Community Colleges

MOOC data analysis for remedial education

A case study of Cuyahoga Community College

Officials at Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio have developed a MOOC consistent with its mission as a two-year school that provides developmental education, particularly in math, to get prospective students up to speed.

Help wanted: Risk-taking community college presidents

In a new study, researchers defined the top five traits shared by community college presidents whose institutions have high student success numbers.

A “willingness to take significant risks to advance student success” is a quality often overlooked by hiring boards in the search for community college leaders, says Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence program.

Freshmen at some community colleges moving to front of line for class registration

Greater attention is being placed on helping incoming freshmen not just enroll but also start off their college careers on a positive note

Many community college students take much longer than the intended two years to complete their studies, or don’t ever wind up graduating at all. Traditionally, administrators focused on accommodating those who may have credits but little direction.

Now, at some schools, greater attention is being placed on helping incoming freshmen not just enroll but also start off their college careers on a positive note. The idea is that they will stay and finish within two years.

Two-year college students face more money stress

Two-year students typically work more hours than four-year students and may have families to provide for

Continuing Education and Industrial Center at Randolph Community College

A 46,000-square-foot abandoned furniture warehouse has been given new life as the continuing education and industrial center at Randolph Community College in Asheboro, N.C.

Challenge

As with many community colleges, Randolph was in need of expansion due to large enrollment growth. Overflowing parking lots as well as classrooms in the machining program at the school led to an overhaul of the old Klaussner Furniture warehouse, located adjacent to the campus’ Health & Science Center and to Randolph Early College High School.

Serving the Community

Two-year institutions making a bigger commitment to community outreach

Maintaining healthy town/gown relations enhances campus life and generally makes the institutional mission easier to achieve. In recent years, however, community college officials are finding that efforts must go beyond providing cultural venues that locals can access.

Enrollment Slows Nationally

It had been predicted for years and now it looks like it is finally coming to pass. No, not the Mayan calendar apocalypse. After years of steep increases, higher education enrollments are slowing, almost across the board. In its “Projections of Education Statistics to 2021” report, the Department of Education predicts that overall higher education enrollment will rise only about 15 percent from 2010 to 2021, after witnessing a 46 percent increase from 1996 to 2010.

One and Done

While community colleges are supposed to be two-year institutions, many students take longer than that to graduate. Some four-year institutions, meanwhile, allow ambitious students to earn a bachelor’s degree in three years. Pima Community College (Ariz.) has come up with a new twist to the accelerated degree trend, giving East Campus students enrolling in the Sprint Schedule pilot program the chance to be done in just one. 

Continuous Education, on Campus and Online

Employers believe their employees must be committed to continuing education to remain on top of their industries and their jobs, according to research commissioned by Destiny Solutions in October 2011.

“The Voice of the Employer on the Effects and Opportunities of Professional Development,” based on a study of 200 employers across North America, reveals that  70 percent of employers feel their employees need continuous training just to keep up with their jobs. Ninety-five percent of employers financially support employee continuing education.

Where the Workers Are

Community colleges are creating customized workforce development programs to address the shortage of skilled workers in the U.S. and help retain jobs that might otherwise be offshored.

The recession hit Michigan, home of the nation’s automotive industry, hard in 2008 and 2009. For Autocam Corp. in Grand Rapids, this meant taking drastic action to protect its business and 1,500-employee workforce. As the precision manufacturer of automotive components for equipment manufacturers and suppliers saw its business dwindle, it cut back its machinists’ standard 50-hour work week to 45 hours, then 40 hours, says Jim Woczynski, Autocam’s human resource director. Even then, some layoffs had to be made.

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