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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Learn about the recent grant money awarded to Arkansas and Texas by Complete College America and how the money will be used to increase completion rates at colleges across the states.
Community colleges have traditionally adopted an all-inclusive policy when it comes to the students who want to earn an associate degree or professional certificate after high school. Unfortunately, the willingness to let all students into the programs, regardless of their high school academic records, has left many community colleges across the country with dismal completion rates, compared to many of the four-year institutions that carefully screen applicants prior to admittance. Some schools have met this problem head-on, developing remedial programs that actually work to keep college student in school until graduation. Some of the states where these schools are located recently received a financial boost from Complete College America, a non-profit organization solely committed to increasing community college completion rates nationwide.
The Problem in Texas
Texas is one of the states in the country that has struggled with getting community college students all the way to graduation. According to a report in the Texas Tribune, 48 percent of community college students in the state require some form of remedial education or additional assistance to get up to speed academically so they can handle the rigors of higher education. Nearly 38 percent of those students do not measure up in their math skills when they graduate from high school – a fact that directly impacts a student’s ability to succeed in college. To help many of these students, colleges currently offer remedial math classes to bring them up to par. However, remedial coursework
Learn about some of the commemorative events on the 10th anniversary of 9-11 occurring at community colleges across the country
The events of 9-11 made their mark on the lives of every American, as well as others around the globe. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of 9-11, and community colleges are finding unique ways to commemorate the date. While many of the events are scheduled for campuses in the state of New York, where the World Trade Center tragedy occurred, other colleges around the country are also hosting events to remember those who lost their lives, family members, first responders, and others whose lives were changed forever on that date. We’ll take you to some of the campuses that are planning special events across the nation.
Cayuga Community College to Display Piece of World Trade Center
Cayuga Community College in New York is proud to be home to one of the few remaining pieces of the World Trade Center today, according to a report at YNN. The school will display an exhibit that includes the artifact, titled the New York Remembers Tribute. The exhibit will also showcase the role played by the college during the events of that fateful day. While emergency crews headed out in mass to save those trapped in the World Trade Center rubble, Cayuga’s NASA Center took in information from satellites on 9-11 and passed that data along to the police and fire fighters working at Ground Zero. During the early hours of the tragedy, these photos were the only information workers had to use to navigate the wreckage that just hours earlier
As a major school-to-industry initiative, Wal-Mart is funding a new program to train up 2,000 D.C. residents for retail positions through the local community college to support the four new stores it plans to open in the area in the near future.
With an unemployment rate over 10 percent and 34 percent of the population considered “functionally illiterate,” any employment training program that is introduced to the city of Washington D.C. should be a welcome addition. That must have been Wal-Mart’s philosophy when it announced that the company would be partnering with the city to launch a three-year, $3 million pilot program to train a new workforce of 2,000 D.C. residents. There is no doubt that Wal-Mart is hoping to gain some good will from the city through its efforts, but there are significant benefits to the residents struggling to make ends meet in the city as well.
New Training at the Local Community College
The new program introduced by Wal-Mart would provide 2,000 D.C. residents with essential retail training to help them land jobs in the industry. In the past, many retail companies have gone outside the city limits – to Maryland and Virginia – to find qualified workers to staff their stores. With this new program, more qualified applicants would be found right in the community, assisting a population with high illiteracy and unemployment rates to improve the standard of living within the city.
According to an article in the Washington Times, the $3 million contribution by Wal-Mart would be split between the new Community College of the District of Columbia and the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. The community foundation will oversee a grant program to improve computer, language and literacy skills within the D.C.
Although California’s real estate may be soft, the state’s community college constructions projects are booming. Learn about where the $1.6 billion is going and how community colleges are improving their facilities.
New construction may be at a standstill for the housing market throughout the West Coast, but that slowdown hasn’t impacted construction enhancements at many community colleges around the state of California. From new student centers to “green” classrooms, the projects at institutions of higher education right now are making up a large percentage of the total construction occuring around the state. And since colleges had already earmarked portions of their budget for the enhancements, many schools are finding they are actually saving money, thanks to the lower cost of supplies and property over the past few years. We’ll take a look at how some California community colleges are gearing up for bigger, better campuses in the not-so-distant future.
50 Projects, $1.6 Billion
50 Projects, $1.6 Billion
According to a recent report at Sign on San Diego, more than 50 construction projects are currently underway at community colleges and universities across the state of California. The total projected cost for the combined effort is around $1.6 billion, a huge boon to a slumping construction industry where only a few housing projects are still up and running. In addition to the current projects, there are many more waiting to begin, ensuring the construction industry for the state will continue to find work and revenue for some years to come.
Boone Hellmann, University of California, San Diego vice chancellor for facilities, design and construction, told Sign on San Diego, “I think it’s extraordinarily fortunate to have an influx of work in both the community
Community colleges have big beautification plans this summer to prepare their campuses for the fall. Learn about some of the lovely and innovative projects in store this summer, even for budget-strapped schools.
Summer is the time that many homeowners kick their renovation projects in high gear, but homeowners aren't the only ones sprucing up their environment this year. Community colleges around the country are finding ways to make the campus experience more attractive to students and staff. Despite tight budgets for many schools, some are getting creative in finding ways to spruce up their campus grounds without breaking the bank. We'll take a look at how three community colleges are providing their students with a prettier place to head back to class.
Taking Trash to a Whole New Level
Laredo Community College art students have found a new way to bring their artistic endeavors to life. According to a recent report in the Laredo Sun, many of the art students at this school have spent the last semester experimenting with a brand new medium – large steel drums that serve as outdoor trash cans throughout the campus. The painted drums are a part of a Laredo campus beautification project known as "Yes We Can!"
For this part of the project, art students painted 19 well-known works of art onto the cans, including masterpieces by Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cezanne and Diego Rivera. Creating a design for the paintings from a two-dimensional canvas to a cylinder was more than a little challenging. Students began by reproducing pictures from an art history book and transferring them onto a 3-foot cylinder using a redrawing technique. From there, students designed their images in a