Community College Research Initiatives

March 5, 2020

Growth in Enrollment and Completion of STEM Community College Baccalaureate Degrees in Washington State

Washington State is experiencing substantial growth in the number of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) Community College Baccalaureate (CCB)1 programs. Student enrollments in STEM CCB programs are also growing, providing an opportune time to study these students and their enrollment in and completion of STEM CCB programs. This research on STEM CCB programs shows women complete degrees at nearly the same rate as men but female enrollments lag behind state and national statistics for STEM education. More closely reflecting national trends, the research shows disparities in enrollment by and completion of students of color compared to white and Asian students, though STEM CCB enrollees are more diverse than STEM enrollees in universities. Understanding these student demographics is important to informing state and institutional policy on STEM education where demand for STEM workers continues to grow in the state.

Read Data Note 6

Our Community College Research Initiatives (CCRI) group at the University of Washington has partnered with New America’s Center on Education and Skills (CESNA) to refresh and expand understanding of AB and CCB degrees nationally, looking again at state adoption and implementation of these degrees in the two- and four-year institutional contexts. With generous support from the Joyce Foundation and Lumina Foundation, our two-year project documents policies and processes; develops a set of consensus design principles and frameworks featuring evidence-based and equity-focused promising policies and practices on state adoption and institutional implementation; and disseminates lessons from past successes and failures.