2009-2014

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The Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education
In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, businesses around the country are facing setbacks - colleges included. Read on to learn more about the impact of the pandemic on higher education in the United States.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), nearly 20 million students were expected to attend colleges and universities in the fall of 2019. Another 3.7 million students are expected to graduate from public or private high schools in the spring of 2020. As of mid-March, schools all over the country have closed for an indeterminate period of time in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus disease, nicknamed COVID-19.

The current health crisis in the United States has resulted in drastic changes across the board. Most states have issued “stay at home” orders, closing all non-life-sustaining businesses which includes schools. Though many schools have made an effort to post lesson plans online and teachers are making their best efforts to stay connected with students, many are left wondering about the state of the American education system and the fate of the class of 2020.

In this article, we’ll explore the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on graduating high school seniors as well as the ways community colleges and traditional colleges and universities are responding to the times.

What Options Do High-School Seniors Have?

Senior year is a difficult one for many students. On top of finishing graduation requirements, many students spend the better part of the year completing college visits and submitting applications. Most applications are in by January or February and students generally hope to hear back from schools sometime in April with a national response date being set for May 1.

As COVID-19 sweeps its way across

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Community College Costs: February Week 2 Trends
Learn about trending community college topics this week such as San Francisco's move toward free tuition at community colleges and the rise in hunger and homelessness among community college students across the country.

Many students opt to attend community college over traditional four-year schools because it is generally cheaper to attend community college. But there are always hidden fees and extra costs to consider as an incoming student. This week on social media, various topics related to community college costs have been trending including Detroit’s action to make community college free and San Francisco’s move to use taxes to pay for community college. There was also an interesting post made by NPR regarding a rise in hunger and homelessness as college costs increase.

San Francisco Becomes First U.S. City to Offer Tuition-Free Community College

On Saturday, February 11 the Twitter handle @CNN (CNN News) posted a link to a news article regarding San Francisco’s decision to offer free community college to all residents starting in the fall of 2017. San Francisco will be the first U.S. city to make this choice and it has many residents in uproar, considering that the tuition costs will be paid for by property taxes equaling more than $5 million. CNN news writer Katie Lobosco reports that this tax is called the “real estate transfer tax” and it was increased in 2016 for both commercial and residential properties, an increase that was approved by voters in November of 2016.

The real estate transfer tax begins at 2.25% and goes as high as 3% for properties with an estimated worth exceeding $25 million. The tax is expected to bring in an average

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Arizona Community Colleges Defunded: What Students Need to Know
Leading the country in slashing public education spending, Arizona voted to defund higher education, including Pima and Maricopa Community College Districts, leaving many Arizona college students wondering what this new state legislation means for the future of their education.
As much of the country expands funding for community colleges, and with that funding, improved course offerings and increased access to higher education, Arizona has taken the unusual step of taking funding away from some of its community college systems.  In fact, according to data just released by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Arizona continues its legacy in 2015 as it did in 2014: leading America in slashes to funding – and in tuition increases.   
 
Most impacted are two of the state’s largest community college districts – Maricopa County Community College system and Pima Community College. For several years, budget cuts for higher education spending have been the norm. However, what makes these proposed cuts significant is that it removes state funding altogether. Rather than getting a few million dollars, both the Maricopa and Pima community college systems would receive zero dollars in the next fiscal year as part of the state’s new budget.   What does this mean for students? 
 
Uproar from Higher Ed
 
Understandably, higher education officials in Arizona are not pleased with this outcome. Arizona currently ranks first in terms of higher education funding cuts. This is due in part to drastic moves by the state during the Great Recession to remain solvent. However, although the Great Recession has ended, spending is still being cut in Arizona as the state faces a $1.5 billion budget shortfall.
In fact, the latest round of proposed cuts is just one in
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For-Profit Universities Looking to Partner with Community Colleges
The University of Phoenix has unveiled plans to partner with numerous community colleges nationwide, but not everyone is on board with the new plan.
In their quest to find effective transfer agreements for their students, community colleges appear to be tapping an unlikely source – for-profit schools. The University of Phoenix has announced partnerships pending with a number of community colleges across the country to offer students at these schools seamless four-year degree options. However, not everyone believes the union between for-profit schools and community colleges will be an amicable or beneficial one.
 
100 New Partnerships Announced by For-Profit
 
The American Independent reports that the University of Phoenix plans to launch more than 100 partnerships with various community colleges nationwide during this upcoming school year. The for-profit university hopes that the new arrangements will provide the financial shot in the arm the institution needs after suffering significant budget setbacks in recent years. Reputation is also a concern for University of Phoenix, as the for-profit sector has been plagued with reports of low completion rates and high student debt.
 
Despite promises of dozens of partnerships by the end of 2013, the University of Phoenix has only finalized agreements with a handful of community colleges thus far. The most notable is a transfer agreement with Northern Virginia Community College, also known as NOVA. NOVA has received plenty of attention from the recent administration, since this is the school where Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, teaches.
 
The second system that has formed a partnership with the University of Phoenix is the Maricopa Community College System in Arizona. According to a press release
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Study Finds Massachusetts Community Colleges Reliance on Adjunct Faculty Problematic
A new study by the Massachusetts Teachers Association has urged the state to hire more full-time faculty members at community colleges after uncovering a host of issues related to a growing adjunct faculty at these schools.
A new study finds that a growing number of adjunct professors could be contributing to low completion rates at community colleges across the state of Massachusetts. The study, which was conducted by the Massachusetts Teacher Association, failed to make a direct correlation between adjunct faculty and low completion rates. However, those involved in the study, as well as others in the community college population, agree that adjunct professors simply don’t have the time or resources to help students succeed the way full-time professors can.

More Adjunct Faculty Seen Statewide
 
The study, titled, “Reverse the Course: Changing Staffing and Funding Policies at Massachusetts Community Colleges,” found that less than one-third of courses taught at community colleges in the state are taught by full-time faculty members. According to the MTA website, that number has been steadily declining since the 2004-2005 school year, when it was 34%. Today, that number is more like 28%.

During the same time, the study found that only around 17% of students enrolled in community colleges across the state successfully completed their degree programs. The dismal number was limited to first-time community college students who failed to earn a two-year degree within three years. Researchers attributed the low rates to a growing number of adjunct faculty members.
 
“This practice of failing to expand the state-funded faculty in favor of Division of Continuing Education (adjunct) faculty contributes to the problem of low student outcomes,” the report was quoted as stating at the Telegram.
 
This video explains why
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Community College News

2009-2014