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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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

Community college can be a challenging prospect for new students, whether they are coming right out of high school or after being in the workforce for a number of years. To make the transition smoother, a number of community colleges across the country have established mentoring programs connecting new students with those who already know the ropes. In the past several academic years, more of these programs have been introduced, thanks to grant money and willing mentor participants. We’ll take a look at why mentoring can be a valuable tool in the community college environment and how some schools are using the concept for the benefit of new students.

What is Mentoring?
 
Mentoring programs work by pairing newcomers with older, more experienced students. Mentors may provide a number of valuable functions, including helping new students with their schedules, providing campus tours and offering information about resources and facilities available on campus. In some cases, mentors might also be faculty members dedicated to helping new students succeed by easing them through the transition between high school or the workforce and a college environment. These programs can be a powerful tool to student success when they are correctly implemented.
 
For students that need special help when they get to community college, a mentor program can truly be a lifesaver. The mentors that work in these organizations may point new students to the resources and additional assistance they need, whether it is academic, financial or of another sort. In addition to . . . read more

A college education is an important component to a lucrative and successful career today, whether the degree is earned at a community college or four-year university. That fact is driving the efforts of the current administration to raise the completion rates at community colleges across the country within the next decade. President Obama has launched an initiative to graduate five million new students from community colleges by 2020. The president believes this lofty goal will help the United States establish itself in the top spot for college graduates and beef up the country’s economic outlook at the same time.

However, many states have found that the current economic crunch and exceedingly high unemployment rate are forcing them to make difficult decisions when balancing their budgets. Some of those decisions involve cutting funding to institutions of higher education –just when schools need money the most. When less money is available, students tend to suffer from fewer services and crowded classes that make it difficult to graduate on time. Less funding also means fewer options in financial aid and higher tuition rates, which often price many low-income students right out of the community college market.
 
New Report Shows Shrinking Budgets Impacting Completion Rates
 
A new report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education shows a direct correlation between less funding and diminishing completion rates at many community colleges around the country. According to the agency’s website, the report, titled, “Affordability and Transfer: . . . read more

Community colleges have historically provided a much different environment than the traditional four-year university. One of the biggest differences between the two is that students at community colleges do not tend to live in a single community on or near the college campus. However, many community colleges across the country are tuning in to the advantages on-campus housing can provide to students of all ages. This article will explore the new trend of living on a community college campus and some of the schools around the country that are adopting this model for a richer, more community-oriented academic environment.

Benefits of Living On Campus
 
Community colleges are now realizing some of the benefits of living on campus that four-year colleges have known for generations, including:

  • Better proximity to college resources like the library and recreation center
  • Exposure to international lifestyles that comes from living near fellow students from around the globe
  • The ability to fully immerse oneself in the college experience by remaining in the environment after classes are finished for the day
  • Ease of meeting other students and building relationships with those in a similar season of life
  • Apartments or dormitories that are often fully furnished and affordable, providing an economic housing option to cash-strapped students
Today, many community college students are beginning to enjoy these benefits as their school campuses are adding housing to the mix. We will take a look at some of the specific colleges that allow students to live on campus or are adding housing options in the near future.
 
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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.