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Community Colleges

Here’s some seemingly daunting news for community colleges: South Dakota is the only state with a two-year college completion rate over 40 percent. That stat is from a new report released by the Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. North Dakota comes in second for two-year college completion rates, with 38 percent.

artist painting

Futurist Richard Florida moved the needle with his book The Rise of the Creative Class (Basic Books, 2002)—establishing creativity as a 21st century learning and earning skill, and a driving force of economic growth, jobs creation, and cultural enrichment in today’s competitive global society.

When asked to reflect on the role of higher education in preparing future workers, Bill Gates replied: “Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself...At Microsoft there are lots of brilliant ideas but the image is that they all come from the top—I’m afraid that’s not quite right.” Gates reminds us of the importance of practical, real-world, learning by doing for tomorrow’s Smartcollar science and technology workers.

Genesee Community College, located in upstate New York, and LIM College in Manhattan, have inked a new articulation agreement that allows GCC Fashion Business program students who have completed the outlined requirements to enter the program of their choice as juniors at LIM, which offers majors in Fashion Merchandising, Management, Marketing, and Visual Merchandising. ...

Ross Gittell will utilize his background in university teaching, strategic planning, and management as the new chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire, effective February 1. He succeeds J. Bonnie Newman, interim chancellor since August 2011. Gittell was previously a professor at the University of New Hampshire’s school of business and economics and is considered a foremost authority in the state for economic analysis and forecasting.

Because community colleges serve such a diverse population and face unique challenges separate from their four-year peers, it’s important to monitor and analyze trends specific to these institutions. A recent policy brief from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) does just that, giving a 20-year overview of trends in educational attainment.

Tom Snyder

In the 1970s, I began what was three decades in the automotive industry. It was a good place to be. U.S. automakers had enjoyed decades of growth and profitability, and it seemed like history would continue to repeat itself. Well, we all know what happened next. U.S. automakers grew somewhat complacent, seeming to take their good fortune for granted. As concepts like competition, market share and customer service received little attention, innovation stalled.

A student speaking with her advisor

Community colleges have always been a popular place for students to begin their higher education career. Often smaller, closer, and more affordable than their four-year counterparts, they can help students get accustomed to college-level work or simply save on tuition. The national goal of producing more college graduates has increased the focus on ensuring students actually transfer on. Keith Coates, a student services advisor at Columbus State Community College, Delaware Campus (Ohio), reports that they’re seeing a lot of students who want to transfer but may not know to where.

Veterans returning to civilian life will find it easier to get education and employment with a new “memorandum of understanding” between California Community Colleges (CCC) and the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet).