Community College News

Stay abreast of all the news and reports impacting community colleges. This section covers the latest news stories, from campus protests to Wal-Mart partnerships. Read community college reactions to the latest State of the Union address, identify schools receiving big donations, and analyze the latest laws impacting community colleges and their students.
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Community Colleges Are Changing Strategies to Increase Enrollment
Community college enrollment is in decline, but some schools are refusing to roll over. Read on to learn the factors impacting enrollment rates and what some schools are doing to stay afloat.

Though some still think that community colleges are somehow less legitimate than traditional colleges and universities, the fact remains that community colleges provide opportunities for students that might not otherwise find the right fit. With reduced tuition costs and flexible class schedules, community college is ideally suited to non-traditional students including single parents, slightly older adults, and students for whom English is a second language.

Though community colleges fill an important niche in the American hierarchy of education, statistics show that enrollment numbers are falling at an alarming rate. Between 2016 and 2017 alone, enrollment dropped by nearly 2% nationwide. Furthermore, a survey of college and university admissions directors completed by Inside Higher Ed revealed that 84% of community colleges have seen enrollment declines over the past two years.

With declining enrollments and new political challenges to face, community colleges are being forced to adapt. Read on to learn how community colleges are changing strategies to boost enrollment.

Why Is Enrollment in Decline?

In 2018, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center performed a survey to evaluate recent declines in community college enrollments. The survey revealed a decline of 1.8% or 275,000 students compared to the previous spring. This marks the seventh straight year where community college enrollment declined in the United States.

According to the survey, enrollment was down in 34 states. Six out of the ten largest states on that list were located in the Northeast or Midwestern United States. After taking an in-depth look at these declining student

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Sports at Community College: Spring 2017 Trends
Community colleges are not generally known for their athletics programs, but some schools do offer opportunities for student-athletes. In fact, it has been a trending topic this week in March 2017.

Many students choose community college over a traditional four-year university because it is the more affordable option. A year of tuition at community college could be as low as $3,500 compared to more than $33,000 for a private university. But just because community college is more affordable doesn’t necessarily mean it is any less a real college. Many community colleges strive to mimic the “true” college experience by offering their students campus housing and social activities.

Another way in which community colleges strive to compete with traditional universities is by offering athletics programs. In early March of 2017, community college athletics was a trending topic on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media. Keep reading to learn more.

Students Choose Community Colleges for Sports

In early March 2017, the Twitter hashtag #communitycollege was filled with announcements made by incoming community college students making commitments based on athletics. Here is an overview of some of those announcements:

  • On March 2, 2017, Twitter handle @jvaught11 posted, “Excited to announce that I have signed to play baseball at Chandler Gilbert Community College.” Home of the Wild Coyotes, Chandler Gilbert Community College is located in Chandler, Arizona and they offer a variety of different sports programs including baseball, basketball, golf, soccer, softball and volleyball.
  • On March 8, 2017, Twitter handle @CoachRegalado posted, “Congrats to @mgonzalez13 on her visit and PWO offer to Laredo Community College!” Laredo Community College, also known as LCC, is located in Laredo, Texas and offers sports programs including baseball, softball, volleyball, tennis,
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Community College Costs: February Week 2 Trends
Learn about trending community college topics this week such as San Francisco's move toward free tuition at community colleges and the rise in hunger and homelessness among community college students across the country.

Many students opt to attend community college over traditional four-year schools because it is generally cheaper to attend community college. But there are always hidden fees and extra costs to consider as an incoming student. This week on social media, various topics related to community college costs have been trending including Detroit’s action to make community college free and San Francisco’s move to use taxes to pay for community college. There was also an interesting post made by NPR regarding a rise in hunger and homelessness as college costs increase.

San Francisco Becomes First U.S. City to Offer Tuition-Free Community College

On Saturday, February 11 the Twitter handle @CNN (CNN News) posted a link to a news article regarding San Francisco’s decision to offer free community college to all residents starting in the fall of 2017. San Francisco will be the first U.S. city to make this choice and it has many residents in uproar, considering that the tuition costs will be paid for by property taxes equaling more than $5 million. CNN news writer Katie Lobosco reports that this tax is called the “real estate transfer tax” and it was increased in 2016 for both commercial and residential properties, an increase that was approved by voters in November of 2016.

The real estate transfer tax begins at 2.25% and goes as high as 3% for properties with an estimated worth exceeding $25 million. The tax is expected to bring in an average

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Why Four Year Community College Degrees May Be Great for California
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.
There’s a change coming in California.
 
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.
 
On September 28, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 850 (Block) authorizing up to 15 California community college districts to offer a single Baccalaureate degree on a pilot basis. Ultimately, the goal of the bill is to create one million bachelor’s-degree jobs by 2025.
California Community Colleges Four Year 2
A Better College System
 
Former California State Senator Dean Florez says this measure is a powerful move in the right direction. “Allowing California Community colleges to offer four year skill-based degrees has grown from a long simmering recognition—from students, employers and government leaders—that skills matter more today than how and where they were acquired. This new four-year program offers students a more accessible and shorter education pathway with a recognized skill-based credential.” 
 
“Students benefit with a tailored personalized degree program directed in part by employers, blending their career needs with an affordable degree.  It is also very cost effective, given the planned BA degrees will be under $10,000 dollars, which is nearly one-half the cost of California State's four year schools and one-eighth the cost of a traditional University of California four-year degree.  Most community college students can't afford to give up four or five years of income while accumulating six-figure debt, so this degree program is critically
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Arizona Community Colleges Defunded: What Students Need to Know
Leading the country in slashing public education spending, Arizona voted to defund higher education, including Pima and Maricopa Community College Districts, leaving many Arizona college students wondering what this new state legislation means for the future of their education.
As much of the country expands funding for community colleges, and with that funding, improved course offerings and increased access to higher education, Arizona has taken the unusual step of taking funding away from some of its community college systems.  In fact, according to data just released by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Arizona continues its legacy in 2015 as it did in 2014: leading America in slashes to funding – and in tuition increases.   
 
Most impacted are two of the state’s largest community college districts – Maricopa County Community College system and Pima Community College. For several years, budget cuts for higher education spending have been the norm. However, what makes these proposed cuts significant is that it removes state funding altogether. Rather than getting a few million dollars, both the Maricopa and Pima community college systems would receive zero dollars in the next fiscal year as part of the state’s new budget.   What does this mean for students? 
 
Uproar from Higher Ed
 
Understandably, higher education officials in Arizona are not pleased with this outcome. Arizona currently ranks first in terms of higher education funding cuts. This is due in part to drastic moves by the state during the Great Recession to remain solvent. However, although the Great Recession has ended, spending is still being cut in Arizona as the state faces a $1.5 billion budget shortfall.
In fact, the latest round of proposed cuts is just one in
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Community College News

2009-2014

News from 2009-2014.