Courses in College

Be inspired by the gamut of community college courses, from the arts to technical training. This section will cover everything from remedial classes to continuing education. Community colleges offer courses for youth and teens, individuals looking for a new hobby or skill, or those behind bars looking for a second chance.
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In 2012, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology issued a dire warning that if the United States did not boost programming to produce one million more graduates in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), the nation would lose it’s status as the leader in those fields. Since then, several national science organizations, including the National Research Council, the National Academies of Sciences, and the National Academy of Engineering have called on community colleges to lead the charge in STEM education in order to keep up with demand.

High on the list of priorities is preparing students early for STEM studies. Experts agree that children should be exposed to STEM career pathways in elementary school, and should have continued exposure through their middle school and high school years. Classroom experiences are important, but George Boggs, the CEO Emeritus of the American Association of Community Colleges, posits that visits to college campuses, involvement in research opportunities, advanced STEM studies in high school, science fairs, and summer camps are also necessary in order to get schoolchildren excited about careers in STEM.

According to Boggs, another critical component in devising successful STEM programs is developing curriculum articulation between high schools and community colleges to reduce the number of students who have to take remedial courses once they get to college. In math especially, community college students demonstrate a lack of preparedness that serve as a barrier to many of them pursuing careers in a STEM-related field. Additionally, Boggs points out that . . . read more


Each year students and colleges in the United States spend about $3 billion on remediation. Remedial courses, or college prep courses as they are known at some institutions, are required for students who do not meet pre-determined performance standards for admittance into a college-level course. Most often, community college students who require remediation need it in English or math, or both.

The most recent statistics on the matter are sobering: About half of all community college students are placed in remedial courses, which 40 percent of students never complete. Nearly 70 percent of these students never make it to a college-level math class either. Further compounding the problem is that adjunct faculty members, who typically have the least experience teaching needy populations and often suffer from a general lack of institutional support, teach approximately 75 percent of remedial courses offered at community colleges.

This is a problem seen nationwide. Over 46 percent of college-bound students in Maryland need some form of remediation. In California, the need for remediation lengthens the time students need to attain an associate’s degree by one full year and adds 20 credits to their coursework. In Virginia, 77 percent of students in the state’s community college system that are referred to remedial math courses do not complete them within three years. All this added coursework causes budgetary concerns for colleges that have to add more and more sections of non-credit courses, and worries employers who are concerned . . . read more


Community college campuses have historically had a reputation for having many older students who have returned to college after raising a family, serving in the military, or working for many years. While the average age of a community college student is still 29, there are many younger faces beginning to walk the halls of community colleges. In fact, from 2002 to 2011, the number of high school students enrolled in college courses increased by 67 percent, to 1.3 million students.
 
High School Partnerships Fuel Enrollment
 
This shift towards a younger student population is largely the result of partnerships with local high schools. Kids as young as 13 and 14 years of age are enrolling in college courses and earning what’s known as dual credit – courses that count toward both high school and college graduation requirements. General education courses such as English, math and science are far and away the most popular courses taken by high school-aged students. But others take advantage of non-core course offerings such as humanities, fine arts, and physical education, as well. The result is that students are graduating with an associate’s degree before they even graduate from high school.
 
Baltimore County’s Diploma to Degree Program

 

In Baltimore County, Maryland, students who demonstrate exceptional academic skills can enroll in the Diploma to Degree Program. The program represents a partnership between several local public high schools and the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC). The program provides free tuition for participants, so . . . 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

College is a pricy endeavor today, but at least one community college is looking for a way to help students cut the cost of a college education. Tidewater Community College in Virginia has announced plans to debut a textbook-free degree program next year. College officials estimate the pilot program could cut the cost of the degree by as much as a third by the time graduation rolls around.
 
Learning Business without Textbooks
 
The Richmond-Times Dispatch reports that Tidewater Community College will be offering an associate of science degree in business administration this fall that will require no textbook purchases throughout the program. Instead, students will use open-source educational materials, known as OER, which they will be able to access through the school’s learning management system on smart phones or tablets. The college will be the first to offer a complete degree program without any textbooks required.
 
The program was developed as a partnership between Tidewater Community College and Lumen Learning; an Oregon-based company that helps schools across the country incorporate OERs into their learning plans. The founder of Lumen, David Wiley, has advocated for open-education for the past 15 years, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. However, no school has been open to the concept of a completely textbook-free degree program until now.
 
“It’s frustrating to watch these resources keep getting created, and then watch nobody use them and the students get no benefit,” Wiley stated at The Chronicle of Higher Education.
 
The Textbook Zero Model
 
The company developed the first . . . read more
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Recent Articles
Community Colleges Prep for the Future by Focusing on STEM
Community Colleges Prep for the Future by Focusing on STEM
As careers in science, technology, engineering, and math become more prevalent, community colleges are shifting their focus to meet demand and secure their place in a rapidly changing educational landscape.
Community Colleges: Bigger Buck Bang than For-Profits
A recent study reveals that job applicants with a credential or associate’s degree from a community college have slightly better chances of getting a job interview than students who attend a for-profit college or university. Since community colleges are much more budget friendly than for-profit institutions and have much better job placement results, community colleges are a much better option for employment-minded students.
Freshman Year in College Looks More and More Like High School
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.
Courses in College

Remedial Education

60% of community college students need remedial courses. This section covers the classes and new developments to help students who need remedial coursework. Learn why the gap exists, how schools are combatting it and what you can do to avoid remedial classes. Get tips on mastering college math, learn what you can do to prevent repeating a class and hear what the experts have to say about remedial class placement.

Kids and Teens

Community college is not just for adults. Learn about all the programs available to children and teens too. From aiding high school dropouts to ramped up summer school programs, community colleges work hard to encourage the pursuit of higher education to students of all ages.

Online Courses

Online classes give you the flexibility to learn off-campus, often at times most convenient for your schedule. Identify 10 degrees you can earn online, weigh the pros and cons of online education and find out how you can take online classes for free.

Class Schedules

Setting your class schedule with community colleges gives you flexibility and many options.

Support for Businesses

Local business are taking advantage of special training programs at community colleges. From OSHA training to a collaboration with Goldman Sachs, community colleges are training employees for small and large businesses across the country.

Fun & Elective Classes

Community colleges offer a gamut of fun and interesting classes, and we give ideas that may strike inspiration for your elective choices. Learn homesteading skills, study paranormal investigating, or earn a scuba diving certificate all at a community college near you. This sections identifies some of the fun non-credit courses available at your local campus.

Continuing Education

Community colleges are filled with continuing education opportunities. Whether you are looking for a resume booster, new skills to earn a promotion or want to earn your degree while incarcerated, community college may be a good choice for you.