Student Issues / Attending College

Academics, extracurricular activities, housing and more: be savvy about all facets of attending community college. Get tips on making the dean’s list, find ways to benefit from community college outside the classroom, and analyze the latest data on graduation and employment rates.
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Gone are the days when iPods were strictly limited to playing music. Since iTunes launched iTunes U in 2007, iTunes and iPods have become powerful tools for community college students, teachers, and lifelong learners of all ages. Students can select from a wide variety of video and audio lectures to download and then play these lectures on their computers, iPods, or other mp3 players.

Best of all, all iTunes U content is available to the public free of charge. You may not have realized it, but your iPod can become a learning resource that will improve your grades at community college!

ITunes U, which Apple describes as “possibly the world’s greatest collection of free educational media,” is a section of the iTunes store in which research universities, four-year colleges, and community colleges can post audio and video files. Apple’s website lists the current number of audio and video educational files at over 200,000, and the number continues to grow as more and more colleges begin podcasting their most popular courses.
 
iTunes U and Community Colleges
 
Community colleges are rapidly joining the ranks of iTunes U participating institutions – and with good reason. Community college students often work in addition to going to school, and the ability to make learning more mobile is often highly coveted. A recent article in Community College Week noted that although it is unlikely that a community college will have the funds to give every student an iPod as Duke University did in Fall 2004, . . . read more

Students all understand the benefits of internships, but have you explored the advantages of an apprenticeship?

In today’s competitive job market, apprenticeships are becoming more popular than ever. For example, at Guam Community College, the number of participants in their apprenticeship program has currently reached a historical high. 
 
Similar to internships, apprenticeships provide excellent opportunities for students to work alongside industry professionals, gaining hands-on experience, mentorship, and real-life guidance. Most apprenticeships focus on vocational trades and crafts, and they provide an excellent way to strengthen your resume and skills before you enter into the workforce.  
 
Apprenticeship Opportunities
 
Apprenticeships are generally reserved for skill-based careers and services, and community college students pursuing studies in the following categories may benefit most from apprenticeship experiences:
 
       ·        Boilermakers
 
       ·        Bricklayer masons
 
       ·        Building maintenance personnel
 
       ·        Carpenters
 
       ·        Drywall hangers
 
       ·        Ceramic tile setters
 
       ·        Cement finishers
 
       ·        HVAC technicians
 
       ·        Maintenance electricians
 
       ·        Fire sprinkler installers
 
       ·        Elevator constructors
 
       ·        Floor layers
 
       ·        Manufacturing plant electricians
 
       ·        Insulators
 
       ·        Ironworkers
 
       ·        Plumbers
 
       ·        Painters
 
       ·        Roofers
 
       ·        Sheet metal workers
 
       ·        Sheet metal workers
 
       ·        Telecommunication technicians  

Offering apprenticeship opportunities in all of the aforementioned categories are schools such as Lane Community College, located in Eugene Oregon, wherein students are encouraged to “Learn the aspects of a highly skilled occupation through on-the-job training and related instruction.” Better yet, students can simultaneously earn an income during their apprenticeship. 
 
Additionally, with apprenticeship experiences, students can effectively apply information learned in the classroom to experiences in the “real world.” From an employer’s perspective, apprenticeships help the student bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical skills. 
 
Indeed, there are many benefits associated with . . . read more

While all mentoring programs help improve student performance and graduation rates, some community colleges are finding that minority mentorship programs are even more beneficial.  Colleges across the country are celebrating the outstanding results achieved through the collaborative efforts of on-campus minority mentoring programs.  As the Education Resources Services Center articulates, “Mentoring is a process that can increase the retention of minority students, with larger numbers graduated and hired for faculty positions.” 
To discover the benefits of minority mentoring opportunities, consider what some of the top performing organizations have been able to achieve with their local community college support.   
 
Examining the College Student Spectrum
 
According to the Community College Review Journal, diversity among community college student populations is constantly shifting.  In fact, recent US Census Bureau reports show that 42.3 percent of African Americans enrolled in college programs are specifically taking courses at community colleges.  50 percent of Native American college students, as well as over 55 percent of Hispanic college students, are also enrolled in classes at various community colleges. 
 
However, as the Community College Review Journal asserts, “Despite these changes, these populations of students may be confronted with many issues that are detrimental to their retention and success, such as lower levels of academic preparation in high school, lower socioeconomic status, and greater alienation in these institutions.” 
 
