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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Jobs for the Future Announces New Initiative to Transform Adult Education
Learn about the latest initiative from Jobs for the Future, Accelerating Opportunity, a Breaking Through Initiative, which is designed to ensure more workers in this country have the skills they need to land good jobs. It is a four-year, multi-state initiative that promises to change the way community colleges look at adult education.
Millions of adults in this country do not have the training and education necessary to land good jobs with sufficient pay to support their families. At the same time, businesses are unable to find the skilled workers they need to fill their positions and improve their productivity. To provide a solution to both of these national economic issues, Jobs for the Future (JFF) has announced the launch of their latest program, Accelerating Opportunity: A Breaking Through Initiative, which will provide resources to community colleges nationwide to transform the current adult education system. The changes implemented by this initiative will ensure more adults get the necessary training to move into high-paying jobs and provide the skilled workforce companies need to compete in the global marketplace.

In Want of a Workforce

According to a report at CBS Atlanta, over 26 million adults in this country lack a high school diploma today. A small portion of this number enroll in adult education classes, hoping to get the education necessary to move ahead in today’s workforce. Unfortunately, many of the students that enroll in adult education programs drop out after just a semester or two, without getting their postsecondary credentials to get the better jobs they were originally hoping for. Accelerating Opportunity is designed to change the scenario by reinventing the way adult education is delivered and providing the necessary support to help students succeed.
“The number of adults without skills and credentials beyond high school is a national crisis threatening our economic recovery,” JFF President
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The Surprising Effect of the Recession on Community College Enrollment
The recession has been felt through every community college, but how has it impacted enrollment? A new study from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center found surprising answers.
Community colleges have traditionally been institutions serving students of all ages and from all walks of life, unlike other postsecondary schools that primarily cater to high school graduates. The recent Great Recession made an impact on enrollment at community colleges across the country, although until recently, the precise areas of that impact were not yet known. A new study has helped to clarify some of the specifics of how the recession has impacted enrollment at community colleges nationwide.

About the Study

This particular study was conducted by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center and was primarily used to determine how the recent recession impacted both college enrollment and persistence patterns. The study looked at thousands of institutions across the country to determine the number of first-time students under the age of 21 who enrolled in a postsecondary institution for the fall term between 2006 and 2010. According to a report at Inside Higher Ed, this report is designed to be the first in a series of reports titled, “Signature Reports,” by this organization.

What the Study Found
The study, titled, “Understanding the Recession’s Impact on U.S. College Enrollment and Persistence Patterns,” found that larger numbers of students chose community college after high school overall. However, the larger numbers in this area did not seem to detract from enrollment at private colleges, since these schools did not suffer the losses that many expected throughout the recession.
Dr. Don Hossler, Executive Director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center told Fox that some of
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More Degree Programs Coming to a Community College Near You
Ever evolving, community college programs constantly change to meet the current job market. Learn about some of the newest degree programs that are preparing students for lucrative jobs after graduation.
Community colleges have historically offered a wide range of degree programs to help individuals get the training they need to move quickly into the career of their choice. To keep up with the recent surge in community college enrollment that has occurred during the current economic slowdown, many community colleges are ramping up all new degree programs to broaden their offerings even further. Some of the new programs are provided in partnership with local four-year universities, while others are geared toward up and coming industries where employment opportunities show great promise. We’ll take a look at a few of the colleges across the nation that are working to give students an eclectic selection of degree programs.

Ivy Tech Expanding Programs

Ivy Tech is one of the colleges planning to offer a wider choice in degree programs for the next academic year. According to a report in the Indiana Economic Digest, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education recently approved new certificate and degree programs for a number of the Ivy Tech campuses in the state. The heating, ventilation and air conditioning degree program will be expanding to include certification, as well as an associate’s degree. The associate degree program in dental hygiene will also enlarge to incorporate a technical certificate in dental assisting.

Ivy Tech will also be adding an associate of science program for those interested in entering the field of engineering. The pre-engineering degree will prepare students for entry-level work in their industry or transfer
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Giving Back: Community Colleges on the President's Honor Roll for Community Service
Learn about the community colleges being honored by President Obama for their stellar contributions to their local areas.
The latest President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is out. and some of the community colleges that made the grade are making repeat appearances on the list. These schools have shown exemplary performance in the area of civic engagement and community service. The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll was first established in 2006 by the Corporation for National and Community Service to recognize schools of higher education that go above and beyond their basic educational responsibilities to serve their surrounding communities more effectively. We'll take a closer look at this prestigious honor, as well as some of the community colleges that made the grade this year.
About the Honor Roll
Since he took office, President Obama has issued a national call to service as a major cause for his administration. The president wanted to acknowledge the schools of higher education around the country that went the extra mile to meet the needs of their communities and find solutions to common social problems. As a result, the President's Honor Roll for Community Service was created. Appointees for the annual honor roll are chosen through the work of the Corporation for National and Community Service, in collaboration with the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Contact and the American Council on Education.
There are many factors that go into the selection of colleges and universities for the honor roll. According to the website for the Corporation for National and Community Service, some of the features schools
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Texas Community Colleges Face Severe Cuts that Could Mean Reduced Enrollment
One of the largest states is facing massive budget cuts that are impacting Texas community colleges. Learn about the current predicament and what it means for Texan students.
Community colleges have traditionally been institutes of higher education, allowing anyone to attend, regardless of their academic ability or income level. Thanks to state funding, these schools were designed for both those who would struggle in four-year colleges right out of high school and those who could not afford the tuition at the local university. Community colleges were also an option for adults who needed additional training to advance in their current careers or switch over to industries with greater potential.

All of these purposes come at a cost, and until recently, community colleges – with the help of state funding – were able to pay the price. However, the recent economic slowdown, combined with a rising unemployment rate, has boosted the enrollment at these schools while cutting the available money. The result has been a serious financial crunch for many community colleges across the country. In light of these recent economic difficulties, many schools are faced with challenging decisions over how best to serve their student population on a fraction of the money to which they are accustomed. This video provides an update on the financial situation facing community colleges in Texas.

Lone Star State in Dire Straits
While the entire country is feeling the economic pinch at the community college level, three states appear to be grappling with their financial reality more severely than others. Texas, California, and Arizona are all left wondering how to keep community colleges open and
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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.