An analysis of the impact of the A+ schools program on student enrollment, certificate or degree completion and transitioning to a four-year university
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The purpose of this research was to determine the impact of the A+ Schools Program on students utilizing A+ funds to enter a mid-western community college, obtain a certificate or an associate degree, and/or transition to a four-year institution. This study utilized pre-existing data gathered by the A+ Coordinator and the Assistance Institutional Researcher at the mid-western community college and the Department of Higher Education database. Participants consisted of A+ students and non-A+ students enrolled full-time at a mid-western community college in the state of Missouri during the initial eleven years in which the A+ Program incentives were made available. No significant impact of the A+ Schools Program was found on increased enrollment or the three measures of success at the mid-western community college. Comparing statewide data identified a significant difference between A+ and non-A+ students who enrolled in all public community colleges in Missouri. While data reflecting gender differences for certificate attainment was lacking, the research found no significant difference among gender categories of A+ students and non-A+ students regarding enrollment or the three measures of success. Recommendations include: (a) increase connections with K - 16 educators, (b) encourage all high schools in Missouri to adopt A+ Schools Program requirements, (c) promote vocational programs, and (d) develop a common framework for effective collection, analysis and use of data on student outcomes at the community college level.