapid economic impact that they’re looking for, making sure that those students receive the same type of care and treatment as a credit student does. An institution that’s doing this really, really well, and we have some other resources on it if folks are curious, is Germanna Community College where if I enter that institution, whether I’m a credit student, a non-credit student, I wanna transfer, I want a six-week credential, no matter what my circumstance is, I go through the same admissions process, I have access to tutoring, I have access to advising, I have access to all of the services that are going to make me successful.

0:19:41.3 TZ: And one thing that I think is really important about this, thinking about that modern student mindset is, it validates that all these paths are valuable, that all of these paths are appropriate and useful, and doesn’t prioritize one over the other. And that signals to students, “Any of these pathways are going to yield the outcome that I want.” And I think that’s a real shift and that’s a real modern way of thinking about higher education, is the validation that any of these choices are going to help you reach those personal and professional goals.

0:20:19.9 CH: I think that’s spot on. It kind of reinforces this whole idea that we’ve been talking about throughout the conversation today, that what students are really looking for is that streamlined experience. They wanna see how all these pieces work together. They don’t know workforce from academic programs, different sides of the house. None of that makes sense to a prospective student. They’re looking for some kind of an education credential that’s going to help them to reach whatever career outcome they are seeking. So the more that we can do to try to build in that alignment between student goals and the services and academic opportunities that we offer, the more we’re going to see students engage with us, the more we’re gonna see our communities engage with us, the more we’re gonna see employers engage with us.

0:21:00.9 CH: In fact, recently we had a chance to talk to York Technical College down in South Carolina. One of the things that they’re trying to do is to bring together academic and career advising, so again, trying to drive home that point that these two things are not different things, they are part of the same conversation. They actually start off by making sure that they really do understand what the student’s career goals are, so right from the time a student is beginning that enrollment process, they’ll actually push out a survey to their students who are being onboarded to get a better sense of how confident the student is about their career path. It kinda gives them that early glimpse into whether the student might ultimately be vulnerable to stop out. If there’s not an alignment between what they’re doing on our campuses and where they’re trying to go professionally, chances are they’re gonna end up leaving our institution.

0:21:50.2 CH: So if the student is not confident about their path, the institution then tries to engage them a little bit more and make it a little bit easier to get students connected to additional information. They do more career exploration, helping students to identify and articulate their interests and their values and their skills. Again, just really trying to help students find that best fit program. So as you can imagine, this really does then help to bolster student confidence, and that confidence is going to then lead to better retention rates. At York Tech, they continue to engage with students throughout the whole process, looking to have them affirm their choices, having them start to prepare for those future careers with what they’re referring to as these inescapable touch points. All of this is with an eye toward that ultimate goal of students securing employment in their desired field.

0:22:43.7 CH: It seems to be working so far. They have actually shared with us that across the past four years, they’re averaging something like a 90% job placement rate, and at the same time, they’re seeing better persistence rates, they’re seeing better on-time graduation rates. So again, as we start to think about that modern student experience, I think this one serves as a great model for highlighting the importance of aligning those student expectations about their career goals and what we can actually offer to students and help them to stay on track toward reaching those goals.

0:23:15.1 AP: That’s amazing. There’s so much good insight in there and really actionable strategies for folks to lean in on a little bit. Okay, alright, here’s a toughy. If I had to hold you to one, just one priority that community colleges should focus on in the coming year, what would you choose and why?

0:23:39.5 CH: Ooh, okay. So, just one. Alright. If I had to choose one priority, I think I would double down on getting to know the students who are going to be entering community colleges. One of the things that we’ve been watching really closely here on the research team is sort of this increased level of concern about mental health challenges that incoming students are facing, that combined with some of the academic preparedness issues that Tara was talking about earlier, coming out of K-12. I think one of the things that is going to be challenging for community colleges is that the academic readiness and mental well-being are really two sides of the same coin. Many times, issues with one of those is gonna feed into the other, and it kinda creates this downward spiral for students. So we really need to maintain our awareness and resources for addressing each of those.

0:24:32.5 CH: So when I think about what community college leaders need to do in order to prepare for that, I think number one, this is really, really tough because our environments tend to be so under-resourced. But we actually have been working with some of our research partners in something that we refer to as our mental health collaborative. So for the first time, we’re having community colleges join us to learn more about different strategies that higher education is using to address the mental health concerns that are showing up on campus. So we’re seeing some really promising results there, definitely a great opportunity to learn from your peers and figure out how you can take that next big step toward addressing some of the mental health concerns that are showing up on college campuses today.

0:25:16.7 CH: On the other side of that coin, looking at the academic readiness piece, I think that the one no-regrets approach that I keep touting to a lot of institutional leaders is that it’s never been more important to assess students early in the term. A lot of the time when we’re talking to faculty members, deans, department chairs, etcetera, a lot of the things that we hear is that some faculty will wait until mid-terms to really have that first graded assignment, and that’s the first gut check that they get on how well-prepared students were for the material in their course. It’s not fair to students not knowing where you stand in a class until the middle of the term. That can be really, really tough to try to recover from. It’s tough for us as institutions to provide the right academic supports that late in the term, to try to turn something around for the students. And frankly, it’s pretty scary for the professors too, when they realize that the information that they’ve been sharing, the content that they have been lecturing about for weeks at that point maybe wasn’t resonating or landing with students, or they didn’t have the requisite knowledge in order to be successful in that class.

0:26:23.5 CH: So again, really been pushing a lot of institutional leaders to think through how we can introduce more early low-stakes assessments into classes. They’ll use your learning management system, make it automated if you need to. If there’s a concern about the time that would be invested there, there are a lot of really quick ways to do that. So I think those would be my big strategies, really thinking through preparedness for the students who are gonna be coming into our community colleges. How about you, Tara?

