Are Guns Coming to Community College Campuses?

A string of tragedies at schools across the country in recent years has many community colleges taking a serious look at their security policies. At the forefront is the question of whether guards and officers on community college campuses should be allowed to carry firearms. While some college administrators make good argument for the allowance of weapons, others have equally compelling arguments against the practice. These community colleges offer a small sample of the schools that are grappling with the issue of guns on their campuses.
 
Holyoke Community College Heeding Massachusetts Report
 
Holyoke Community College in Massachusetts is taking an in-depth look at the possibility of arming campus guards after a report on campus violence prevention was released for Massachusetts schools. The report, which was published by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, recommends that “sworn campus police officers should be armed and trained in the use of personal or specialized firearms.” The report was compiled in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech mass shooting in 2007 and another incident at Northern Illinois University in 2008.
 
According to mLive, the Holyoke Community College Campus Safety Committee is now considering arming the school’s nine full-time police officers. Currently, the employees, who are all graduates of either the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Academy or the Massachusetts State Police Training Academy, are not allowed to carry guns on campus. However, after a lockdown situation on the college campus in February, the question of arming guards to handle active shooter situations . . . read more

Entrepreneurship has long been the backbone of the American economy, providing jobs and opportunities for U.S. residents across a broad spectrum of industries. To help budding entrepreneurs see their dreams of business ownership come to fruition, community colleges across the country are providing the training and education these aspiring capitalists need to succeed in their endeavors. Check out a sampling of what prospective and experienced business owners can find from their own local community colleges.
 
Entrepreneur Training through the California Community College System
 
Community college students and others in California looking for help in meeting their entrepreneur dreams can find the assistance they need through the Business and Entrepreneurship Center offered by the California Community College System. This program brings together business, industry and community leaders in the state to provide the information and budding entrepreneurs need to succeed. The center also serves as a resource for business improvements throughout the state.
 
The Business and Entrepreneurship Center works with a variety of partners, including non-profit, private and public organizations to build strong businesses throughout California. By strengthening local business, this center strives to improve the economic health of the state through job and wealth creation and retention. The centers include locations throughout California, including sites in Redding, Oceanside, Bakersfield, Napa, Santa Ana, Aptos, and San Luis Obispo.
 
Alabama Community College System Offers New Network for Entrepreneurs
 
Another state that is taking entrepreneur training to the next level is Alabama. The Alabama Community College System is building a network of entrepreneurs to . . . read more

The “skilled worker shortage” has become popular fodder for educators and business leaders alike. The perceived shortage has pushed for more partnerships between businesses and local community colleges and even more effective vocational programs at the high school level. However, some economists and other experts argue that the labor shortage is a myth, construed by educators and others who are interested in promoting their own interests by expanding the base of mid-level skills in the country. So is the skilled worker shortage a hard fact or mere myth? The answer may be much more complex than one might think.
 
Jobs Sitting Empty
 
One compelling argument in favor of the skilled worker shortage is the fact that many jobs at this level are sitting vacant today. Bloomberg Business Week reports that as many as 600,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States remain unfilled. Those numbers come from a recent report published by Manufacturing Institute.
 
According to the Business Review, New York alone could see a worker shortage of 350,000 by 2018, as the need for skilled employees in the technology sector continues to rise. The Society for Human Resource Management cites numbers from the McKinsey Global Institute that show the world could be short 40 million college-educated workers by 2020. Developed areas of North America and Europe alone could see a worker gap of up to 16-18 million workers by 2020.
 
While the numbers sound grand, individuals are urged to take a closer look at the data to determine precisely . . . read more

Disturbingly low standards at community colleges nationwide translate to lower chances of success in the job market after college, a new study finds. Researchers discovered that although community college instructors appear to be lowering the bar for first-year students, many were unable to even meet the lower academic standards in math and literacy. This dismal picture suggests multiple layers of reform may be necessary to ensure students are ready for the professional workforce at graduation time.
 
Report Gauges College and Career Readiness
 
The new report, titled, “What does it Really Mean to be College and Work Ready?” was compiled by the National Center on Education and the Economy. The non-profit groups studies academic standards, instructional systems and assessment. Researchers looked at seven community colleges in seven states, looking at tests, textbooks and assignments given to first-year college students. Colleges were chosen at random and school size ranged from 3,000 to 30,000 students, according to Inside Higher Ed.
 
The study focused on popular career training programs offered by community colleges across the country, including accounting and business, automotive technology, criminal justice, early childhood education and information technology. Researchers focused on first-year students in these programs, and focus was placed on reading, writing and mathematics skills necessary to master these early college courses.
 
Lower Standards Still Not Met by Many Students
 
Researchers discovered that the bar set by college instructors in first-year courses was fairly low in terms of both reading and writing expectations. However, Education Week reports that many students are . . . read more

Massive Open Online Courses, dubbed MOOCs by most educators, have become the buzzword for higher education. Providing free, online education on a global, rather than a campus, level has serious implications for the world of higher education overall. Despite the obvious benefits of MOOCs (free, readily available, etc.), many educators are skeptical of their actual value in the real college experience. How exactly did MOOCs make it on the scene and what does their future hold? The answers may depend on who you ask.
 
Anatomy of a MOOC
 
According to the Washington Post, a Massive Open Online Course is a college-level class offered for free online. The courses are available to anyone with an Internet connection, whether or not they are currently enrolled in a college or university. The classes allow students to study and learn on their own time, and at any location, unlike traditional courses that follow a set schedule in a classroom.
 
MOOCs have garnered interest from a number of institutions of higher education, particularly for-profit schools and newer startups in online education. Coursera, one of the best known companies offering MOOCs at this time, has partnered with institutions like Harvard and Stanford to bring the MOOC model to those prestigious college campuses. Other MOOC companies, including Udacity and edX are also busy signing up college partners for their online courses.
 
What’s Good
 
There are obvious benefits to MOOCs, at least on the surface of the concept. Free college classes could change the face of higher education in the . . . read more
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