Community Colleges

A clearer pathway to student success

New book offers a prescription for improving community college outcomes

As director of the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, Thomas Bailey is the nation’s preeminent scholar of community colleges. After recognizing that myriad reform efforts directed at community colleges showed little evidence of improved outcomes, he and his CCRC colleagues, Shanna Smith Jaggars and Davis Jenkins, set out to learn why and what can be done about it.

From overseas to the American community college

Growing an international presence on two-year-college campuses

Lone Star College has the fourth highest number of international students among U.S. two-year institutions, but the Houston-area school does not recruit abroad aggressively. Like many community colleges, it relies on local immigrant communities to spread the word with friends and family in foreign countries.

Why tuition-free community college is a bad idea

The tuition-free notion diverts revenue otherwise dedicated to institutional growth and innovation.

In 2015, many college-bound Americans will have some public higher learning or post-secondary education experience at the 1,132 community, technical, municipal, and county colleges across the Nation. In fact, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 7.7 million Americans are already enrolled in Community Colleges.

Changing the expectations around technical education

Needs of today’s industry involve liberal education components

Technical education is often touted as solely a means of getting a job. There is no doubt that it’s a key reason students enroll in our programs. And yet if all we do is give our students the tools to secure an entry-level position, then we have failed as educators. We have failed the student and we have failed the workforce.

Community colleges moving further into baccalaureate territory

California may join 21 other states whose community colleges are permitted to offer baccalaureate degrees

Fifteen California community colleges received initial approval in January to offer four-year degrees in a limited number of specialties as soon as next year.

If approved, the plan could—at a fraction of the cost of four-year schools—produce thousands of new workers in a state that needs more employees in areas such as healthcare and the automotive industries.

Casino colleges: Ka-ching ka-ching

Over the past decade, an ever increasing number of states have enacted legislation authorizing gaming licenses to operate on both private and public lands.

Based in part on geographic proximity and mission complementarity, higher education institutions cater to the fast changing skills development needs of the gaming industry. This is especially true in Las Vegas where UNLV supports the International Gaming Institute which features its prestigious Executive Development Program. UNLV provides knowledge on most aspects of casino management and with courses geared toward executive levels—future leaders of the next iteration of casinos and resorts are trained.

Campus child care declines at community colleges

Being a student parent is associated with unmet financial need, low levels of completion and heavy debt

The number of college students with dependent children has been growing, with 4.8 million U.S. undergrads raising children.

Yet, campus-based child care has been declining, according to a new analysis of 2013 U.S. Department of Education data by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

Obama proposes free community college tuition

Plan could cost $60 billion over 10 years

President Barack Obama is not acting like someone whose party suffered heavy defeats in the recent midterm election. Last month he previewed America’s College Promise, an ambitious plan that could help his earlier goal of increasing the number of college graduates to become a reality.

“Put simply, I’d like to see the first two years of community college be free for everyone who is willing to work for it,” Obama said in making the announcement. “It is something we can accomplish and it’s something that will train our workforce so we can compete with anyone in the word.”

Automating the reverse transfer student data exchange

National Student Clearinghouse data will identify students eligibility for an associate degree

More transfer students will now have the chance to obtain an associate degree—with-out extra administrative burden—thanks to a Lumina Foundation grant that National Student Clearinghouse received to provide an automated solution for exchanging reverse transfer student data.

Community colleges redefine town-gown

Close ties to surrounding communities are a long-standing tradition, but in today’s economic climate the pressure is on to serve residents and demonstrate value

The mission of the community college has expanded to include spurring economic development, serving as a cultural center and improving the quality of life for the surrounding community. While positive town-gown relations have long been pivotal for these institutions, the decline in state funding across the country has increased the pressure to demonstrate value to the public.

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