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.
View the most popular articles in Community College News:
San Francisco is in trouble, with a threat of accreditation loss looming and uncertainty over whether the school will even be able to remain open for much longer. According to many who have carefully examined the issues facing the college, the fault primarily lies with the school itself. From ineffective governance to mismanagement of funds, the City College of San Francisco is facing serious issues that could take Herculean efforts to overcome. Now, time is also running short for the school, as the accrediting commission has set a deadline in which the school must begin to show progress in improving their operations overall.

Implications of “Show Cause” Rating
 
The accreditation commission recently gave the City College of San Francisco a “show cause” rating, which means the school shoulders the burden of showing why it should remain accredited. This sanction is the most serious of the three options an accrediting commission can offer. The San Francisco Examiner reports that a “show cause” rating is typically only given when an institution is in “substantial non-compliance” with accreditation standards.
 
Only two California schools have received similar ratings currently, according to the Los Angeles Times. College of the Redwoods and Cuesta College both are working their way through accreditation violations, in hopes of maintaining their accreditation. Another California school, Compton College, actually saw its accreditation revoked after receiving the “show cause” rating from the accreditation commission.
 
Importance of Accreditation
 
Accreditation is a voluntary process, but it can be a vital one
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The largest community college district in the country recently announced plans to move to the cloud, via Microsoft’s Live@EDU cloud suite. The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) has determined that Microsoft’s package will best meet the needs of its students, staff and faculty. The rollout is scheduled for the beginning of the upcoming school year.

What the Cloud Can Do
 
According to a report at PC World, the decision by LACCD to move to the cloud began with a desire to have every student on each of the nine campuses obtain their own email account within the school system. This idea slowly spread beyond email capabilities to include IM, video and audio conferencing and calendaring. The cloud suite will also allow student to prepare online documents to share, edit and collaborate with professors and other students.
 
“Students and faculty, once they start learning all the capabilities, I expect they’ll realize it’s way more than email,” LACCD CIO Jorge Mata told PC World.
 
Some of the specific features offered with Microsoft’s Live@EDU include:
 
       ·         Email and calendars with a 10GB inbox
       ·         Additional file storage up to 25GB
       ·         Instant messaging
       ·         Video chat and audio conferencing
       ·         Document sharing
       ·         Mobile email
       ·         Accessible through Web browsers for Mac, Windows and Linux systems
       ·         Easy to set up and manage
 
Until now, the nine campuses for the Los Angeles Community College District have determined whether to offer students the option of an email system via on-premise Microsoft systems. This will be the first time that all of the campuses
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The Obama Administration has placed a heavy focus on community colleges and college completion rates over the past three years, raising awareness about the importance of education in improving the country’s unemployment rate. However, some have criticized the President for placing too much emphasis on education and not enough on actual job development. To that end, in addition to the Skills for America's Future program initiated in 2011, the President and Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently unveiled their latest plan aimed at transforming vocational education nationwide.
 
Making a Solid Investment
 
The latest initiative by the White House is titled, “Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education.” The program was designed as an outline for revamping the current Perkins Act of 2006, which was originally created to provide funding for vocational training at the secondary and postsecondary level. According to the U.S. Department of Education website, the Perkins Act primarily distributes funding through state grants, which State Boards for Vocational Education are encouraged and eligible to apply.
 
While the Perkins Act has been significant in developing vocational training across America, the current administration believes it could go farther in helping Americans train for the industries that have the highest need for skilled workers today. At a time when unemployment rates are still high, a restructuring of the Perkins Act could make vocational training more widely available both to displaced workers and high school graduates that cannot afford the hefty tuition rates at
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The annual President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is out for 2012, and a number of community colleges made the list this year. This honor roll was originally created to highlight institutions of higher education that make significant contributions to their communities through the efforts of students and staff. The schools that made the grade have proven track records for giving back to the areas where they are located.

About the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll
 
The website for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) explains that the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll was first launched in 2006 to showcase the “role colleges and universities play in solving community problems” and to get more students started on a “lifelong path of civic engagement.” Originally inspired by the service of college students nationwide after Hurricane Katrina, the honor roll strives to recognize schools that “achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes in the communities they serve.”
 
The honor roll is a collaboration between the CNCS, the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Contact, and the American Council on Education. Finalists are chosen through a series of criteria that include scope and innovation of service projects, the incorporation of service-learning into course curriculum, the commitment of the institution to long-term partnerships with community organizations and the measurable community outcomes as a result of the service projects.
 
This year's honor roll was announced at the American Council on Education’s annual meeting on March 12, 2012, in
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College students have been traditionally known for their willingness to exercise their First Amendment rights,and today’s student is no exception. In fact, college students have been voicing their opinions on everything from community college reorganization to tuition hikes, with protests from coast to coast. Check out two of the issues on either side of the country that currently have many community college student up-in-arms.

California Students Protest Tuition Hikes, Education Cuts
 
On the west coast, college students have come out in droves to protest deep state budget cuts that have resulted in higher tuition rates and cuts to classes and student services. The UC Berkeley News Center reports that an estimated 8,000 students flocked to Sacramento earlier this month to stage a mass demonstration on the steps of the state capitol. The crowd included students, faculty and administrative staff from the state’s universities and community colleges.
 
“Students, faculty, staff, administrators – we are all on the same side in wanting to maintain a strong university, and there was real consensus among the deans that taking the bus to Sacramento today would be a good thing to do,” Kim Voss, acting dean of social sciences at Berkeley, told the UC Berkeley News Center. The news service reported that more than 50 students and staff traveled from the college to Sacramento to support the protest movement.
 
A campus-wide email was sent out at the school, encouraging those who could to head to Sacramento to make their voices heard. The email
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