The tireless Joanne Jacobs has a great post at Community College Spotlight on Certificates are 'direct path' to success. She points out that an associate degree doesn't really help unless you get the full degree - as she puts it - some college doesn't help.
Certificates on the other hand have a greater return on investment. They "can deliver greater income". Combine that fact with the low numbers of Community College graduate numbers and certificates really start to look like a better focus for students. Completion rates for certificates are "2-3 times higher".
It is what we have found here - less time required, lower cost = greater completion rates.
Some kids are not going to do well in college. Getting them into high quality certificate programs is a far better option and doesn't bury them in debt with a low chance of success.