Who is Attending Community College?
One part of the survey took a look at the types of students community colleges are frequently seeing today, and the results were reported in the Washington Post. This information can help colleges determine the best courses, faculty and schedules to accommodate their student body demographics. The Pearson Foundation study found:
- One-third of the student population at community colleges were enrolling in college right after graduating from high school.
- One-third was returning to college from the workforce, presumably to get additional training for their current job or education necessary to switch careers.
- One-third was taking community college course for self-improvement or enjoyment purposes.
- Half the students surveyed were age 26 or older.
- About 60 percent were planning to transfer to a four-year university after completing their community college degree program (actual transfer rates are actually much lower).
According to the Pearson Foundation website, the survey found:
- About 20 percent of the student population surveyed said that it was difficult to enroll in the courses they needed to take during the fall semester last year.
- Of the students that took placement tests to determine the courses they should take, more than one-fourth reported they could not enroll in the necessary courses after taking the placement test.
- Around one-third of community college students said they were unable to enroll in one or more classes during the semester when the survey was conducted because the courses were full.
- About 60 percent of community college students have taken at least one course online.
- More than 40 percent of students surveyed were currently taking at least one course online.
- Students who consider dropping out at some point during their community college career are more likely to take online courses.
- These same students believe that online education is "highly important" – presumably because of the flexibility that online classes offer.
- Even students that did not take courses online were likely to use sources or take quizzes through the Internet.