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:

Lessons Community Colleges Can Learn from the Arizona Shooting Tragedy

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Lessons Community Colleges Can Learn from the Arizona Shooting Tragedy
The Arizona shooter was a community college student who had shown clear signs of trouble while on campus. What can community colleges learn from the tragedy in moving forward?
Photo Credit: White House
Ever since tragedy hit Virginia Tech in 2007, college campuses have been examining ways to make their schools safer for students and faculty. The more recent shootings in Arizona have further illustrated the need for intervention with disturbed students that could pose a potential danger to themselves or others. However, identifying the problem and finding a reasonable solution are two very different things. We will take a look at how some colleges are learning lessons from the Arizona tragedy and using what they learned to enhance safety on their campuses.

About Jared Loughner

Jared Loughner was a student at Pima Community College in Tucson. The college became concerned about some of Loughner's erratic behavior and eventually suspended him from the school. A few months after Loughner's suspension, he opened fire on a shopping mall in Arizona, wounding 13 and killing six people, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

According to a report at Google News, officials at Pima Community College released 51 pages of police documents on Loughner, depicting him as "creepy," "very hostile" and "having difficulty understanding what he did wrong in the classroom."

When Loughner released a YouTube video that called the college a "scam" and associated it with genocide, school officials told Loughner and his parents that he was no longer able to return to his classes. He would also need to obtain a report from a psychiatrist attesting to his mental health before coming back to the school campus again. Loughner never returned to Pima.
 
In this
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Cursing in the Classroom: Professor Ousted for Swearing

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Cursing in the Classroom: Professor Ousted for Swearing
In a Hawaii community college philosophy course, a professor used profanity to get students' attention and inspire independent thought, but the efforts may have backfired.
Philosophy courses are designed to make students think, challenge their beliefs and help them arrive at theories and dogmas that will support them throughout life. One professor in Hawaii uses a rather colorful means of jumpstarting the process in his philosophy courses at Hawaii Community College. He throws a few expletives into his first few lectures in hopes of getting students to sit up and take notice – and to think for themselves. However, his out-of-the-box teaching style may have lost him his job. 
 

About the Professor

According to a report at Inside Higher Ed, Daniel Petersen has been teaching philosophy courses at Hawaii Community College and at the University of Hawaii at Hilo for 21 years. He begins his classes with the phrase, "Shit happens," to introduce the idea of free will and determinism. Petersen says his approach grabs the students' attention in the first few moments of the class, and it tunes them into the subject matter so they engage more readily.

"I do what I do to wake students up," Petersen told the Star-Advertiser. "It makes them stand up and take notice. I know many of them are very religious. It makes them sit up and think a bit. But I've never sworn at a student." Petersen emphasizes that he has never directed his profanity directly at a student, but has used a smattering of four-letter words in the context of his lectures for this precise purpose.
 
The Complaint
 
Petersen's approach apparently offended at least one student last year. This student shared her
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Free Speech vs. Campus Safety: When a Student Writes about an Addiction to Kill

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Free Speech vs. Campus Safety: When a Student Writes about an Addiction to Kill
Veteran Charles Wittington, a community college student, wrote about his killing addiction and was subsequently banned from campus. Was he entitled through free speech to express his opinion, or is campus safety more important? Weigh in on the controversy.
A recent "addition to killing" essay written by a student at the Community College of Baltimore in Maryland has shaken the campus and left the student barred from attending classes. The essay, titled, "War is a Drug," refers to an addiction to killing that the student developed after serving in Iraq. Since the essay was published in the campus newspaper, the student, Charles Wittington, has been removed from campus until he receives a psychological assessment stating that he is not a danger to fellow students and staff at the college.

Wittington's Service

Charles Wittington was in the army infantry in Iraq from October 2005 to June 2007, according to a report at CNN. During that time, Wittington survived three attacks from improvised explosive devices, and he had to be medically evacuated out of Iraq in 2007. After Wittington's discharge, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. He also lost a finger in one of the attacks. Currently, Wittington is on medication and receiving counseling to help him cope with the aftermath of his war experience.
 
