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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A pilot program that is set to debut in eight states will allow students to graduate high school as early as the end of 10th grade if they pass certain exams and demonstrate subject mastery.  Upon “graduation,” these students will enroll in community colleges. 

About the New Program
 
The new program, as the New York Times reports, will allow 10th graders who pass “board exams” in math, English, history, and science to graduate two years early and begin taking courses at a community college if they so choose.
 
Those students who pass the exams but want to attend a selective four-year college or university may choose to continue taking high school courses during their 11th and 12th grade years. Those students who do not pass the tests in 10th grade will have the opportunity to take the exams again at the end of their 11th and 12th grade years.
 
The Program’s Goals
 
Reduce Need for Remedial Coursework in College
 
One of the program’s goals is to reduce the numbers of students who enter community colleges and four-year universities unprepared for college-level work. The New York Times reports that nationwide, “more than a million college freshmen require remedial coursework each year.”
 
The National Center on Education and the Economy, which is organizing the program, says that students who require remedial coursework are more likely to drop out before earning a degree, as Rhode Island’s Providence Journal reports.
 
The new program will address the problem of under-prepared college students by providing high . . . read more

In the last decade, community colleges have certainly overcome its wrongful stereotype as “13th grade,” providing invaluable education and training to millions of successful graduates. However, with 20% to 60% of today’s community college students needing remedial coursework, could the stereotype be reinforced once again?    
 
The Problem
 
Shocking numbers of community college students need remedial coursework
 
According to Michigan’s Detroit Free Press, experts estimate that about 20% of students at four-year colleges and universities across the nation need remedial coursework of some kind. But at community colleges, “it has been estimated that 60% of first-time students need at least one remedial course.”

Remedial coursework is costly for states and for students
 
The education research and advocacy group Alliance for Education estimated in 2006 that remedial education at community colleges and four-year universities costs taxpayers and students $1.4 billion per year.

Detroit Free Press reports that in the state of Michigan alone, more than $28 million is spent each year on remediation courses at just the community college level.
 
Students who require remedial coursework more likely to drop out
 
The Alliance for Education also estimated that the United States economy loses more than $2.3 billion every year due to the higher college dropout rate of students who require remedial reading coursework. An individual who drops out of college has a significantly reduced lifetime expected earning potential.
 
The Cause
 
High school curriculum inadequate preparation
 
An inadequate high school curriculum is likely one of the main reasons that large numbers of students who enter community college are unprepared for college-level . . . read more

Increasing numbers of students are enrolling in two-year community college programs, yet only one-third of these students will graduate with their degrees. Naturally, there are multifaceted reasons for the high dropout rate, but some reports cite the students’ struggle with math courses as playing a major role, as outlined by WNYC.   
 
Most community colleges require that students take three placement tests prior to registering for classes. The placement tests include a basic math section, a reading comprehension section, and a writing composition section.  
 
Approximately half of prospective community college students struggle with the math placement test, and thus, require at least one remedial math class. Even at community colleges, most degrees require the successful completion of several college level math classes, and many students consistently struggle to make the grade.
 
Clearly, lowering the community college dropout rate hinges in part on preparing students for math success.
 
Math Placement Tests: How to Improve Your Score
 
Scoring well on the math placement test can save a lot of time, effort, and money in the long term. In most cases, remedial math classes don’t count towards degree requirements, and thus, making the score on placement tests can save you tuition fees. The best way to prepare for the math placement test is to get the gray matter working again – especially if a lot of time has elapsed since your last math class.
 
A number of inexpensive options can help; the libraries are packed full of textbooks on basic algebra and . . . read more

The reports and statistics pertaining to current high school dropout rates make for shocking reading. Over 7,200 children drop out of high school on a daily basis, creating over 1.3 million new dropouts annually, according to a Census data review by the Daily Beast. Of course, vocational training and blue-collar jobs are hypothetical alternatives for these teenagers, but with the economy in shambles, entry-level jobs are few and far between. 
 
The impacts of this educational crisis are best exemplified in cities like Detroit, where only 25% of students graduate with a high school diploma. The Detroit area suffers from high unemployment rates, low income, soaring crime rates, negligible social services, and a generally poorer quality of life – which give high school dropouts few opportunities.  
 
However, community colleges may soon be the savior of high school graduation rates. Innovative new community college programs have been implemented in places like North Carolina, Texas, and California to keep students in high school until they graduate, as well as to help find them places in higher education thereafter.
 
The Money Incentive: Community Colleges and Scholarship Programs
 
Cost is one of the major hurdles associated with higher education in disadvantaged areas. Many students assume that even if they do complete high school, they simply cannot afford to attend college.
 
To combat these problems, some public school districts are taking it upon themselves to create scholarship programs for high school graduates. As reported by WBT, West Charlotte, for example, has allotted $50,000 to . . . read more

With today’s rising community college enrollment rates, courses may no longer be scheduled between the hours of 8 am and 8 pm. To accommodate the growing demand, some community colleges have been forced to be creative with their class scheduling. In fact, some students are finding themselves attending classes at midnight!   

Midnight is the New 8 AM
 
As Diverse Issues in Higher Education reports, colleges across the country have experienced record enrollment rates for both new and returning students. As the economy forces many workers to retrain their skills, many community colleges find themselves nearly bursting at the seams. 
 
Coping with such pressures, Bunker Hill Community College, located in Boston, is setting a new example for college reform. Bunker Hill is the first college in the country to open its doors for midnight courses. According to reports, Bunker Hill has begun, “Offering two classes on the graveyard shift in a move to accommodate an unprecedented boost in enrollment attributed to the struggling economy as people look to augment their job skills without having to pay the tuition costs of more expensive schools.” 
 
With several night courses offered at the start of the 2009 semester, Bunker Hill students can enroll in classes such as Principals of Psychology or College Writing — which both run from 11:45 pm to 2:30 am throughout the semester. 
 
These new midnight options were supported by many faculty leaders, as well as students, who argued that the modern student has too many responsibilities to fit into the traditional community college . . . read more
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Recent Articles
Freshman Year in College Looks More and More Like High School
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.
Federal Student Loans – Unavailable at 20% of Community Colleges
Although a community college education is inexpensive when compared to tuition and fees at a four-year institution, some students still need financial assistance to pay their education bills. Yet, some community colleges don’t participate in the federal student loan program, putting some students in a financial bind.
Post-Recession Cliff Looms for Community Colleges
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.
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.