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Community Colleges

The road to employment—Ivy Tech’s Machine Tool Technology program, developed by employers in need of skilled workers, offers certificate, technical certificate and associate degree options ranging from 18 to 60 credit hours.

From construction workers and machinists to occupational therapists and fire fighters, skilled laborers are in high demand—and shortages of employees are making it difficult for companies to fill jobs. Community colleges are well-positioned to train workers to fill these skills gaps.

TRAINING FOR EMT JOBS—At Rowan College at Burlington County’s TEC Building, employees of the paramedics company Virtua can put their tuition reimbursement benefits to use. RCBC is growing and improving its Health Sciences programs in partnership with the company.

There is no one-size-fits-all partnership between the community college and industry. Arrangements can range from brief partnerships that fill immediate hiring needs to long-term strategic relationships that provide ongoing training and development for current and future employees.

The Industry Workforce Needs Coalition, a national network of businesses striving to increase the number of skilled workers, outlines three separate levels of industry-aligned partnerships:

Skill-building—Former coal industry workers may find them-selves at the University of Wyoming researching how to use water byproducts from oil and gas wells.

Universities are creating scholarships and entrepreneurial opportunities to help the unemployed and underemployed gain footing in an ever-greening economy.

Former Ivy Tech president Tom Snyder's Snyder’s book, "The Community College Solution," portrays community colleges as the true pathway to the American dream.

Former Ivy Tech president Tom Snyder's Snyder’s book, The Community College Solution, portrays community colleges as the true pathway to the American dream. But more important, it is a pathway not burdened by overwhelming debt.

Asian and Pacific Islander Family Night at Des Moines Area Community College.

Des Moines is becoming more diverse, with a growing population of Latinos, Asians and Africans. The events are aimed at creating a college-going culture in local communities, and give families direction on career choice, applying to college, and paying for college.

Strengthening the community: An entire residence hall at Onondaga Community College is now dedicated to about a dozen themed living/learning communities—proving you need not be at a four-year institution to experience the living/learning experience.

A dozen or so living-learning communities at Onondaga Community College are designed around themes such as wellness, criminal justice and STEM. About 30 percent of students who live on campus will be a part of such of community this school year.

Fred Lokken, a professor of political science at Truckee Meadows Community College in Nevada, sees several reason why community colleges have made big strides in online learning.

Online learning has significantly changed the landscape of higher education over the last decade. In a survey by the Instructional Technology Council , 94 percent of students said their online courses were equivalent or superior to traditional courses.

Eight years ago administrators laying plans for Guttman Community College in New York City set a goal: The school would make getting students to graduation a primary mission. The approach is now proliferating across the community college sector.

Community colleges have been in the news during the current election cycle, due to plans by some politicians—including President Obama and Sen. Bernie Sanders—who suggest the federal government should provide free education for any citizen willing to put in the bookwork.

But so far this is just talk for colleges, which have yet to plan for the contingency of becoming a gratis educational option for the populace.

Two- and four-year colleges across the nation have plugged the black hole of remediation with a range of programs designed to keep students enrolled while steering them toward greater levels of success.