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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Dormitories were once typically reserved for students attending university campuses, but more community colleges have begun opening dorms for their students. The inclusion of dorms on some community college campuses is garnering much attention, as well as surprising tension. While many assert that dorms for community college campuses provide greater conveniences for their students, others argue that the dorms should only be reserved for university campuses.

The Demand for Dormitory Living
 
According to the Los Angeles Times, the rising cost of tuition at many universities is pushing a larger number of students towards the more affordable degree pathways provided by community colleges. Given these increasing enrollment numbers, many community colleges are looking for ways to accommodate the growing ranks of students, and dormitories are becoming a popular solution. 
 
Speaking on this latest development is Karen Kent from the American Association of Community Colleges in Washington D.C., “We do think it's a trend for more community colleges to provide residential housing for students.” Indeed, this trend is undeniable, as schools in Texas, Minnesota, Florida, and Washington are already completing the construction of dorms on select community college campuses. 
 
Experts predict that California’s community colleges may be among the most popular campus locations for new dormitory construction, given the immense numbers of students enrolled on these campuses. In fact, 11 of the state’s community colleges already provide dormitories for their students. Currently, an estimated 2.8 million students are enrolled in the 110 community colleges of California, and the number is expected to rise. Remarkably, this immense number equates to nearly . . . read more

A majority of California’s school districts, community colleges, and four-year universities are participating in CalPASS, a groundbreaking program that is improving their students’ academic success.   
 
The CalPASS program makes student achievement data from kindergarten through college available to teachers of all levels. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that CalPASS “has collected 346 million student records on 25 million students, including information on demographics, student performance and test scores.”  However, students’ test scores are not connected to any personal or identifying information.  Instead, teachers, professors, and administrators at all levels of California’s public education system can view the data trends, using the information to determine their instructional decisions.
 
CalPASS, which stands for California Partnership for Achieving Student Success, is based in Grossmont Community College in San Diego. It was started in 1998, when Brad Phillips, then the director of research, planning, and academic services at Grossmont, realized that there was no existing channel through which he could ascertain how students from his two-year college were performing academically after they transferred to four-year colleges. Phillips decided that he needed to create such a system so that teachers and administrators could use the information to improve how students are taught.
 
How CalPASS has Benefited Community College Students
 
By allowing instructors to access educational data spanning from kindergarten to college, California’s community college students have enjoyed a myriad of benefits. 
 
Aligns High School and Community College Curriculum
 
According to its newsletter, CalPASS aims to “reduce barriers between the segments [of the public education system] . . . read more

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
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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.