Community College News

Stay abreast of all the news and reports impacting community colleges. This section covers the latest news stories, from campus protests to Wal-Mart partnerships. Read community college reactions to the latest State of the Union address, identify schools receiving big donations, and analyze the latest laws impacting community colleges and their students.
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Who Will Lead Community Colleges into the Future?
We take a look at a new report from the Aspen Institute that finds more than 40 percent of current community college presidents are likely to retire over the next five years. Who will take over the leadership of these institutions?
At a time when more focus is on community colleges as a viable and cost-effective option in higher education, leadership at these schools appears to be in crisis. According to a recent report from the Aspen Institute and Achieving the Dream, a large percentage of community college presidents are slated for retirement over the next five years. Even more concerning is the fact that few appear poised to take over the helms of these institutions, leaving some to wonder where the direction of the community college system is headed.
 
The new report, titled, “Crisis and Opportunity: Aligning the Community College Presidency with Student Success,” was released at a National Forum in Washington D.C. in June. The report details the challenges facing community colleges in upcoming years as they work to keep their key leadership positions filled with qualified candidates. The report identifies some of the specific problems that could contribute to a presidential shortage of community college presidents nationwide. It also provides recommendations that community colleges can follow to ensure their leadership does not suffer with the loss of a large number of current presidents in the next few years.
 
Primary Concerns Over the Coming Leadership Shortage
 
According to a recent report at Inside Higher Ed, more than 40 percent of the current community college presidents may retire within the next five years. That equates to the loss of more than 500 college presidents by 2017, leaving gaps in community college leadership that need to be filled by qualified individuals . . . read more

California Community Colleges Boost Summer Programs, Thanks to More Funding
After two dismal summers with few courses to choose from, California community colleges are back in action this summer with plenty of offerings for their students.
For a number of years, students at California community colleges have been unable to take advantage of the summer months to get ahead in their studies by taking a few extra classes. Budget cuts in recent years have forced many schools in the state to cut their summer offerings to a bare minimum, while a few have had to cut summer classes completely. Now, thanks to the passage of Prop 30, community colleges in the state are finding the money to beef up their summer course schedules, much to delight of students who were hoping to spend their summer months deep in their studies.
 
Survey Shows More Classes on the Way
 
The Los Angeles Times reports on an informal survey conducted by the office of statewide Chancellor Brice W. Harris, which involved 70 California community colleges. The survey indicated 67 percent of the community colleges in the state plan to increase their course offerings for the summer semester. Another 23 percent said they would offer about the same number of classes they had on the schedule during the previous summer. Only 7 percent of community colleges in the state stated they planned to reduce the number of courses they were going to offer this summer. 
 
Credit for the increases goes in large part to the passage of Proposition 30 last November, which granted a temporary increase in sales tax and income tax on the wealthiest residents in the state. The increase revenues are going directly to fund education, with . . . read more

More Latinos are Heading to Community College, but Facing Challenges along the Way
At the same time Hispanic students are enrolling in college in record numbers, class shortages at California community colleges are impeding their progress into higher education and the skilled workforce.
The good news is that more Latinos are headed to college today, whether they set their sights on a two-year or four-year institution. The bad news is that despite their lofty goals, many Latinos won’t make it to college completion. In fact, some may face serious obstacles just getting their foot in the door of higher education. With the Hispanic population increasing across the county, it may be up to community colleges to change the tide and provide the necessary training so this growing population can reach their full earning potential.
 
First, the Good News
 
NBC Latino reports that a record number of Latino students are heading to college today. According to a recent analysis from the Pew Hispanic Research Center, seven out of every 10 Latino high school students enrolled in college in 2012. That number is higher than the rate of both white and black high school students. The dropout rate for Latino students was also cut in half – from 28 percent in 2000, to 14 percent in 2011.
 
There are a number of possible factors that could be attributed to the increase, according to the researchers that conducted the analysis. First, Latino students may be finding that heading off for more education is more productive than searching for employment in a somewhat dismal job market. Another reason could be the increasing importance the Latino community is giving to higher education overall.
 
“The wider Latino community understands the importance of education for the future of education when it comes . . . read more

What are Community Colleges Doing with Labor Department Grants?
As the third wave of TAACCCT grants are issued, we take a look at how community colleges are using this federal money to beef up job training programs across the country.
Three years ago, the U.S. Labor Department began issuing grants to community colleges that were ready and willing to train up the local workforce in their areas. Those schools that successfully partnered with area businesses to target training programs to the specific needs of employers were rewarded with federal funds to help them do so. Three years later, the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program (TAACCCT) is still going strong, promising another $500 million to qualifying community colleges next year. What is the money being used for? Check out how community colleges are using these Labor Department grants to benefit students, colleges and the local workforce.
 
The Massachusetts Consortium Offers Variety of Options      
 
One of the federal grants has gone to a consortium of 15 community colleges across the state of Massachusetts, according to Inside Higher Ed. The $20 million in grant funding has been used to create new credentials for students and help them hone their job seeking skills to create better opportunities after graduation. To that end, each of the community colleges in the consortium now staffs a career and college navigator full time, to help students succeed in school and beyond graduation.
 
The Massachusetts program has focused on preparing students for careers in six key industries:
 
       ·      Advanced Manufacturing
       ·      Information Technology
       ·      Health Care
       ·      Financial Services
       ·      Green Energy
       ·      Biotechnology
 
While that may seem like a . . . read more

New York College Gets Big Donation, New Name
We report on a large donation given to New Community College in New York – possibly one of the biggest donations to ever be given to a two-year school. Now, the school is changing its name and using the money to improve completion rates and provide grants to eligible students.
New Community College in New York has just found itself $15 million richer, thanks to a generous donation from the Stella and Charles Guttman Foundation. As one of the largest donations in community college history, the school felt a name change was in order as well. Now, New York’s newest community college will be known as the Stella and Charles Guttman Community College. In addition to the new name, the school is preparing to launch initiatives to improve graduation rates and expand their financial aid opportunities, courtesy of the foundation that is now the school’s namesake as well.
 
The Birth of a School
 
The New York Times reported in July, 2012, that New Community College was about to open its doors to its inaugural class of incoming high school graduates. The school was a new endeavor by City University of New York to bring an innovative two-year school to the Big Apple. New Community College wasted no time reaching out to the surrounding community of potential students; many of whom found the idea of higher education overwhelming and even out of reach.
 
The primary goal of New Community College was to provide relief for what ails community colleges today. CUNY designed the school structure from scratch, including a full curriculum that school officials hope will improve graduation rates and increase transfers to four-year schools. New York Community College Chancellor Matthew Goldstein stated on the CUNY website, “There is no more urgent task in higher education than to find ways . . . read more
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