Courses in College

Be inspired by the gamut of community college courses, from the arts to technical training. This section will cover everything from remedial classes to continuing education. Community colleges offer courses for youth and teens, individuals looking for a new hobby or skill, or those behind bars looking for a second chance.
View the most popular articles in Courses in College:
Looking for a way to get a college education at little or no cost? So is the current administration!
Last year, President Obama created a plan for community colleges that included a $500 million budget to create free online courses that could be tailored to the specific needs of students. According to Inside Higher Ed, the proposal was part of a larger plan to beef up community college services and access, preparing more Americans for practical job opportunities in the current workforce.
Plan Specifics
In addition to helping high schools come up with low-cost curriculum, the original proposal coming out of the White House offered federal funding to help community colleges develop courses that students could take absolutely free. The $500 million originally offered would be used to both create curriculum and ways to assess student performance in the courses. The efforts would be coordinated under a "National Skills College."
Many community colleges supported the efforts, even as they were making the move to put more and more courses online. An online curriculum makes sense to many community college students who are trying to structure their education around a professional job and family responsibilities. In light of the fact that many community college students have limited resources to spend on education, the free courses make even more sense on this level. Some college officials are even hopeful that free online courses would inspire other organizations to set up laptop programs to make computers available to low-income students.
Unfortunately, the Obama plan
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While Goldman Sachs has found itself in plenty of hot investigative water recently, the investment bank has also contributed significantly to the development of small businesses via community colleges. Last year, Goldman Sachs announced the launch of 10,000 Small Business, a multi-million dollar initiative geared toward the creation and growth of small businesses across the country.

An Associated Press report published on Diverse Issues in Higher Education last November stated that Goldman Sachs is teaming up with billionaire Warren Buffett to provide $5 million to support small business owners in a variety of ways. Of that amount, $3 million will go to increasing opportunities for financial capital, while $2 million will be earmarked for education and training. The advisory council for the 10,000 Small Businesses initiative will be co-chaired by Buffett, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter.
Overcoming Obstacles
According to the Goldman Sachs website, Goldman Sachs is partnering with Warren Buffett, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City and Community College Associations to provide for three factors that have been identified as the primary barriers to the growth of small business in the United States:

  • Access to Financial Capital – Goldman Sachs will invest $300 million in a combination of lending and donations to Community Development Financial Institutions to increase the amount of growth capital available to small businesses.
  • Business Education – Additional education and training will be available to business owners through a partnership between Goldman Sachs, local community colleges, universities and other educational institutions.
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A pilot program that is set to debut in eight states will allow students to graduate high school as early as the end of 10th grade if they pass certain exams and demonstrate subject mastery.  Upon “graduation,” these students will enroll in community colleges. 

About the New Program
The new program, as the New York Times reports, will allow 10th graders who pass “board exams” in math, English, history, and science to graduate two years early and begin taking courses at a community college if they so choose.
Those students who pass the exams but want to attend a selective four-year college or university may choose to continue taking high school courses during their 11th and 12th grade years. Those students who do not pass the tests in 10th grade will have the opportunity to take the exams again at the end of their 11th and 12th grade years.
The Program’s Goals
Reduce Need for Remedial Coursework in College
One of the program’s goals is to reduce the numbers of students who enter community colleges and four-year universities unprepared for college-level work. The New York Times reports that nationwide, “more than a million college freshmen require remedial coursework each year.”
The National Center on Education and the Economy, which is organizing the program, says that students who require remedial coursework are more likely to drop out before earning a degree, as Rhode Island’s Providence Journal reports.
The new program will address the problem of under-prepared college students by providing high
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In the last decade, community colleges have certainly overcome its wrongful stereotype as “13th grade,” providing invaluable education and training to millions of successful graduates. However, with 20% to 60% of today’s community college students needing remedial coursework, could the stereotype be reinforced once again?    
The Problem
Shocking numbers of community college students need remedial coursework
According to Michigan’s Detroit Free Press, experts estimate that about 20% of students at four-year colleges and universities across the nation need remedial coursework of some kind. But at community colleges, “it has been estimated that 60% of first-time students need at least one remedial course.”