0:26:54.3 TZ: Yes. I think I’m thinking about preparedness in the same way you are, but also in a slightly different way. So one thing, to the lens of preparedness that we’re learning, again, through a paper that we have coming out next month, is that many of our students who aspire to go to two-year colleges, compared to their peers, according to survey data that we’ve just gathered, have some habits and some characteristics that makes navigating that recruitment and onboarding portion of college enrollment really difficult. So what we’re learning is students who aspire to go to a two-year school are receiving less family support, they’re starting their college search later, they’re less likely to have financial aid information given to them by an institution, and we’re basically seeing all these trends where students that we’re interacting with… And I think many of us feel this in our guts, but now we have some data that supports it. Many of these students are coming to us not only academically unprepared, but unprepared from a college knowledge perspective, where they might feel unsure of, again, not only the ROI of coming to college, but basically, “How do I do this? How do I actually get through making my… ” I like to call them student moves, all the things that we need to do to enroll.

0:28:09.4 TZ: So I think my thing that I would focus on if I was on campus is thinking about how to double down on creating recruitment and enrollment processes that really center the student experience and really focus on, “How do I get as much information to students as possible about the tangible things that are going to make their experience more sustainable? So, how do we convey financial aid information, especially in light of the changes that are happening to the FAFSA? How do I signal to prospective students that we do have mental well-being resources available on campus? How do we talk to students early about the fact that we might have child care options for them, before they even enroll in a class? And start to ease some of those fears and anxieties that students might feel, again, from the first conversation that we have with them. Because to the point before, these are students that are feeling potentially tentative about college and might already have one foot out the door. And really, we know that any kind of speed bump that’s lobbed at that student during that… Not only when they’re enrolled, from a retention perspective, but from a recruitment and onboarding perspective, that can be enough to steer our students off course.

0:29:18.4 TZ: Alongside that, we need to have workflows in place that make sure that we have the technical and staffing capacity to facilitate those one-on-one conversations and to facilitate to make sure that those messages get to students. And one thing I can say that we’ve done really well at EAB is that we have doubled down in our Navigate360 tool. We do have a recruitment management platform now that makes communicating to prospective students much easier and allows us to manage those conversations in a way that is a lot more personalized and a lot more targeted, so these students who potentially are facing these vulnerabilities get information that is really useful to them and is going to help them potentially tackle maybe some of the things that are happening in their personal life. An institution that we work with that’s doing this really well is Central Virginia Community College, and they have been using our recruitment management tool.

0:30:13.4 TZ: And the problem that they had before, which I think a lot of two-year schools have is, you kind of have this manual process with students where you’re sending one-off emails, maybe the language is very blanketed and not very targeted, and then students feel like, “Hmm, I’m not getting what I need,” or, “This really isn’t answering my question.” By using this approach, Central Virginia was able to actually increase their inquiry to applied students by 56%, and through the enrollment management tool, within the first six months, enrolled 344 students. And I will say too, these students who are getting this personalized and targeted communication, I would think, are more likely to be retained in the future, because they have a strong start at the institution. They have a strong foundation from which they’re launching into their academic pathway. So if I was queen of the world, where I would potentially start is really thinking about, again, that thoughtful onboarding of our students, that they have that strong foundation when they actually begin their coursework.

0:31:21.6 AP: Thank you so much, both of you, for your thoughtful answers. What I think I’m hearing both of you say is it’s really critical that we understand this next generation of community college learners and really be ready for the academic and non-academic gaps that they might be coming to the table with, and be prepared to address those early. Secondly and related, that two-year students have the most successful outcomes when they receive that early and consistent support from very first point of engagement and then across the entire journey, to career and beyond being the goal for so many. So connecting that enrollment and retention in a unified system, with a unified approach, seems so critical. And sort of as a sum, this tech-enabled seamless support and coordinated care can really go a long way here in rising to meet those rising student expectations. Well, I really appreciate both of your time today. Thank you a million for taking the time to share with us. Before we go, Tara, do you wanna take a minute to tell us about your latest research effort and the new paper that’s coming out soon?

0:32:39.6 TZ: Sure. So we have two things coming out. I’ll just reference them really quickly, one being, you may have heard me say today, referenced, we have a piece coming out that’s about understanding generation P and your upcoming cohort of prospective community college students. And this is survey data of about 3000 aspiring community college students where we kind of asked them questions about, “What will make college meaningful to you? What’s motivating you to select a two-year institution?” We asked them questions about their college search behaviors; when are they starting to search, who are they interacting with? And I think all of us, to the point about understanding our students, that this is gonna be really valuable. We also have a second piece where we’re going to talk about 10 imperatives for the next 10 years. So, what are 10 things that we need to get ahead of if we wanna be successful over the next decade? And what can we do now? What can we do five years from now? What can we do 10 years from now? But really starting to look forward and making sure that we’re charting a course that’s gonna set us up for success.

0:33:42.6 AP: Excellent. Thank you so much, Tara. I can attest that both of these papers are excellent and jam-packed with a lot of exciting insights…

0:33:49.5 TZ: Thank you.

0:33:51.7 AP: So about the next generation of community college learners and about your current students too, and short-term and long-term goals sort of considering. And you won’t wanna miss either one of them. Maybe you can come back to the podcast in a few weeks and give us a deeper dive, but for now…

0:34:09.8 TZ: I’d love that.

0:34:11.4 AP: Thanks to you both for joining us on Office Hours with EAB today.

0:34:17.1 CH: Thanks so much for the opportunity.

0:34:18.9 TZ: Take care, everyone.