College Policies

Community college polices are frequently being updated. Keep current on the latest bans, free speech initiatives and safety protocols. Learn what schools are doing to increase funding in the midst of widespread budget cuts, determine the best practices to ensure safety on campus and get the latest on school controversies and student rights.

View the most popular articles in College Policies:

Should Students be Banned from Preaching on Campus?

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Should Students be Banned from Preaching on Campus?
Many people view college campuses as bastions of free speech, but recent actions taken by some institutions of higher learning indicate that this may not always be the case.

Christian Parks, a Christian student attending Thomas Nelson Community College in Virginia, has filed a lawsuit against his school for prohibiting him from preaching on campus. According to the Christian Post, Parks’ argument is that the school violated his “fundamental rights to free speech, free exercise of religion, due process, and equal protection of the law.” The lawsuit further contends that the school prohibited the plaintiff from preaching on campus for fear that his religious views would offend others and prompt complaints.

The college, which is part of the larger Virginia Community College System, maintains a specific policy regarding student demonstrations. In order to stage a demonstration on campus, students are required to be a member of an on-campus student organization and must get permission to pose a demonstration at least four days in advance. The school maintains that the issue at hand is not regarding what Mr. Parks was saying on campus, but that he did not follow proper protocol by failing to get permission to speak ahead of time. Parks’ legal team, the conservative-leaning Alliance Defending Freedom disagrees. Joining the ADF in supporting Mr. Parks’ complaint is the Virginia Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which released a statement saying that students deserve a first-rate college education, “which is impossible without a free exchange of ideas on campus.”

This video looks at preaching on campus.

An Anti-Free Speech Trend

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Firearms Banned at Some Community Colleges this Fall

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Firearms Banned at Some Community Colleges this Fall
In an effort to increase safety, some community colleges will be banning firearms completely on campus. We look at some of the areas that will be taking this approach this school year.

In light of increasing concerns over campus safety, some community colleges are banning firearms this fall. The move has renewed debate over whether guns should be allowed on campus, whether carried by students, faculty, or both. While there are arguments to be made in favor of either position, the trend for this year appears to be focused on keeping guns off campus in hopes of keeping students just a little safer during the school year.

California Community Colleges Say No to Guns

The Los Angeles Times reports that all nine campuses in the Los Angeles Community College District in California will become gun-free zones when students head back to class this fall. The Board of Trustees for the schools recently voted unanimously to ban firearms in nearly all circumstances for this school year.

“It is our responsibility to provide a safe environment for our students, allowing them to feel secure and able to totally focus on their academic goals,” Scott Svonkin, vice president of the board, told the L.A. Times. “They must never be fearful about setting foot on one of our campuses,” Svonkin added.

Previous Shootings Spur Decision

The reasoning behind the ban was a string of violent school shootings, with the most recent occurring at Santa Monica College in June, 2013. During that incident, another Los Angeles Times article reported that five victims died, along with the shooter. The 10-minute rampage began when the shooter killed his father and

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Are Guns Coming to Community College Campuses?

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Are Guns Coming to Community College Campuses?
In light of a string of school shootings in recent months, a number of community colleges are considering arming security officers on campus. What do students and faculty think of the idea?

Recent tragedies at schools nationwide have caused many community colleges to take a serious look at their security policies. At the forefront is whether guards and officers on community college campuses should be allowed to carry firearms. While some college administrators make good arguments for the allowance of weapons, others have equally compelling arguments against the practice. These community colleges offer a small sample of the schools that are grappling with the issue of guns on their campuses.

Holyoke Community College Heeding Massachusetts Report

Holyoke Community College in Massachusetts is looking in-depth at the possibility of arming campus guards after a report on campus violence prevention was released for Massachusetts schools. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education report recommends that “sworn campus police officers should be armed and trained in the use of personal or specialized firearms.” The report was compiled in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech mass shooting in 2007 and another incident at Northern Illinois University in 2008.

According to mLive, the Holyoke Community College Campus Safety Committee is now considering arming the school’s nine full-time police officers. All employees, including Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Academy graduates or the Massachusetts State Police Training Academy, are not allowed to carry guns on campus. However, after a lockdown situation on the college campus in February, the question of armed guards to handle active shooter situations was once again raised.

The Holyoke Community College Campus Safety Committee was formed by the chairwoman of

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Community Colleges Deal with Threats and Attacks

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Community Colleges Deal with Threats and Attacks
Safety has been a top concern at community colleges since the Virginia Tech tragedy, but awareness has been heightened from recent attacks. We’ll discuss what schools are doing to protect students, as well as recent community college attacks in Texas and Virginia.

