College Policies

Community college polices are frequently being updated. Keep current on the latest bans, free speech initiatives and safety protocols. Learn what schools are doing to increase funding in the midst of widespread budget cuts, determine the best practices to ensure safety on campus and get the latest on school controversies and student rights.
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Community colleges have experienced a surge in enrollment, thanks to an economic slowdown that has resulted in fewer graduates being able to afford four-year universities right out of high school. Rising unemployment rates have also contributed to the increased enrollment at these institutions, as laid-off adults head back to school to get training in recession-proof industries.

This trend works well into President Obama's plan to raise graduation rates at colleges across the country over the next few years. However, the increase in students also requires additional funding to accommodate them – which is much easier said than done in the current economic climate. 
 
Stimulus Funding and Community Colleges
 
Stimulus money has been a help to many community colleges striving to provide courses and support to the new influx of students. However, stimulus funding is not expected to continue into the next academic year, leaving many institutions floundering for ways to make up the budget shortfall at a time when belts have already been tightened past the comfortable point.
 
In fact, the large majority of community colleges across the country have absolutely no idea how they will balance their budgets once stimulus funding ends, according to a recent study from The Education Policy Center at the University of Alabama.
 
According to a report at Inside Higher Ed, the annual survey of state directors of community colleges revealed that only 11 states have a plan in place to balance their budgets once stimulus money is gone. By the . . . read more

Community colleges across the country are leading the green revolution, as administrators are tuning into the many benefits an environmentally responsible campus provides. One particular institution, Butte College in Northern California, will be the first college in the country to boast a positive grid campus, producing more clean energy than it uses, according to a press release. While Butte College is setting the standard for greener campuses, other colleges are following suit with a variety of creative programs designed specifically for sustainability.
 
Paying for such environmental changes can be a hefty undertaking, as colleges like Butte have found. However, the federal government has pitched in to help Butte fund its sustainability efforts through low-interest loans like Clean Renewable Energy Bonds and benefits from the American Recovery and Investment Act. Other colleges have also found funding assistance through state and federal government agencies, while still others have footed the bill for some of their projects themselves or through private donations.
 
Butte College
 
By May of next year, Butte College will become the first positive grid campus in the country. At that time, the college predicts that it will be producing more sustainable, on-site solar energy than it actually uses; in fact, Butte will become the biggest energy-producing college in the world. The excess energy Butte generates will become a positive source of income for the college, according to Dr. Diana Van Der Ploeg, Butte College's president.  
 
"Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do," . . . read more

Profanity is generally frowned upon at primary and secondary schools across the country. In fact, one high school in Connecticut has issued a policy that allows police to hand out pricey tickets to students caught in the act of cussing. The rule is designed to teach students self control and prohibit profanity in the school, where it doesn't belong. Despite the $103 price tag, these tickets have been supported by the majority of the parents and students at Connecticut High School, according to a report in the New Haven Register.

Most of us agree with rules against foul language used by kids, but what about when those kids reach college campuses? Aren't they considered adults, capable of making their own choices, even if the words they choose are offensive to people around them?
 
According to a community college in Mississippi, the answer is a resounding no. This school is cracking down on cussing on campus, and some say they are violating First Amendment rights in the process. One particular case has garnered the attention of the country, putting the usually quiet campus in a bit of a predicament.  
 
The Case of Isaac Rosenbloom
 
According to a report in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Isaac Rosenbloom is a 29-year-old student at Hinds Community College. One day, he and a few other students remained after class to discuss their grades with the professor. Rosenbloom was distressed about the low grade he had received on an assignment that was turned in . . . read more

The Peralta Community College district in California has recently been the subject of intense scrutiny since announcing its plans to establish "free speech" zones around their campuses. According to the Mercury News, school district officials are currently working on a policy to limit where and how groups can speak on campus.

These proposed free speech zones have rankled students and faculty alike and caused many to question whether First Amendment free speech is in jeopardy in venues where the public exchange of ideas have always been welcomed. However, Peralta is not the only college environment where free speech platforms have been limited. This idea has actually been in existence for a decade, and every college campus that has instituted free speech zones has come under fire for their plans.
 
Free Speech on College Campuses
 
Since the 1960s, college students have led many protests against social issues and stood up for policies and legislation they have believed to be a violation of their rights. Protests during that time primarily revolved around the Vietnam War, but grumblings against the "Establishment" and other social policies were also the topics of debate.
 
During the final two decades of the previous centuries, protests on college campuses cooled significantly. However, concerns over race and sex have emboldened students once again, according to a report from the First Amendment Center. As college officials have become concerned over potential uprisings that may result from such demonstrations, limits on when and where students can exercise their First Amendment rights . . . read more

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was designed to create jobs and promote economic recovery after the recent recession. Many community colleges are cashing in on stimulus funding that allows them to increase their student loads and improve training that will help students find lucrative careers after graduation.  Learn about how these community colleges are using stimulus monies to their fullest advantage.

Medical Technology
 
Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio and Los Rios Community College District in Sacramento, California have received money to participate in a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services program. This program is designed to train students on how to convert current medical records to a computerized, paperless system. This program will be a part of the national effort to meet requirements that every U.S. citizen will have an electronic medical record by the year 2014, according to TMCnet.com.
 
Cuyahoga Community College, along with 17 other community colleges in the area, is slated to receive about $7 million the first year, with a subsequent $7 million the following year. The Los Rios District, along with 14 colleges in California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii, will share $5.4 million in federal funding for the first year and another $5.3 million the second, according to a report in the Sacramento Bee.
 
The program will involve cross training students in medical and information technology fields. Students will be able to complete their training in six months or less in some locations, getting them out . . . read more
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Nearly 52 percent of community college students in the United States begin their freshman year in at least one remedial class. These courses, which help students acquire knowledge and skills they should have acquired in high school, do not count toward their degree requirements. As a result, students are taking longer than ever to obtain their degree, if they obtain one at all.
Federal Student Loans – Unavailable at 20% of Community Colleges
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While many factors have contributed to the current decline in community college enrollment, the recovering economy is chief among them. As more and more people return to the workforce, fewer students enroll in courses at community colleges. Many institutions must now deal with budget shortfalls in the face of double-digit declines in enrollment.
College Policies

College Funding

Community colleges are coping with major budget deficits, and this section covers how students are being impacted. From local fundraising efforts to federal grants, we’ll explore how community colleges are staying afloat despite funding cuts and cost increases.

Campus Safety

Community college campuses should be a safe place, and these policies, controversial or not, aim to achieve that goal. Schools have banned sex offenders from campus, allowed security to carry guns and installed surveillance cameras in an effort to keep students safe. Here we’ll cover the latest crime and safety policies in place on campuses across the country.

School Controversies

From controversial reform to cursing in the classroom, our articles provide the latest news on school controversies. Here you’ll find information on some of the hot button topics related to community colleges.

Student Rights

From free speech to free dress, what rights do students have or relinquish on campus? Smoking bans, faith based initiatives and rights violations are just a few of the topics covered here. Don’t miss out on the latest information on student rights on community college campuses.