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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According to the American Association of Community Colleges, the average age for a student at a two-year institution is 29. But what about those who fall well outside of that average? While most would agree that you are never too old to learn something new, some youngsters trying to move up the academic ladder have faced major hurdles. Others have persevered, proving that higher learning is advantageous for students of all ages.

 
12-Year-Old Denied College Access in Florida
 
Issues regarding young students have plagued colleges for some time, but one recent report that made national headlines was that of Anastasia Megan of Center Hill, Florida. At the age of 12, Anastasia, or “Annie” as she is called by friends and family, was more than ready for the academic rigors of college. She had completed most of her secondary work through homeschooling and had aced three college placement tests when she applied for enrollment at Lake-Sumter Community College.
 
The college, however, didn’t see things quite that way. According to a report at the Orlando Sentinel, instead of the school readily admitting the young woman, they set up multiple roadblocks to keep her off the college campus. First, the college voiced concern about Megan’s social maturity and then worried about her physical safety on a campus filled with older students. Next, the school required one of Megan’s parents to attend class with her and then decided a parent wouldn’t be allowed into the classroom.
 
Complaint filed with Department of Education
 

Despite the fact that community colleges are seeing higher levels of enrollment than ever before, not all these new students of higher education are getting the type of college experience for which they were hoping. According to a new survey conducted by Pearson Foundation and Harris Interactive, many community college students feel unprepared for the rigors of college coursework. Students are also getting shut out of classes at many schools, leaving many waiting much longer than two years to complete their degree and certification programs.

The recent survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Pearson Foundation in August and September, 2011. The survey polled 1,205 community college students on various issues regarding school, including ease of getting necessary courses and the level of difficult of college-level coursework compared to high school classes. The results of the survey have been published at the websites for both Pearson Foundation and Harris Interactive. A number of news sources have reported on the findings as well.
 
Preparation Lacking for Students Entering Community College
 
According to the Harris Interactive website, the survey found that more than half (52%) of all community college students felt unprepared for college-level coursework. Many felt their high schools did not adequately prepare them for higher education by placing a higher emphasis on basic skills, offering more courses and placing a greater challenge into courses that were offered.
 
Amy Evans, a spokeswoman for Cisco College in Texas, told the Abilene Reporter-News that about one-third of . . . read more

The famous “all-nighter” has been a mainstay at colleges for generations, particular during midterms and finals weeks, when students are cramming for exams. However, some community colleges across the country are now taking this popular college term to a whole new level. Instead of poring over books and lecture notes in the privacy of their bedrooms or dormitories, students are now hitting the road – and the books – to attend community college classes in the wee hours of the night. So who attends midnight classes and what is the point of offering them?  While we reported on the midnight-class phenomenon in 2009, we’ll take a closer look at how this trend has grown even more in the last two years.

Meeting Needs – and a Growing Demand – Head-On
 
Most community colleges across the country have seen enrollments grow by exponential numbers since the economy went south and more displaced workers began showing up on campus. The higher enrollment numbers have been difficult for some schools to accommodate, particularly in light of budget cuts that have also been a byproduct of a sluggish economy. The unfortunate result has been that many community colleges are forced to turn students away – an action these schools vehemently oppose. To help alleviate the problem, some schools are turning to unconventional approaches to the college experience.
 
“They would rather do anything than turn students away,” Norma Kent, spokesperson for the American Association of Community Colleges told USA Today. “If . . . read more

There is no doubt that success in college begins at the secondary level, with proper course selection, stellar academic performance and career focus during the high school years. However, students that come from disadvantaged backgrounds, or who have never had a family member attend college, face nearly insurmountable obstacles when preparing for the possibility of postsecondary education. To give some of these students a chance at a college degree, the Talent Search Program was born.

What is the Talent Search Program?
 
According to the Ed.gov website, the Talent Search Program is designed to help disadvantaged youth who show the potential to succeed in postsecondary education. This program identifies youth that fall into this category and provides them with the financial, career and academic support they need to succeed in high school and beyond. Talent Search also looks for individuals who have not yet completed their secondary or postsecondary education and provides necessary resources to encourage those individuals to return to the world of academia to earn their high school equivalency and a postsecondary degree or certificate.
 
The programs offered through the Talent Search Program include:
 
       ·         Aptitude assessments and counseling to prepare students for the rigors of college
       ·         Mentoring and tutorial programs to come alongside students and help them succeed
       ·         Counseling services to assist students with financial challenges that might arise
       ·         Career exploration resources to help students plan for their futures
       ·         Information about various postsecondary options available
       ·         Alternative education options for those returning to finish their secondary education
 
These programs . . . read more

Remedial education has become an integral part of the community college experience for many schools across the country. Students who need additional help in core curriculum like reading, writing and math can get the help they need to succeed in a college program and get a higher paying job once their degree is complete. However, remedial education is not without its share of controversy in circles of higher education. Some question the need for such courses and believe the money spent on remedial education could effectively be allocated elsewhere.

 Who Owns the Problem?
 
The first question regarding remedial education is who really owns the problem of high school graduates that are not adequately prepared for postsecondary education. Many believe it is the job of high schools to ensure students are college-ready when they graduate. However, a recent report at Inside Higher Ed explains that at this time, a standardized platform for college readiness simply does not exist. The article states, “Because colleges have not clearly articulated the skills that students must possess to be college-ready, students are blindsided when they are placed into remedial courses, and high schools don’t have a clear benchmark for preparing students for success.”
 
If high schools do not know what the college-readiness standards are, it can be nearly impossible for them to adequately prepare students for the academic rigors of postsecondary education. While the author of the article acknowledges that setting college standards across the country would not be easy, he does . . . read more
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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.