Why Community College

Learn all about community college and whether it is the right choice for your academic career. We'll cover the history of community colleges, the latest trends and issues, and the top degree-producing schools. Find out why students are turning to community colleges, see what issues affect campuses with such a diverse student body, and get information on the latest trends in degree offerings.
View the most popular articles in Why Community College:
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What Can Washington do about the State of Community Colleges?
President Obama met with community college leaders recently, and we’ll analyze what they discussed and what Washington can do to help make community colleges less expensive and more productive.
When President Obama took office in 2009, he adopted the ambitious goal of raising college graduation rates in America to 60 percent, which translates to five million additional college graduates by the year 2020. Achieving this lofty goal has already proven to be easier said than done, as the cost of education continues to increase across the country. This month, the President called a meeting with college officials, who were invited to the White House to discuss with the President how to make college less expensive and more productive. The task is far from small, as there are many issues that must be addressed before Washington will see an improvement to the current state of the community college system.

The Latest Meeting

According to a report at Inside Higher Ed, the latest meeting between President Obama and college leaders was unusual on three counts. First, the meeting was called rather last minute, with college officials scrambling somewhat to make it to Washington for their appointment. Second, the meeting was held behind closed doors, without journalists or others privy to the information that was shared.  Finally, the meeting was attended by the President himself, instead of a representative from the President’s staff, as is the norm with most meetings of this nature.

The Washington meeting was well-attended, with representatives from large state systems, private institutions and a community college system in attendance. The three representatives from state systems included Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York; Francisco Cigarroa,
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Community Colleges Leading the Pack in Digital Technology
Calling all tech-lovers! A new survey by Republic’s Center for Digital Education and Converge Online has ranked the community colleges that most effectively integrate digital technology into daily campus life.
As community colleges grapple with large student populations and fewer resources, technology has become one solution for meeting the needs of more students for less money. Schools that adeptly integrate technology into daily campus life can accommodate a wide range of student schedules, without adding more manpower to handle the job. The Center for Digital Education and Converge Online recently recognized some of the community colleges across the country that are making the best use of technology to enhance the education experience. These schools topped the list of the Digital Community Colleges Survey as some of the most technically savvy schools in the nation.

About the Survey

The recent survey by the Center for Digital Education and Converge Online took a number of factors into consideration as they were determining the top community colleges for technology usage, including:

  • Integration of technology into campus life and course curriculum
  • Documentation of online admissions processes
  • Sufficient technology training for both faculty members and students
  • Efficient use of Web 2.0 social functions
  • Ability to accommodate distance education
  • Ample online services for students, including tutoring and advising services
  • Ability to utilize campus security alerts through technology
With a number of factors considered, it becomes apparent that those community colleges that made the grade in this current survey find ways to integrate digital technology into every facet of daily campus life.
“As community college enrollments continue to increase, school leaders are incorporating new technologies to enhance student services and improve course curriculum,” Cathilea Robinett, executive vice president for the Center for Digital Education, stated
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Going Mobile: Apps Available at Community Colleges
Community college students: there's an app for that! Enjoy a sampling of the interesting mobile apps that are coming from community colleges.
Mobile apps are providing information on the go for a host of subjects today. Now, community colleges are getting in on the technology action, with their very own apps designed just for their students and faculty. Whether you are looking for information about extracurricular activities available on campus or where to go for financial aid assistance, these apps are ready to get you the information you need in a flash – no matter where you might be. Check out how some community colleges across the country are using the latest technology craze to make campus life easier for their student body.
Two Mobile Apps Available to Montgomery County Community College Students
Montgomery County Community College students now have their campus in the palms of their hands – quite literally – with two new mobile apps available. According to a report at the Upper Moreland-Willow Grove Patch, the school now features MOX, an application by Datatel’s Mobile Access that offers a wealth of information about the college. The app includes general information about both the Blue Bell and Pottstown campuses, including current campus events, contact information for school administrators, class schedules and locations, and even overdue library books.
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Why is Enrollment Falling at Some Community Colleges?
Explore a trend seen this year, where enrollment rates are stabilizing or even falling at many community colleges around the country.
Business has been booming at community colleges across the country in recent years, as a slow economy has sent many displaced workers and high school graduates in search of affordable higher education to their campuses. However, that trend appears to be slowing – at least for some areas of the nation – this year, as many community colleges are seeing slower growth rates and even a reversal in enrollment numbers. Why the change? While no one seems to know exactly why fewer students are now enrolling in community colleges, there are some theories circulating about the lower enrollment figures.
This video looks at falling enrollment in Michigan community colleges.

Michigan and California Community Colleges Facing Declining Enrollment

Michigan is just one of the Midwestern states that is seeing some of the most dramatic drops in community college enrollment this year. According to a report a CTI Career Search, schools in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo Valley are both facing smaller student bodies this year than last, with an approximate five-percent drop in enrollment numbers. More of the schools in the state are expecting similar declines.

“We’re hearing from at least a quarter of the schools, maybe as many as a third,” Michael Hansen, president of the Michigan Community College Association was quoted as saying at CTI Career Search. “There are a number of reasons. But when you consider that the colleges have seen record enrollment for the past
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Community College at the Local Mall? Some Schools Say Cha-Ching
Community colleges across the country that are adding classrooms in local malls. Learn about how the practice is advantageous to both the schools and struggling shopping centers.
Heading to class and heading to the mall may sound like two very different adventures, but a few community colleges across the country are merging the two into a single trek that is advantageous to everyone involved. Mall space is often an economical alternative for community college expansion, providing necessary space in a convenient location for students. We have a number of community colleges nationwide that are taking classes to the mall during upcoming school years.
Renovation Plans Send Displaced Students into Retail Space

Austin Community College in Texas has big plans for its students over the next few years, as the campus plans for major expansion in hopes of meeting future enrollment projections. However, as the campus undergoes the upheaval typical of construction projects, many feared that a student cutback would be necessary until the expansion was complete. Fortunately for Austin, that problem was easily solved by purchasing “swing space” at a nearby mall.

According to a report at Community Impact Newspaper, the college plans to buy former Dillard’s and Macy’s buildings at the Highland Mall until the campus expansion plan is complete. The renovations of the mall property will be funded by bonds from a 2013 or 2014 election and will provide additional space to Austin Community College for the next 12 years.
This is not the only mall purchase the college has made recently. According to a report at the Austinist, the college also purchased 173 acres, including the former J.C. Penney building, for $15.7 million. Last
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Recent Articles
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Why Community College


What is a community college and why are more students turning to them? Who are some of the most famous community college graduates? Here you’ll find the answers to these questions and more.

Trends and Current Issues

Get information on the latest trends and issues affecting community colleges today. Explore the impact of community colleges on the global economy, get information on how community colleges have changed over the years, and see how the latest technologies are being employed on campus.

Student Populations

Attracting students from all walks of like, community college campuses are rich with diversity. This section covers a myriad of issues relating to student populations. Learn more about LGBT support on community college campuses, explore adult-friendly degree programmers and, see what resources are available to veterans.

Enrollment & Admissions

We provide a comprehensive look into some of the most important issues affecting enrollment and admissions. Get the latest news on declining enrollment across the country and the impact it has. Learn more about the latest trends in admissions requirements from vaccinations to placement tests. Find expert advice on what to expect your first year, and lean more about the pitfalls to avoid.


Community colleges have been expanding course and degree offerings. This section provides information on your options, from GED to a bachelor’s degree. Learn how you can benefit from a professional certification, find out which community colleges are offering bachelor’s degrees, and identify the top degree-producing colleges.