Remedial coursework is costly for states and for students
The education research and advocacy group Alliance for Education estimated in 2006 that remedial education at community colleges and four-year universities costs taxpayers and students $1.4 billion per year.

Detroit Free Press reports that in the state of Michigan alone, more than $28 million is spent each year on remediation courses at just the community college level.
Students who require remedial coursework more likely to drop out
The Alliance for Education also estimated that the United States economy loses more than $2.3 billion every year due to the higher college dropout rate of students who require remedial reading coursework. An individual who drops out of college has a significantly reduced lifetime expected earning potential.
The Cause
High school curriculum inadequate preparation
An inadequate high school curriculum is likely one of the main reasons that large numbers of students who enter community college are unprepared for college-level
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Increasing numbers of students are enrolling in two-year community college programs, yet only one-third of these students will graduate with their degrees. Naturally, there are multifaceted reasons for the high dropout rate, but some reports cite the students’ struggle with math courses as playing a major role, as outlined by WNYC.   
Most community colleges require that students take three placement tests prior to registering for classes. The placement tests include a basic math section, a reading comprehension section, and a writing composition section.  
Approximately half of prospective community college students struggle with the math placement test, and thus, require at least one remedial math class. Even at community colleges, most degrees require the successful completion of several college level math classes, and many students consistently struggle to make the grade.
Clearly, lowering the community college dropout rate hinges in part on preparing students for math success.
Math Placement Tests: How to Improve Your Score
Scoring well on the math placement test can save a lot of time, effort, and money in the long term. In most cases, remedial math classes don’t count towards degree requirements, and thus, making the score on placement tests can save you tuition fees. The best way to prepare for the math placement test is to get the gray matter working again – especially if a lot of time has elapsed since your last math class.
A number of inexpensive options can help; the libraries are packed full of textbooks on basic algebra and
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Recent Articles
November 05, 2015
More and more, students are choosing to go to community college over traditional four-year universities but community colleges still have a bad reputation. Learn why in this informative article.
September 15, 2015
While study abroad has long been considered an option only for students at four-year colleges and universities, there are actually many options for community college students who would like to experience studying in another country.
August 06, 2015
Recently, a measure passed that allows community colleges in California to offer 4 year degrees. Until now such offerings have been the sole province of other institutions. Now, the game has changed.
Courses in College

Remedial Education

60% of community college students need remedial courses. This section covers the classes and new developments to help students who need remedial coursework. Learn why the gap exists, how schools are combatting it and what you can do to avoid remedial classes. Get tips on mastering college math, learn what you can do to prevent repeating a class and hear what the experts have to say about remedial class placement.

Kids and Teens

Community college is not just for adults. Learn about all the programs available to children and teens too. From aiding high school dropouts to ramped up summer school programs, community colleges work hard to encourage the pursuit of higher education to students of all ages.

Online Courses

Online classes give you the flexibility to learn off-campus, often at times most convenient for your schedule. Identify 10 degrees you can earn online, weigh the pros and cons of online education and find out how you can take online classes for free.

Class Schedules

Setting your class schedule with community colleges gives you flexibility and many options.

Support for Businesses

Local business are taking advantage of special training programs at community colleges. From OSHA training to a collaboration with Goldman Sachs, community colleges are training employees for small and large businesses across the country.

Fun & Elective Classes

Community colleges offer a gamut of fun and interesting classes, and we give ideas that may strike inspiration for your elective choices. Learn homesteading skills, study paranormal investigating, or earn a scuba diving certificate all at a community college near you. This sections identifies some of the fun non-credit courses available at your local campus.

Continuing Education

Community colleges are filled with continuing education opportunities. Whether you are looking for a resume booster, new skills to earn a promotion or want to earn your degree while incarcerated, community college may be a good choice for you.