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- One-third of the student population at community colleges were enrolling in college right after graduating from high school.
- One-third was returning to college from the workforce, presumably to get additional training for their current job or education necessary to switch careers.
- One-third was taking community college course for self-improvement or enjoyment purposes.
- Half the students surveyed were age 26 or older.
- About 60 percent were planning to transfer to a four-year university after completing their community college degree program (actual transfer rates are actually much lower).
Just How Similar?
The American Association of Community Colleges recently released a brief titled, "Just How Similar? Community Colleges and the For-Profit Sector." The study focuses on the fundamental differences between community and for-profit colleges that makes it difficult to compare the two types of institutions according to the criteria that have been used recently. According to a press release on PR Newswire, while the post-secondary institutions may offer a number of common programs, that tends to be where the similarities end. These institutions serve a widely different population, which results in different outcomes and success rates overall.
- A higher ratio of minority students at community colleges. More than half of all Hispanic students and 40% of Black, Native American and Alaskan Native students were enrolled in community colleges in 2008, according to the study results posted at the American Association of Community
- Community colleges are not living up to their expectations in terms of course availability, relevance of coursework and schedule flexibility.
- The colleges are not providing high quality education in their academic offerings.
- Many students leave community colleges due to family issues, lack of availability of courses and concerns about the quality of education.