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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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Nearly every community college and university across the country includes a dean's list, a roster of students who have performed particularly well during the previous semester or school year. The dean's list has traditionally been a prestigious honor for which to strive during your years of higher education because it demonstrates a commitment to academic excellence and the ability to rise to the workload, however heavy it might become. Whether you are just entering the hallowed halls of academia, or are currently working through your degree program, we have a list of reasons to strive for the dean's list and tips to help you get there.
 
What is the Dean's List?
 
According to Wikipedia, the dean's list is "a category of students in a college or university who achieve high grades during their stay in an academic term or academic year." The term is primarily used in North America, but some European institutions offer a dean's list as well.

Requirements for making the dean's list vary from institution to institution, but most mandate a specific number of course hours to be taken and a set GPA to be maintained during the term or school year. It is important to inquire with the advisement center or your academic counselor regarding the specific requirements for the dean’s list at your college.
 
Benefits of the Dean's List
 
The benefits of making the dean's list also vary from school to school, with some colleges even offering additional financial aid to students who make the dean's . . . read more

Many who have found themselves out of work thanks to the recent recession have headed back to school for retraining in a more lucrative profession – or so they thought. It turns out that many of those so-called hot industries highly touted during the slowdown are only lukewarm at best for many of the college grads trying to hunt down the openings.

We have the report on the real state of the job market, as well as some tips that could put you at the forefront during your own job search.
 
The Hot Market Illusion
 
Check out any news publication today, and you will find at least one article about the hottest markets that are currently hiring. Case in point: A piece on the New Year's Day edition of Good Morning America this year listed four hot markets for college graduates to consider. The industries included health care, law enforcement, business services and sales.
 
A recent article on CareerBuilder.com lists companies that will be hiring college graduates this summer. Some of those companies do fall into the industries listed by Good Morning America earlier this year. However, finding a company or industry that is hiring, and landing a good job right out of college are too different things, thanks to the many complexities of a dragging economy that hasn't pulled itself out of the unemployment slump just yet.
 
Factors Affecting Hiring
 
The truth is that it is simply hard to predict where the jobs will arise because there are many factors . . . read more

Many community college students today understand all too well the frustration of trying to put together a schedule each semester, but finding themselves on waiting lists. The overload leaves numerous students requiring more time to complete their degrees – and postpones their opportunities in the professional, post-academic world.

One community college has come up with what they believe is a solution to this collegiate quandary.
 
What if you could skip to the front of waiting lists, just by paying more? Students at Bristol Community College in Massachusetts will now have the chance to register for an academic "fast track" that will allow them to graduate faster – for an increased tuition rate, according to reports by The Boston Globe and USA Today.
 
A Proposal by the Princeton Review
 
The idea comes from the Princeton Review, a company that had previously been primarily involved in assessments and standardized test preparation. Since the acquisition of Penn Foster, a career training provider, a few months ago, the Princeton Review has jumped into the world of continuing education.  Like a few other for-profit colleges, Princeton Review is currently in the process of teaming up with community colleges that offer allied healthcare degrees to provide faster access to degrees. These programs will come at a higher price tag than standard programs at the same institutions, providing both the college and the Princeton Review with a healthy profit margin as well.
 
The Princeton Review asserts that there are long waiting lists for healthcare degree . . . read more

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
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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.