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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While not every community college boasts a robust sports program, those that do provide an outlet for student athletes to come and compete while getting their post-secondary education. Unfortunately, one Midwestern school has found that despite a long and illustrious history, they can no longer support the football program that has been an integral part of campus life. Grand Rapids Community College has bid a sudden farewell to their football program this year, after enjoying an 80-year tradition and plenty of notoriety through individual athletes and numerous winning seasons.

The Announcement is Made
 
According to a report at mLive.com, the announcement to end the football program was made by the president of Grand Rapids Community College, Steven Ender. Ender also issued a formal press release, after talking with the coaches and players involved in the football program about the school’s decision. In the press release, Ender cited the following reasons for bringing Grand Rapids football tradition to an abrupt halt:

  • With games now played in Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota and Georgia, the school was no longer able to spend the time or money getting the football team and staff to games further from home.  In some cases, student athletes and coaches were spending up to 19 hours on a bus to get to a single game.
  • Many of the student athletes that came to the school to play football faced severe personal obstacles, including finding the means to pay for off-campus housing, since many came from out of state . . . read more

Community colleges provide a plethora of opportunities for traditional and non-traditional students alike. These two-year institutions offer fast, affordable higher education to high school graduates who are not ready for the university and older students looking for a new direction in their career path. One element of community college that is often overlooked is the ability for students to play sports at the junior college level. From football to women’s softball, many campuses across the country provide the chance for students to participate in the sport of their choice for fun, competition and even a possible career.

Benefits of Sports at Community College
 
The addition of a robust athletics program at community colleges offers a host of benefits to students, as well as the school. While these programs are not traditionally big money makers for the colleges, the advantages offered may make the cost of the programs worthwhile to many college campuses.
 
“It provides a full college experience,” Gary Branch, president of Faulkner State Community College, explained to the GadsenTimes. Branch is also the president of the Alabama College Athletic Conference.
 
David Mollahan agrees. The president of Marion Military Institute told the Times, “It’s beneficial to higher education. Our programs, I think, are worth it.”
 
Although some in the community college arena lament the cost of such programs, particularly at a time when budgets are getting tighter and tighter, Raymond Staats, president of Gadsen State Community College told the Times, “It’s not as costly as people think, and . . . read more

Community colleges have been touted as the economic future of this country, as hosts of high school graduates, displaced workers and others look to these institutions of higher education. The Obama Administration has put the focus on community colleges as well, seeing these schools as essential instruments in raising the college graduation across the country over the next decade. However, a new study brings up some familiar concerns regarding these two-year programs; namely, the low completion rates that seem to plague the majority of community colleges nationwide. In fact, the study puts a price tag on the cost of community college dropouts – and it is a steep number indeed.

“The Hidden Costs of Community Colleges”
 
The recent study, titled, “The Hidden Costs of Community Colleges,” was released by the American Institutes for Research. The study, which was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, looked at full-time, first-year community college students who did not return for their second year of school. Five academic years were analyzed in the study, between 2004 and 2009. The purpose of the study was not only to put a price on the high dropout rate, but also to improve outcomes and performance at institutions across the country, according to a press release published at the American Institutes for Research website.
 
According to a report at the Los Angeles Times, the study showed that about one-fifth of full-time community college students who enroll in school do not make it to their . . . read more

With a current administration pushing community college graduations and mostly bleak data regarding completion rates at both two and four-year institutions nationwide, there is a bright spot to celebrate. A recent report released by the American Association of Community Colleges shows that completion rates at community colleges are increasing across the country, particularly with students of color. This particular study shows that many schools across the country may be on the right track after all, although community college officials stress that there is still plenty of work to be done in regards to college completion.

The Road Ahead: Completion and Transfer Rates
 
The report, titled, “The Road Ahead: A Look at Trends in the Educational Attainment of Community College Students,” takes a look at the attainment of different types of college credentials over the past 20 years, according to a press release at PR Newswire. The report also looked at the degrees earned vs. the increasing rates of enrollment to determine if the higher demand for community college in recent years is actually translating to a workforce that is better prepared to meet the demands of a global market.
 
The report found that over the past two decades, the increase in completion rates has been double the percentage rate of enrollment at community colleges across the country. Between 1989 and 2010, the number of students earning credentials increased by 127%, while enrollment during the same time frame increased by 65%. The numbers are even more significant for students of . . . read more

Community college has come a long way in recent years, especially with the focus these schools are getting from the current administration. President Obama has labeled these institutions as the hope for American’s economic future and the way this country will remain competitive in a global marketplace. To that end, President Obama has announced a lofty goal of adding 5 million more community college graduates by 2020. He also hosted the first community college summit at the White House last year, which served as the starting point for finding new ways to support these institutions so they are able to meet this ambitious goal.

In this struggling economy, community college has become the go-to place for displaced workers looking for training in a new field and high school graduates who are unable to afford the skyrocketing tuition rates at four-year institutions. However, the path from enrollment to graduation is not always an easy one. We have tips to help incoming students get the most from their community college experience, so they can use it as an effective starting point for a successful and lucrative career.

Are You Ready?
 
The first step toward community college success is proper preparation before the enrollment process even takes place. Whether you are coming to college right out of high school, or have been out of the world of academia for some time, you can determine your college readiness with a relatively simple process.

First, find a readiness assessment online or through . . . read more
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Community Colleges: Bigger Buck Bang than For-Profits
A recent study reveals that job applicants with a credential or associate’s degree from a community college have slightly better chances of getting a job interview than students who attend a for-profit college or university. Since community colleges are much more budget friendly than for-profit institutions and have much better job placement results, community colleges are a much better option for employment-minded students.
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.
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.