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:
Community Colleges React to President Obamas State of the Union
President Obama’s call to community colleges in his recent State of the Union Address elicited reactions from community college officials across the country. We’ll report on what some said and how some colleges are already the “community career centers” upon which Obama has called.
While community colleges appreciated the shout-out they received during President Obama’s recent State of the Union address, most say that to accomplish what the president is proposing will take more resources than they currently have. Even the schools that currently have programs in place similar to those the President proposed said they could do much more if they had more – from state and federal governments. While it remains to be seen whether additional funding will come, the first step – raising awareness for the important role community colleges play in today’s employment scene – was accomplished through the President’s speech.

What the President Said
 
According to a report in the Chronicle of Higher Education, President Obama focused on the plight facing many hard-working Americans who are unable to “enjoy the American Dream” the way previous generations have. The Presidents referred to the problem as “the defining issue of our time,” and stated in his speech, “We shouldn’t settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well while a growing number of Americans barely get by.” The president called for “an economy where everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”
 
To that end, the President touted community colleges as one of the key players in putting America back to work. Obama stated in his address that community colleges were at the forefront of worker training programs across the country, and called . . . read more

The community college system in Virginia will be promoting skills-based education in India, as a partnership with the Wadhwani Foundation.
India represents a huge population that boasts an exceptionally high percentage of youth under the age of 14. In an effort to use that percentage to launch India into world leadership rankings, education has become a priority for the entire country. The Wadhwani Foundation, an Indian non-profit committed to improving the quality of life in this country, recently formed a partnership with an American community college to bring skill-based training to the youth of India. The partnership promises to provide resources to the youth of the country who want to break the cycle of poverty through post-secondary education and lucrative career options.

The New Agreement
 
According to a local article in the Washington Post, the agreement between the Virginia Foundations for Community College Education and the India-based Wadhwani Foundation will enable the American colleges to promote skills-based training overseas. Community colleges in this country specialize in such post-secondary education, preparing students of all ages for specific career paths. However, India schools have not been equipped to provide their growing middle class with the same benefits skills-based training offers, until the Wadhwani Foundation made education a priority in improving the standard of living in that country.
 
The agreement was announced by U.S. Senator Mark Warner. The democrat is a member of the five-person delegation planning a visit to various cities in India, including New Delhi, Jaipur, Hyderabad and Kolkata. The purpose of the visit is to discuss expanding relationships between the United States and India through business, defense, trade . . . read more

Community college students in Wyoming have two new changes coming to campus: tuition hikes and the first Wyoming Community College Summit. Learn more about what to expect.
The state of Wyoming is demonstrating their commitment to higher education this month with the first ever community college summit. The summit, sponsored by the Wyoming Association of Community College Trustees, drew educators from around the state to discuss the changing role of community colleges and the best ways to meet student needs in the future. The governor of Wyoming, Matt Mead, was also on hand for the event, and addressed the gathering in regards to recent decisions made at the state level for community college and the importance of higher education for the state.

Summit Brings Colleges, Businesses Together
 
The Wyoming Community College Summit brought all seven of the state’s community colleges together and included more than 100 educators from those schools. The summit also saw participation from industry partners, business owners from the state who frequently hired community college graduates for their open positions. KWGN reports that these businessmen and women offered input into what their needs were in terms of employees.
 
“You’ll hear all of them today say, the community colleges are essential to their ability to hire and train productive employees and to grow their businesses,” Steve Bahmer, executive director for the Wyoming Association of Community College Trustees, told KWGN.
 
The meeting between business owners and community college officials could pave the way for new programs at local community colleges, based on the changing needs of businesses in the state. This type of coordination between the business world and higher education has long been . . . read more

Learn about the new accountability standards specifically geared toward community colleges and the organization that created them, the American Association of Community Colleges.
While it is important to track the progress and effectiveness of higher education in this country, current standards that apply across the board to both two and four-year institutions do not paint a full picture of the state of postsecondary education today. There are significant differences between four-year universities and two-year community colleges that are simply not addressed in the standards as they are currently written. In most cases, current assessment standards do community colleges an injustice, providing an inaccurate view of how well these schools educate their students.
 
The AACC and the VFA
 
The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is hoping to change the view of the community college system through a set of defined assessment standards designed just for them. According to the AACC website, the new Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA) is the first national accountability system created just for community colleges, taking their unique student demographics and purpose into consideration. The new metrics will be tested out by 58 community colleges initially, according to a brief report in the Chronicle of Higher Education, with the hope that other schools will adopt the framework in the future.
 
The VFA consists of three phase initiative that will encompass many aspects of community college success or failure. When the framework is completed, it will include:

  • A technical manual that will offer an overview of measurement calculations
  • A college framework to guide schools in assessing student learning outcomes
  • A blueprint of data collection to offer an assessment model to participating . . . read more

A new Board of Regents for Higher Education was formed in Connecticut in July, merging the offices of 12 of the state’s community colleges, four universities and one online school. Learn about the details of the plan, as well as the controversy surrounding it.
In an effort to save money and streamline the higher education process, Connecticut has launched a merger of the state’s college system that would create a central board of governance for 12 community colleges, four universities and Charter Oak State College – an online college. The only state school that will remain independent under the new structure is University of Connecticut. While there are many that applaud this change as an effective way to improve the state’s college system overall, others are concerned about exactly how this new merger will impact individual schools with very different missions.

How the Merger Happened and What Students can Expect
 
According to a report at Inside Higher Ed, Connecticut state legislators launched the merger in July, when they created the new Board of Regents for Higher Education to oversee the institutions in the state. Two of the primary reasons for the decision was to save money on higher education overall, as well as to coordinate higher education in the state to ensure students received an education that would prepare them for a lucrative and available job in the future.
 
“The State of Connecticut has to look across higher education,” Gena Glickman, president of Manchester Community College, told Inside Higher Ed. Glickman added that the state needs to determine “whether or not we’re facile enough to meet the needs of each student.”
 
The new Board of Regents will consist of 19 board members, which have not yet been appointed, according to a report at . . . read more
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