Student Issues / Attending College
In this struggling economy, community college has become the go-to place for displaced workers looking for training in a new field and high school graduates who are unable to afford the skyrocketing tuition rates at four-year institutions. However, the path from enrollment to graduation is not always an easy one. We have tips to help incoming students get the most from their community college experience, so they can use it as an effective starting point for a successful and lucrative career.
Are You Ready?
The first step toward community college success is proper preparation before the enrollment process even takes place. Whether you are coming to college right out of high school, or have been out of the world of academia for some time, you can determine your college readiness with a relatively simple process.
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring programs work by pairing newcomers with older, more experienced students. Mentors may provide a number of valuable functions, including helping new students with their schedules, providing campus tours and offering information about resources and facilities available on campus. In some cases, mentors might also be faculty members dedicated to helping new students succeed by easing them through the transition between high school or the workforce and a college environment. These programs can be a powerful tool to student success when they are correctly implemented.
However, many states have found that the current economic crunch and exceedingly high unemployment rate are forcing them to make difficult decisions when balancing their budgets. Some of those decisions involve cutting funding to institutions of higher education –just when schools need money the most. When less money is available, students tend to suffer from fewer services and crowded classes that make it difficult to graduate on time. Less funding also means fewer options in financial aid and higher tuition rates, which often price many low-income students right out of the community college market.
New Report Shows Shrinking Budgets Impacting Completion Rates
A new report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education shows a direct correlation between less funding and diminishing completion rates at many community colleges around the country. According to the agency’s website, the report, titled, “Affordability and Transfer:
Community colleges are now realizing some of the benefits of living on campus that four-year colleges have known for generations, including:
- Better proximity to college resources like the library and recreation center
- Exposure to international lifestyles that comes from living near fellow students from around the globe
- The ability to fully immerse oneself in the college experience by remaining in the environment after classes are finished for the day
- Ease of meeting other students and building relationships with those in a similar season of life
- Apartments or dormitories that are often fully furnished and affordable, providing an economic housing option to cash-strapped students