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:
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How Community College Campuses are Preparing for the H1N1 Virus
Learn about how community colleges are putting plans in place to prevent and combat the spread of H1N1 on campus.
With the H1N1 spreading across college campuses from Washington to Massachusetts, community colleges are taking action to shelter their students from any potential outbreak.
 
As reported by CNN, according to a presidential advisory panel, the potential spread of the virus could contribute to as many as 90,000 U.S fatalities this season.  Expected to break out in the fall, experts estimate that 30 to 50 percent of the U.S. population may become infected.  
 
Advisors further predict that schools and shared community areas pose the greatest threats for contamination and contagiousness.  To prepare for an array of plausible H1N1-related challenges, community college leaders are avidly making plans to confront the virus on campus.   
 
Community College Preparation for the H1N1 Virus
 
As reported by the Gazette News, Prince George Community College (PGCC), located in Largo, Maryland, is one of many community colleges making preparations against the H1N1 virus.  Considering that Prince George Community College enrolls more than 40,000 students, leaders are concerned that the large number of students enclosed in shared common areas can lead to rapid virus outbreak.  To proactively address the H1N1 threats, “The college has a pandemic team in place composed of about nine people from different departments.” 
 
PGCC has developed guidelines to help the school employ specific responses for an array of potential H1N1 campus issues.  For example, the leaders have established regulations for when and if the campus should shut down amidst an H1N1 outbreak and how many students should have confirmed cases before classes are cancelled. 
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Are Community College Leaders Entitled to Pay Raises Amidst the Recession?
Despite budgetary cuts, some community colleges are giving their executives pay raises. Learn about the controversy and whether or not these pay raises are justified.
The pandemic of 2020-21 has wreaked havoc on higher education budgets worldwide. Here in the United States, while each state faces its own specific economic setbacks, all community colleges have been forced to endure significant spending reductions and employee lay-offs.  
 
According to financial experts, community colleges are the most susceptible to these budget cuts, as community college enrollment tends to soar when the economy falters.  In fact, Wake Technical Community College, one of many North Carolina institutions, experienced a 14 percent increase in student enrollment from just last year alone!  Considering that public educational institutions subsidize the actual cost of teaching students, the increased enrollment puts greater financial demands on the campus at a time when their budgets are being slashed. 
 
With soaring enrollment rates, college leaders fear that they will not be able to provide students with the ideal resources, smaller class sizes, and one-on-one time with instructors.  Yet, in spite of these national concerns, some leaders are still raking in higher salaries—regardless of their school’s budgetary shortfalls. 
 
Ron Polaneczky writing in The Philadelphia Inquirer notes that "according to a recent survey conducted by his organization, the compensation of public community-college presidents range from $81,000 to $390,000, not including extra benefits for housing and car expenses.  The size of the salary is influenced by the size of the school, its location and the number of its students and employees."
 
Community College Pay Raises: Justified or Unfair? 
 
While a number of community college leaders have accepted salary increases,
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Community College Curriculum: Drastically Changed by Today's Economy
Learn about how today's economy has impacted community college curriculum, increased occupational programs, and grown specific career-preparation courses.

The current economy's influence has permeated the educational realm much further than simple budget cuts. In fact, community college curriculum may be permanently changed by today's economy.

 
A rising number of community colleges are shifting their traditional curriculum in order to face local job loss challenges. For example, Michigan's community colleges are changing their course offerings to retrain thousands of unemployed auto workers. Each community college campus is restructuring their curriculum to more accurately meet the needs of the local economy.
 
The Changes in Local Curriculum
 
From California to New York, community colleges are tailoring their comprehensive educational programs to more specialized, technical pathways. For example, Macomb Community College, located in Michigan, has seen its occupational therapy program grow tremendously, especially as local Michigan residents formerly employed by the auto industry look to redefine their skill set. Some of these curriculum changes are even spurred by government encouragement; at Stony Brook community college, the government subsidizes a project management program to help retrain unemployed individuals for the computer services industry.
 
According to Suffolk County Community College in Long Island, NY, "We are out in the trenches on a daily basis...doing everything we can to try to be ground zero of impacting change for individuals looking to get new skills." This sentiment is quickly spreading throughout the entire country's community colleges, who are working to meet the needs of today's economy.
 
Metropolitan Community College (MCC), located in Omaha, Nebraska, has recently made headlines with its innovative programs
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Can Community Colleges Limit Your Right to Free Speech?
Learn about the legal cases brought against community colleges, who allegedly have been violating students' rights to freedom of speech.
Although the United States Constitution asserts that all Americans have the freedom of speech, a handful of community college campuses may be silencing some voices. During classroom debates that focus on controversial topics, ranging from gay marriage to sexism in the workforce, tensions arise – but does this give community colleges the right to silence certain voices?
 
Legal Actions Against Limited Speech in Community Colleges

While there have been several cases brought against community colleges, Los Angeles Community College (LACC), located in California, has garnered the most controversial attention. As the Los Angeles Times reports, LACC student Jonathan Lopez filed a lawsuit against the college after his professor allegedly did not allow Lopez to complete his prepared speech on Proposition 8. According to court documents, Lopez asserts that the professor asked him to shorten his presentation due to the professor's own beliefs regarding gay marriage. As the LA Times specifically recounts, “The student said that the professor cut his presentation short, called him a 'fascist bastard' and told him to ask God' for his grade.”

This video looks at the freedom of speech issue.

Despite the shocking words, Lopez's professor was technically abiding by the sexual harassment policy set forth by LACC. Lopez's professor believed that the student's anti-gay marriage presentation was sexually offensive, and subsequently, by banning Lopez from giving the speech, the professor was indeed adhering to the subjective nature of the sexual harassment school policy.

Due to the offensive remarks allegedly made by Lopez's professor,
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Are California Community Colleges at Risk of Serious Budget Cuts?
Learn about how California's budget woes may impact the future of the Cal Grant and the state's community colleges.
In this weak economy, California's community colleges face deja vu fears that surfaced nearly a decade ago in the state. After a proposed budget cut of $215 million dollars for nearly 108 California community colleges in 2001, critics of former Governor Gray Davis argued that his proposed funding cuts would negatively impact thousands of college students. Sadly, although Davis has been replaced by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, it seems as though California community college students and leaders are facing an all too familiar fear.

California has made national headlines with its many economic struggles and set-backs, and now the state faces grave concerns expressed by community college students. According to recent reports from the California Legislative Committee, new budget cuts proposed by Arnold Schwarzenegger could prevent thousands of potential students from affording community college for the upcoming fall semester. As Schwarzenegger has planned to gradually phase out the Cal Grant aid, which provides support for lower-income college students, some experts fear that nearly 200,000 students' collegiate plans may be deterred. According to the Los Angeles Times, Cal Grant support is the state's main financial aid offered for college students; with this decrease in aid, community college students are worried about their uncertain academic futures.
 
This video from 2021 looks at potential budget cuts at California community colleges.
 
 
California and the Importance of the Cal Grant Support
 
Created in 2000, the Cal Grant legislation was established to guarantee both middle and lower-income students nearly full
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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.

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.

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.

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.

Sustainablility

As a leader in many areas, community colleges are walking the talk, going green in different facets of their operations. Explore what schools are doing to protect the environment, learn how campuses are saving money with green policies, and see why these initiatives benefit students.