The Virginia Tech tragedy in 2007 was a glaring indication that community colleges are not immune to the deadly violence that has impacted school campuses across the country. That single incident defined the risks students undertake when they head to classes every day. While schools of all kinds are taking another look at how to keep students safer, unique challenges face community colleges in this area. At the same time, a recent string of community college attacks has highlighted the need for a higher level of security, despite potential obstacles facing these schools.

Attacks at Wyoming School Precede String of Incidents

The first in a recent string of community college attacks took place at a Wyoming school last November. Reuters reports that the son of a professor at Casper College shot his father in the head with a crossbow and arrow in front of a classroom full of students. Students were able to safely exit the classroom as the father and son engaged in a struggle that left both of them dead. Later, authorities found a third victim, another college professor who had been living with the first victim, slain in her home.

“I can’t even imagine what the students in that room had gone through,” Chris Walsh, chief of police in Casper, told Reuters.

This video explains how an attack at a community college in central Wyoming and another location nearby left three people dead.

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California to Reform Community College System

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California to Reform Community College System
We look at a controversial new plan by California Governor Jerry Brown to reform the community college system in his state.

The California Community College system is the largest of its kind in the world, and as such, it tends to come under intense scrutiny any time changes are suggested or made. Governor Jerry Brown has recently been thrust into the community college focus, as the governor has dealt with a budget crisis facing the system. Now that California voters have agreed to pour more money into the state’s community colleges, Brown is making headlines once again, with his ideas for reforming the entire system.

More Money brings Reform Plan

Thanks to the passage of Proposition 30 last November, community colleges will be receiving more funding – nearly $200 million more, according to a Los Angeles Times report. The money is much needed for a system that has been forced to significantly cut class offerings and even students in an effort to balance dwindling budgets. With the money comes Governor Brown’s plan for college reform, designed to improve completion rates and accessibility throughout the system. While the plan is hailed by some as a bold approach to improving higher education in the state, others fear some of the elements of the plan could have a negative impact on the very students the plan was created to help.

The Los Angeles Times states that reforms issued by Governor Brown could significantly alter the way community colleges in the state operate in the future. As the governor drafted his community college reform plan, he kept

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Recent Articles

New Law Brings Accountability to California Community Colleges
New Law Brings Accountability to California Community Colleges
We explore Senate Bill 1456, which would hold community colleges in the state to a higher standard. How would this translate to benefits for students?
Community Colleges React to President Obamas State of the Union
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.
A to Z of Community College Certificates and Courses
A to Z of Community College Certificates and Courses
From business and healthcare to technology and skilled trades, the article showcases the breadth of options available to students seeking to enhance their knowledge, develop new skills, or pursue career advancement.

College Policies

COLLEGE FUNDING
Community colleges are coping with major budget deficits, and this section covers how students are being impacted. From local fundraising efforts to federal grants, we’ll explore how community colleges are staying afloat despite funding cuts and cost increases.
How Community Colleges Fundraise to Improve Campuses
How Community Colleges Fundraise to Improve Campuses
California Community College System Slammed with Budget Cuts
California Community College System Slammed with Budget Cuts
Community College Curriculum: Drastically Changed by Today's Economy
Community College Curriculum: Drastically Changed by Today's Economy
CAMPUS SAFETY
Community college campuses should be a safe place, and these policies, controversial or not, aim to achieve that goal. Schools have banned sex offenders from campus, allowed security to carry guns and installed surveillance cameras in an effort to keep students safe. Here we’ll cover the latest crime and safety policies in place on campuses across the country.
Sex Offenders: Banned on Community College Campuses
Sex Offenders: Banned on Community College Campuses
Community Colleges Contemplate Armed Security Guards on Campus
Community Colleges Contemplate Armed Security Guards on Campus
Campus Safety on Community Colleges
Campus Safety on Community Colleges
SCHOOL CONTROVERSIES
From controversial reform to cursing in the classroom, our articles provide the latest news on school controversies. Here you’ll find information on some of the hot button topics related to community colleges.
Sending Prisoners Back to School? A New IHEP Study Says Yes
Sending Prisoners Back to School? A New IHEP Study Says Yes
California to Reform Community College System
California to Reform Community College System
Changes Coming to Nevada Community Colleges
Changes Coming to Nevada Community Colleges
STUDENT RIGHTS
From free speech to free dress, what rights do students have or relinquish on campus? Smoking bans, faith based initiatives and rights violations are just a few of the topics covered here. Don’t miss out on the latest information on student rights on community college campuses.
Faith Based Initiatives at Community Colleges: Faux Pas or Politically Correct?
Faith Based Initiatives at Community Colleges: Faux Pas or Politically Correct?
Should Students be Banned from Preaching on Campus?
Should Students be Banned from Preaching on Campus?
More Smoking Bans at Community Colleges Billow, But Not All is Sunny
More Smoking Bans at Community Colleges Billow, But Not All is Sunny