Wittington did not find the transition from the armed service to civilian life an easy road. At one point, Wittington went on a drinking binge that resulted in him crashing a car and hurting a number of people. Wittington spent three months in jail for the incident, according to the Baltimore Sun. When he was released, he enrolled in Community College of Baltimore in an effort to turn his life
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The Movement to Outsource Community College Classes

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The Movement to Outsource Community College Classes
Outsourcing is commonplace for customer service and software programming, but what about community college instruction? Learn more about the trend that is outsourcing community college classes and teachers.
Outsourcing has become a standard component of a free market system today, with companies heading to outside sources for everything from customer service to health care support. Now community colleges appear to be a part of the outsourcing model, with schools using alternative resources for instruction, curriculum and even grading papers!
 
Pros and Cons of Outsourcing
 
A research report from Stanford University, titled "Outsourcing of Instruction at Community Colleges," lists many of the advantages and drawbacks of using outside sources for educating college students. Some of the benefits of the practice include:
  • Outsourcing can lead to more efficient and higher quality education.
  • A standardized curriculum offers consistency in quality.
  • A competitive market usually means a higher quality of product and service.
  • There are cost savings between hiring additional faculty and outsourcing teaching services.
By the same token, opponents of the outsourcing concept cite some of the drawbacks to the practice:
  • Profit-making industries present a conflict of interest with the public goals of colleges.
  • Outsourcing could undermine the tenure-based employment system.
  • The quality of teaching could be lower.
  • There is a lack of control by faculty over curriculum and course design.
While the jury appears to still be out on whether outsourcing is a good idea for community colleges, many schools and companies are proceeding with plans to broaden the scope of higher education through sources outside the mainstream education sector.
 
This video offers an overview of teaching in a community college.
 
 
Remedial Courses from the Private Sector
 
A recent article on Inside Higher Ed reports
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What Will Happen When Federal Stimulus Funds End? Most Community Colleges Don't Know

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What Will Happen When Federal Stimulus Funds End? Most Community Colleges Don't Know
Pushed by growing enrollment yet restrained by budget cuts, community colleges face an unknown future in balancing their budgets when federal stimulus funding dollars run dry.
Community colleges have experienced a surge in enrollment, thanks to an economic slowdown that has resulted in fewer graduates being able to afford four-year universities right out of high school. Rising unemployment rates have also contributed to the increased enrollment at these institutions, as laid-off adults head back to school to get training in recession-proof industries.
 
This trend works well into President Obama's plan to raise graduation rates at colleges across the country over the next few years. However, the increase in students also requires additional funding to accommodate them – which is much easier said than done in the current economic climate. 

Stimulus Funding and Community Colleges

Stimulus money has been a help to many community colleges striving to provide courses and support to the new influx of students. However, stimulus funding is not expected to continue into the next academic year, leaving many institutions floundering for ways to make up the budget shortfall at a time when belts have already been tightened past the comfortable point.
 
In fact, the large majority of community colleges across the country have absolutely no idea how they will balance their budgets once stimulus funding ends, according to a recent study from The Education Policy Center at the University of Alabama.
 
According to a report at Inside Higher Ed, the annual survey of state directors of community colleges revealed that only 11 states have a plan in place to balance their budgets once stimulus money is gone. By the
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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.
California Community College System Slammed with Budget Cuts
California Community College System Slammed with Budget Cuts
How Community Colleges Fundraise to Improve Campuses
How Community Colleges Fundraise to Improve Campuses
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
Campus Safety on Community Colleges
Campus Safety on Community Colleges
Does Your Community College Allow Guns on Campus?
Does Your Community College Allow Guns on Campus?
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.
Changes Coming to Nevada Community Colleges
Changes Coming to Nevada Community Colleges
California to Reform Community College System
California to Reform Community College System
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?
How Free is Free Speech on Community College Campuses?
How Free is Free Speech on Community College Campuses?