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.

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10 Famous Community College Graduates

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10 Famous Community College Graduates
From Walt Disney to Sarah Palin, many household names are community college alumni. Be inspired by this list of 10 famous community college grads!
Credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0
Not everyone who makes headlines today came from an Ivy League institution; in fact, some did not attend a four-year university at all. Those who did often got their start in the humble beginnings of their local community college – a school that may be highly underrated for its ability to churn out graduates poised to make a real difference in the world. Take a look at these 10 famous community college graduates to see how two-year schools can provide the foundation for a bright future.
 
Ross Perot
This two-time presidential candidate ran on the independent ticket in 1992 and 1996. A successful businessman in his own right, Business Insider reports that Perot worked for IBM before leaving the company to start his own business, Electronic Data Systems, in 1984. After Perot sold that company to General Motors for $2.4 billion, Perot started a second company, Perot Systems, Inc. That business was acquired by Dell in 2009 for $3.9 billion.
Before beginning his long and illustrious business career, Perot began his quest into higher education at Texarkana Community College. After taking classes at his local community college, Perot transferred to the Naval Academy, where he graduated in 1953.
 
Tom Hanks
This Oscar-award winning actor, known for his stellar performances in flicks like “Forrest Gump” and “Saving Private Ryan,” reportedly couldn’t land roles in theatre productions during his college years. According to the Huffington Post, Hanks first attended Chabot College in Hayward, California, for two years, before transferring to California
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Fact or Fiction: Do Community Colleges Actually Offer a Quality Education?

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Fact or Fiction: Do Community Colleges Actually Offer a Quality Education?
Community colleges have traditionally had a bad reputation for their quality of education, but new tides may finally be usurping the poor reputation and rumors.
Community colleges have traditionally received a bad reputation for the quality of education they provide, but is that reputation really well-founded? While not all community colleges are created equal to be sure, many are working hard to provide a high-quality education to their students, with a wealth of degree options in fields looking for skilled workers.  To ensure the education at community college remains top-rated, benchmarks are being put into place to hold schools accountable for their performance and help students make the best choice in schools for their specific needs.
 

The Spotlight on Community Colleges

Community colleges have come under increased scrutiny in recent years, thanks to the Obama administration. When President Obama announced his lofty goal to significantly increase the number of college graduates in this country by 2020, he raised community colleges up as an important tool in meeting his goal – an action that community colleges have both lauded and feared. As more people turn to community colleges as a way to achieve higher education, focus on these schools also involves evaluating the quality of education received.

Today, it is not enough for community colleges to boast they are the institutions that put students first. They must go beyond their history of innovative curriculum and teaching strategies to accurately measure how well those strategies actually work. Even without sufficient budgets or tools to meet the requirements of their students, these schools are now on the hot seat to find ways to effectively educate students
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Giving Back: Community Colleges on the President's Honor Roll for Community Service

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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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How to Earn Your Associate's Degree in Less than Two Years

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How to Earn Your Associate's Degree in Less than Two Years
It no longer takes two years to earn your associate’s degree. Learn about programs at community colleges that grant degrees after one year, as well as strategies you can utilize to graduate earlier.
The associate's degree has become a popular way to begin or advance a career today, as it can be earned in less time than it takes to obtain a bachelor's degree. Now students can cut the time even more through a variety of strategies that get them out of community college and into the workforce in less than two years. Consider these tips to help you get the training and education you need to move forward in your career – in much less time than a traditional degree program.
 
Choosing a Community College
 
The first step in shortening your stay at a community college is to choose a school that offers an accelerated degree program. According to a recent report in USA Today, some community colleges are getting rather creative in their programming structure in order to help students earn complete associate's degrees in less time. Some colleges have even been able to cut their program time in half, allowing students to get their associate’s degrees and move into the workforce in a single year.
 
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will begin offering a trimester format in the fall to students who are interested in graduating early. Course schedules will switch from 16 weeks to 14 weeks, allowing students to complete the trimester in a shorter period of time. To compensate for lost time during the term, courses will be extended by 10 minutes a day, allowing professors to condense the material into a shorter trimester. Courses
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High School Diploma vs. GED

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High School Diploma vs. GED
Does it make a difference whether you earn your high school diploma or a GED? Grace Chen looks at the issue in detail.

The lack of a high school diploma, or its equivalent, precludes a college education and is a substantial barrier to compete successfully in the workforce. For students currently in high school, it is essential to see it through until graduation. Those who have already dropped out of high school need to obtain a GED in order to put their best foot forward in the workforce. This article compares high school diplomas and GEDs in terms of their acceptance by colleges and universities, the business world, and the military. The article also discusses how homeschooled high school graduates show that they have obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent.

This video offers some tips about earning your GED.

Regular High School Diplomas

A high school diploma from a traditional brick and mortar school that requires attendance in a classroom is the gold standard in demonstrating completion of high school and mastery of traditional high school skills. A high school diploma signifies that the holder has attended and successfully completed all the courses required by the applicable school district. A transcript of the courses taken and grades issued, a common requirement for college and job applications, can be furnished upon request.
 
Acceptance: Colleges and universities, businesses, and each branch of the United States military accept a regular high school diploma. In order to attend college, a high school diploma or GED is required for admission. Students who have a high school diploma and have demonstrated good grades will often
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Recent Articles

Federal Work Study Programs: Pros and Cons
Federal Work Study Programs: Pros and Cons
Learn about the benefits of a work study program for community college students.
Federal Student Loans – Unavailable at 20% of Community Colleges
Federal Student Loans – Unavailable at 20% of Community Colleges
Although a community college education is inexpensive when compared to tuition and fees at a four-year institution, some students still need financial assistance to pay their education bills. Yet, some community colleges don’t participate in the federal student loan program, putting some students in a financial bind.
Careers: Armed Forces Boot Camp
Careers: Armed Forces Boot Camp
Boot camp may just be found at a community college near you. Learn about community college campuses that are taking an active part in training our country’s armed forces.

Why Community College

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