Community College News
- What are the Biggest Issues Facing Community Colleges Today? New Study has Answers
- Community Colleges Are Changing Strategies to Increase Enrollment
- Why Obama is Hailed as the Community College President
- Who Will Lead Community Colleges into the Future?
- What Can Community Colleges Learn from this Year’s Aspen Prize Winners?
Community college is the only option for many students who either can’t afford a traditional four-year university or who need a more flexible school environment. Just because community college is different, however, doesn’t mean that its students matter any less. The Aspen Prize exists to encourage community colleges to do more for their students and to continually strive for improvement.
For many years, community colleges had a reputation for being a lesser version of traditional 4-year colleges and universities. It was common for community colleges to offer a smattering of courses at affordable tuition rates, but many were found lacking when it came to helping students complete a degree or transfer to an accredited university.
The Aspen Prize was developed to reward community colleges that go the extra mile toward help their students complete degrees and experience success after graduation. The organization that awards the prize assesses how well institutes perform in four different areas. The award is given every two years and the recipients should be viewed as examples for other community colleges to follow if they hope to do what is best for their students.
In this article, we’ll explore the history of the Aspen Prize and how it was developed. We’ll also take a closer look at this year’s recipients to determine what other community colleges can do to follow their example of commitment to student success, both in college and after graduating.
What is the Aspen Prize?
The Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence is awarded every
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
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,
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