Due to these specific challenges, many community colleges report higher dropout rates and lower academic achievement results from minority students.  To address these issues, some college leaders believe that providing . . . read more

The "freshman 15" and "sophomore 10" are phenomenon that seems to plague community college students on every campus. Gaining weight often arrives hand-in-hand with the start of the school year, especially during the first years of college.

To combat issues related to obesity, excess weight, and poor lifestyle habits, community colleges across the country are providing students with weight loss support. Through these programs, perhaps the freshman 15 may become a phenomenon of the yesteryears!
 
Free Community College Weight Loss Programs

To help students enjoy weight loss success, community colleges have implemented unique and diverse programs to cater to individual dieting needs. For example, as Chron News reveals, Alvin Community College (ACC), located in Texas, now provides students with an innovative online weight loss class. Titled "Lose Weight and Keep it Off," the ACC course has been designed in cooperation with the world's largest resource and provider of online classes for adult students, ed2go. Through the expert guidance of Donna Acosta, ACC's registered dietician and nutrition instructor, all participants will learn about weight loss strategies, including:
  • Sensible eating
  • Simple habits of weight loss
  • How to maintain weight loss results and keep the pounds off
Clark State Community College (CSCC), with campuses in Springfield and Beavercreek Ohio, has created an event to stimulate even more weight loss motivation. To help students pursue the path to better health, CSCC leaders encourage students to participate in weight loss contests sponsored and conducted by the college's Health Clinic. With the guidance of Health Clinic . . . read more

Are you willing to go the distance? Marathon enthusiasts can find fantastic races on their very own community college campuses. Through marathon clubs or teams, community college students not only race against their colleagues, but against their professors too!
 
If you're curious about what it takes to become a marathon runner, or if you're hoping to find fellow students to join for long distance running, consider community college marathon groups available in your local area.
 
Benefits of Joining Community College Marathon Teams

Marathon teams are literally springing up at community college campuses across the country. For example, Highland Community College, located in Highland, Kansas, offers a highly competitive Highland Marathon Team for eligible students. In examining the Highland Women's team, runners were able to compete at the National Junior College Athletic Association Half Marathon Championships, where participants raced in a 13.1 mile event.
 
Hosted at a different community college campus each year, the 2008 race was held at Johnson County Community College. Setting a six-year record for the Athletic Association's, 185 runners representing a total of 27 different colleges participated. Individual runners hoped to earn fast times, and each college team strove for a top prize and ranking. According to the Highland Women's Marathon Team records, several of the school's top runners completed the race in under 1 hour and 45 minutes!
 
If you're curious about how to join your community college marathon team, you may need to try out to showcase your speed and skills. Most community colleges . . . 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.
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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.
Student Issues / Attending College

Extracurricular Activities

Community college can be fun and socially enriching, especially with the right extracurricular activities. Reasons to join the debate club, volunteer opportunities and wellness programs are just a few topics covered here. Explore the benefits of community college outside of the classroom, from holiday celebrations to athletic programs, schools are finding ways to keep students engaged on campus.

Graduation

Graduation rates, policies, and caps - oh my! This section covers all topics related to community college graduations. How does state spending impact graduation rates? Who are the oldest community college graduates? What initiatives are in place to stem the rate of dropouts? Find the answers to these questions and more.

Community College Housing

The number of community colleges offering on-campus housing is on the rise. Learn more about campus living options, compare the pros and cons of dorm life, and get help deciding what housing is best for you.

Improving Learning

Get helpful tips and expert advice on boosting your GPA. This section will provide valuable tips on studying, mentor programs and how to avoid academic probation. Examine the latest trends in student motivation techniques, take a good look at online learning, and find resources to guide you on the path to success.

Improving Your Job Search

Whether you have just enrolled in community college or you’re ready to graduate and enter the job market, our articles can help improve your opportunities of landing the perfect job. Internships and apprenticeships offer lots of benefits, find out how participation in these programs can move your resume to the top of the pile. Analyze employment data for community college graduates and determine who is getting hired. Get valuable tips on polishing your candidacy and making the most of job fairs.

Class Schedules

- Do you need child care? Are you employed full-time? Community colleges offer a variety of scheduling options, allowing most students to easily integrate continued education into an already busy schedule. From weekend classes to courses at midnight, we cover the gamut of flexible class schedules at community college.