Trends and Current Issues

Get information on the latest trends and issues affecting community colleges today. Explore the impact of community colleges on the global economy, get information on how community colleges have changed over the years, and see how the latest technologies are being employed on campus.
View the most popular articles in Trends and Current Issues:
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6 New Features for Community College Students Heading Back to School this Fall
Check out the new features waiting for community college students heading back to school, from new security procedures, to campus housing, classes and degree programs.
Students heading to community college this fall may see some new features at their otherwise familiar campuses. Many schools have spent the summer months getting ready for the next academic year adding a wide range of options designed to attract students from all demographics. Check out five new features community college students may discover when they head back to the ivied halls this fall.
 
New Technology
 
As community colleges strive to bring their training in line with 21st century workforce needs, more technology is coming to schools across the country. For example, Diverse Issues in Higher Education reports that Prince George’s Community College has added innovative technology to the school’s state-of-the-art nursing program. The school invested $43 million into a new Center for Health Studies in an effort to accommodate a growing population of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) students at the school.
 
Simulated mannequins are now used inside the center to teach nursing students the finer points of diagnosis and patient care. The nursing lab also boasts transparent mirrors where professors can observe students during diagnosis trials. Updated equipment, including sonography and surgical tools, are similar to those used at nearby hospital facilities in the Prince George area.
 
“Since nursing and health fields in general are among the fastest growing jobs, we really wanted this building to help make room for more health science students,” Angela Anderson, dean of the division of Health Sciences at Prince George’s Community College, told Diverse Issues in Higher Education.
 
More Classes
 
Other community colleges across...
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5 Important Trends in Community Colleges in 2013
We look at some of the most prominent trends in community colleges, as schools work to redefine their place in the world of higher education.
Community colleges are a vital part of the world of higher education in the United States. With a long and illustrious history, these institutions have seen more than their share of trends over the decades. Check out these important trends in community colleges that are expected to continue throughout 2013.
 
More High School Students Taking Community College Classes
 
High school students interested in getting a head start on higher education are discovering the benefits in dual enrollment in community college classes while still in high school. The Wall Street Journal calls these head start programs a low-cost way for students to gain college credits, which makes it that much easier for them to attain a two or four-year college degree in the future. Community colleges are also now partnering with local high schools to provide remedial education that prepares them for college-level work prior to high school graduation.
 
More Traditional Students on Community College Campuses
 
The New York Times has reported an increase in high school graduates attending community college right after high school, with the intention of obtaining a four-year degree through a transfer program. With a sluggish economy and much focus on the extent of student debt today, community colleges are now seen as a viable and cost-effective alternative to getting a start in the world of higher education. As younger students begin to permeate community college campuses, the demographics and overall environment of community colleges may be changing as well.
 
Additional Campus Housing Available...
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5 Ways Community Colleges Have Improved in the Last Decade
We analyze some of the ways in which community colleges have changed and improved over the years, from online classes to new degree programs.
Community colleges have come a long way since their inception. Instead of falling into the ranks of the “fallback” plan, many of these schools have now become a first choice for students looking to change career direction or explore higher education for the first time. With a focus on the community college system in recent years, the changes on these campuses have been even more pronounced, with a wider variety of degree programs, services and even on-campus housing. Check out these five ways community colleges have evolved to become full-service institutions of higher education.

Greater Diversity in Degree Programs
 
Community colleges were typically known for their relatively generic, liberal arts degree programs, but not any longer. Today’s student can choose from a wide range of two-year degrees, ranging from fine arts to engineering. Many of the degree programs at community colleges today are industry-centric, meaning they focus on training individuals for jobs in the local market. Schools even partner with employers in the community to ensure the training students receive at the community college can take them right into the workforce.
 
Some of the unique and interesting programs you might find at your local community college today include:
 
       ·      Solar Energy Technology
       ·      Sustainable Agriculture
       ·      Performing Arts and Music
       ·      Computer Engineering
       ·      Exercise Science
       ·      Nursing and Healthcare
       ·      Manufacturing Engineering
 
Even fields like culinary arts, funeral home management and criminal justice can be studied at some community colleges. No matter what you are interested in...
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Published |
7 Problems with Community Colleges  And What Can be Done about Them
We examine a recent report by the 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges, which cited many of the problems these schools still face and what can be done to improve the experience for students.
The latest report from the American Association of Community Colleges “tells it like it is,” calling the American Dream imperiled and asking two-year colleges across the country to raise the bar on higher education standards. While the new report does offer some positive feedback on the current condition of community colleges in terms of growth and success, it also provides feedback on where schools are lacking and what can be done to bring these institutions to the place where they can serve students and the business community most effectively.  There are seven problems and seven solutions, providing a blueprint colleges can use to improve the quality of education and professional training across the board.

Shifting the Focus
 
The Chronicle of Higher Education explains that this report, titled, “Reclaiming the American Dream: Community Colleges and the Nation’s Future,” is the culmination of several months of research by a 38-member community. Those involved in the report include college presidents, education-policy experts and leaders of non-profit groups.
 
“This is a brutally honest report,” Walter Bumphus, president of the American Association of Community Colleges, told the Chronicle. “For years we have been focused on access, and now we need to turn our attention equally to student access. It takes courage to say we can do better.”
 
The report offers a new perspective to the condition of community colleges, beyond their commitment to an open-admission policy and providing access to students who are typically underserved. Once the students are enrolled in the school, their success...
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Community Colleges Leading the Pack in Digital Technology
Calling all tech-lovers! A new survey by Republicís Center for Digital Education and Converge Online has ranked the community colleges that most effectively integrate digital technology into daily campus life.
As community colleges grapple with large student populations and fewer resources, technology has become one solution for meeting the needs of more students for less money. Schools that adeptly integrate technology into daily campus life can accommodate a wide range of student schedules, without adding more manpower to handle the job. The Center for Digital Education and Converge Online recently recognized some of the community colleges across the country that are making the best use of technology to enhance the education experience. These schools topped the list of the Digital Community Colleges Survey as some of the most technically savvy schools in the nation.

About the Survey
 
The recent survey by the Center for Digital Education and Converge Online took a number of factors into consideration as they were determining the top community colleges for technology usage, including:
 
       ·         Integration of technology into campus life and course curriculum
       ·         Documentation of online admissions processes
       ·         Sufficient technology training for both faculty members and students
       ·         Efficient use of Web 2.0 social functions
       ·         Ability to accommodate distance education
       ·         Ample online services for students, including tutoring and advising services
       ·         Ability to utilize campus security alerts through technology
 
With a number of factors considered, it becomes apparent that those community colleges that made the grade in this current survey find ways to integrate digital technology into every facet of daily campus life.
 
“As community college enrollments continue to increase, school leaders are incorporating new technologies to enhance student services and improve course curriculum,” Cathilea Robinett, executive vice president...
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TRENDS AND CURRENT ISSUES