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.
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LGBT Support at Community Colleges
From scholarships to support programs, there are growing resources available at community colleges for LGBT support and encouragement.
Adjusting to college life is a difficult proposition for many high school graduates today. When you compound that challenge with the issues surrounding students of a sexual minority, the adjustment phase becomes even more complex. Many LGBT students face bigotry from peers and faculty, and hate crimes are unfortunately not uncommon for many of these young adults today.
 
The good news is that more colleges are reaching out to their LGBT community, providing them with support and resources to succeed in their post-secondary academic career.  We will discuss a few of the hurdles that face colleges that want to provide support to the LGBT students, as well as some community colleges that have overcome those hurdles to give all their student body an equal shot at success.
 
Some Facts about Sexual Minorities on Campus
 
Sexual minorities are not an easy segment of the population for community colleges to address for a number of reasons. The first obstacle is the lack of data on just how many LGBT students might be residing on college campuses today. This is due to outdated information and the tendency for many LGBT students to hide their sexual identity from their teachers and peers. Even those who want to study the LGBT population may be hesitant to express their desires, due to a mistaken perception that they might also be gay. That stigma has affected the careers of many teachers in the field of education today.
 
Unfortunately, hate crimes are a large concern for LGBT students on college campuses today. According
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Bringing Veterans Together: A New Model for Support at Community Colleges
After serving our country in the Armed Forces, many veterans find themselves unsupported by community colleges. Thankfully, several campuses are hoping to change the landscape of support for veterans.
Many students join the military after high school in part to pay for post-secondary education after their service is complete. However, veterans moving from active service to a college environment often have more than a little difficulty making the transition. To help the process, numerous community colleges are providing the support veterans need to have a successful college experience.
 
Creating a National Model in Arizona
 
According to a recent report in the East Valley Tribune, five Maricopa community colleges will be offering more services to the veterans that enroll after active duty. The East Valley Veterans Center is slated to open in January 2011 and will serve the campuses of Chandler-Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Gateway, and Rio Salado. The center will offer a convenient, centralized location for veterans entering one of these colleges to find out about benefits, admissions, and services available to them.
 
Yvonne Lawrence, the coordinator of the recruitment program for military education at Rio Salado College, told the Tribune that the basic idea behind the center is to simplify the college process for veterans.
 
"We’re basically trying to cut some of the red tape in getting veterans enrolled, getting them access to their educational benefits from the VA and reintegration from active-duty service to civilian life," Lawrence said.
 
The Arizona center will be staffed by four full-time members, plus part-time staff as needed. The center will also provide work-study positions so that student veterans have the opportunity to work in office positions while attending school.
 
This video reports on how
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Why Low-Income Community College Students Achieve Success at Universities
Overcoming the odds, low-income community college students are poised to become top performers once they transfer to a four-year university. Learn about the new study that has identified the successful qualities of low-income community college students.
Many high school graduates from low-income families head to a two-year community college rather than a four-year school, primarily due to economics. However, a recent study shows that students who are fortunate enough to transfer from a community college to a four-year university often excel with the right encouragement and preparation. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation released its findings in a report titled, Partnerships that Promote Success: The Evaluation of the Community College Transfer Initiative."
 
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation recently hosted a conference in the Washington D.C. area to present their findings and provide the information educators require to help low-income students succeed in their university transfers, according to the foundation website. The conference highlighted the universities involved in the study, along with their community college partners, to show that providing opportunities to high-achieving community college students can be the pathway to greater success for low-income students.
 
In this video, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation states that in every state in the nation, low-income students are less likely to reach advanced levels of academic achievement. Students with equal talents but unequal opportunities.
 
 
Details of the Study
 
The Foundation's Community College Transfer Initiative conducted the study by first identifying high-achieving, low-income students in community colleges and then working to improve the transfer process into a four-year institution to maximize their odds of success in their academic endeavors.
 
In this video, JKCF Scholars and college administrators share their insights and give advice on why and how to
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Should Freshmen be First or Last in Line?
Freshmen typically wait last in line for class registration, but some community colleges are challenging this standard by giving the frosh class first priority. Learn about the new programs that are designed to give freshmen the first pick in classes at community colleges.
At most community colleges, freshmen are usually the last in line to register for classes. Unfortunately, this means many new students don't get the courses they need to pursue the degree programs of their choice. The end result is numerous frustrated, cash-strapped students – some of whom actually drop out of school because they can't afford the time or money it costs to wait around until necessary courses become available.
The good news is that some community colleges are hoping to change this scenario by restructuring the priority registration hierarchy.  Freshmen may just get an earlier start on completing their degree programs.
 
Rio Hondo, located in Whittier, California, is bucking the trend on how freshmen register for their first semester. Instead of making students wait in the last spot, new students receive priority registration to help them enroll in the classes they need for their chosen degree programs. According to a report in the Whittier Daily News, high school students from El Monte Union High School District who enroll at Rio Hondo will receive priority registration during their first semester.
 
This video describes priority registration at California community colleges.
 
 
Henry Gee, vice president of student services at Rio Hondo College, told Whittier Daily News that the program will help new college students prepare for the career for which they are striving. Gee said, "Slots in the classes are so tight right now…if you show up and register last, there is
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Students with Learning Disabilities Find Help in Community Colleges
Community colleges are an excellent stepping stone between high school and a four-year institution, especially for students with learning disabilities. Learn about the support programs available at community colleges that can help students thrive academically, regardless of their disabilities.
Learning disabilities like dyslexia or ADHD plague a student throughout their academic career. In fact, many who struggle with disabilities in secondary schools don't even consider college a possibility.
 
The good news is that many community colleges are making it easier for students with learning disabilities to pursue higher education by offering transition and support programs that promote success.  Be inspired by the ways community colleges are helping LD students, as well as tips for finding and planning for college, no matter what your learning disabilities might be.
 
Project Access
 
Students with learning disabilities often find that the transition between high school and college is a difficult one. High school environments that are typically nurturing and supportive for LD students do not always provide preparation to help students take their educational needs into their own hands when the time comes to head off to college.
 
This video illustrates how the Project Access Summer Institute operates.
 
 
Thankfully, the Project Access Summer Institute is designed for just that purpose: to show students with learning disabilities how to move from a high school environment to one that requires them to take a greater role in meeting their own educational needs.

Project Access offers a month-long program that teaches college-bound students how to advocate for themselves to get the much needed time, tutoring, and additional services they need.

 
According to a recent report on USA Today, the number of programs like Project Access has increased tenfold in recent years, as more students
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Student Populations