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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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

College is an important step for nearly any young adult who wants to embark on a rewarding and lucrative profession after graduation. Unfortunately, many of these students drop out of high school before they even earn their diploma, leaving them with few options in employment that can support a family or allow for career advancement. To help some of these students rediscover their academic roots, Gateway to College was created. This innovative program provides the information, resources and support high school dropouts need to get back on track and earn their diplomas and their degrees.

What is Gateway to College?
 
The Gateway to College program began at Portland Community College in 2000 as a means to help high school dropouts bridge the gap in their educational careers. According to the Gateway to College website, the program helps students earn their high school diplomas and community college credits simultaneously, setting them on a path to completing not only high school, but college as well. Since its humble beginnings more than a decade ago, Gateway to College has grown to a nationwide network that includes 30 colleges in 16 states and more than 100 school districts across the country.
 
The Gateway program operates as an organization within a community college campus, teaching students how to succeed in an academic setting where they may have fallen short before. The instructors and specialists that work with Gateway specialize in helping youth who have dropped out of school for a variety of reasons. . . . read more

In Iowa, more and more high school students are graduating with a significant number of community college credits under their belts. The reason began nearly two decades ago, when the state passed legislation that requires high schools to pay for the students that take the courses. Money for tuition ultimately comes from the state, with a portion going to the community college tuition and the rest going to the high school. The idea behind the legislation, according to the Green Field Reporter, was to provide additional opportunities to advanced high school students without taxing already tight school budgets.

As a result of the new law, more Iowa students began seizing the opportunity to get a leg up on their post-secondary education. According to the Des Moines Register, more than 38,200 high school students across the state earned community college credits before their high school graduation. Those numbers showed a 50 percent increase over a period of five years, according to the Iowa Department of Education. Students who received this credit ahead of time made up more than one-quarter of all the community college students in the state.
 
The Study Begins
 
This year, as Iowa’s 15 community colleges are gearing up for accreditation through the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnership, a study has been launched to determine the quality of college courses taught at the nearby high schools. This study will provide information on just how valuable community course during high schools can be, and what benefits high school . . . 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.