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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Can Community Colleges Cure the Economy?
Learn about recent government recommendations for community colleges and their role in our nation's competitiveness.
Do community colleges hold the key for curing an ailing U.S. economy? That is one conclusion in the Report of the National Commission on Community Colleges entitled "Winning the Skills Race and Strengthening America's Middle Class: An Action Agenda for Community Colleges" (the Report). The Commission took a comprehensive look at the fundamental role of community colleges in maximizing our nation's ability to compete in a global economy. The Commission's findings and recommendations are discussed in this article.
 
Background
 
In 2005, the College Board established the Center for Innovative Thought (the Center) to identify challenges to America's education system and recommend solutions. Convinced that community colleges are the nation's overlooked asset, the Center formed the National Commission on Community Colleges to investigate means for improving and expanding the role of community colleges in the future. The Commission is composed of chair Augustine P. Gallego, Chancellor Emeritus of San Diego Community College District, and ten community college presidents or immediate past presidents. The Commission released its Report in January 2008. The Report looks at the present state of community colleges, identifies numerous challenges facing the U.S., and recommends taking action that will place community colleges in the forefront of meeting these challenges. The College Board applauded the Report and pledged to contribute the Board's expertise in implementing the Report's recommendations.
 
Present Status of Community Colleges
 
The 1,202 community colleges in the U.S. enroll approximately 11.6 million credit and non-credit students. The average age of the community college student is 29. About 34 percent
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7 Trends in Community Colleges
Learn about seven trends occurring in community colleges today.
As society evolves, our institutions must accommodate change or risk becoming obsolete. Community colleges, as providers of higher education in a particular geographic area, must be responsive not only to local community needs but also to national developments and demographic changes. This report examines seven prominent trends in community colleges today.

1. Increased Distance Learning
 
Using the internet as the primary tool, community colleges have embraced distance learning. Responding to the demand for more distance education, some community colleges offer particular courses online and some offer online degree programs that are completely online. The ability to take college courses online makes access to higher education possible for more students. The hallmark of online education is the flexibility it affords to students needing to coordinate their studies with business or personal obligations. For example, a student with a full-time job can access an online course before or after work or on days off. Stay-at-home parents can participate in online classes before the children get up, while they are at school, and after they go to bed at night. Students who live in geographically remote areas can attend college without having to relocate or travel great distances. The popularity of distance learning guarantees that the trend toward more online course offerings will continue.
 
This video looks at 7 Common Misconceptions About Distance Learning.
 
 
2. Greater Number of Baccalaureate Degrees Awarded
 
Historically, four-year colleges
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7 Top Community College Myths
Learn the top 7 myths about community colleges.
More than 40% of the nation’s college-aged students begin their academic careers at community college, according to the US Department of Education. Despite their abilities to provide students with a stellar education, community colleges are surrounded by outdated, inaccurate myths. Although there are some elements of truth, there are many misperceptions, which may play a large role in the right choice you make for your college education.  
  
Empower yourself with knowledge of the truth, as the top seven community college myths are hereby exposed! 
 
MYTH #1: Students attend community college because they did not get accepted to four-year universities. 
 
THE REALITY: When reviewing statistics of transfer admissions, it is clear that universities see the academic strength in transfer students For example, 33% of all applicants from California community colleges are accepted into UC Berkeley, which is significantly higher than the 26% of California high school students who applied. Or, for the University of Virginia, over 60% of transfer applications from Piedmont Virginia Community College were accepted, which is a greater ratio than the 50% of students who are accepted as freshmen from in-state high schools.
 
With the increasing economic burdens felt on individuals and families, many students are making the financially-savvy choice of attending community college. The continuously rising costs of university tuition can present a large burden for many families, and by attending a community college, students can save on tuition and living costs.  
 
In addition, whereas many students can gain admissions into four-year universities prior to their enrollment in community college, they can also take
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What is a Community College?
Learn about what community colleges are, how they work, and how they can benefit you.
Ivy Tech Community College
A community college (also known as a junior college) is a higher education institution that provides a two-year curriculum that can include leading to an associate’s degree. Other programs in place include a transfer program towards a four-year degree and occupational programs (one and two-year programs of study). Besides coursework focusing on academic programs, courses are also often offered at the community college for personal growth or development.
 
Historically, community colleges sprang up in the early 20th century as a way to meet young adults’ needs who did not or could not afford to leave their families to pursue further education. Early on, many community colleges helped support African Americans and women who wanted to go to college. Many students prepared for grammar school teaching positions or enrolled in new vocational education programs in community colleges. These smaller schools were developed locally, in communities, further distinguishing them from typical four-year schools which had campuses where students needed to leave home and stay in student dorms. 
 
Traditionally, the community college student went to school to pick up a two-year degree. Now it is quite common for community college students to continue on in their education within a four-year college (thus transferring their community college credits).
 
The College Course discuess why you should go to community college before you go to university.
 
 
What can you study at a Community College?
 
Many of the subjects taught in a four-year college are also taught in a community college. Most students attending community
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Recent Articles
Learn about the growing trend amongst four-year universities to recruit from community college campuses. Enjoy an academic head start and a competitive edge against other applicants by starting first at community college.
The role of community colleges in the world of higher education has expanded over the years and, as the country works to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, they may be more important now than ever. Read on to learn more about the changing role of community colleges.
Colleges across the country are struggling to recover from the massive upheaval to the 2019-20 semester wrought by COVID-19. Housing refunds and slashed budgets are bound to have long-term impacts for the institutions that survive. Some experts suggest community colleges may be the best equipped to ride out the storm and may have the greatest impact in helping America recover.
Why Community College

Overview

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.

Degrees

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.