Trends and Current Issues
Years ago, attending college was a privilege that many people simply didn’t have. Though tuition rates were much more affordable back then, it was entirely possible to enter the workforce without a degree and to steadily rise through the ranks. Today, however, a college degree is a necessity for even entry-level positions, and even then it is difficult for recent graduates to find a job. Current tuition prices also leave students saddled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.
There are currently over 5,300 colleges and universities in the United States and, collectively, they are known as the American higher-education system. Of those, there are nearly 1,500 community colleges and each year, more than one-third of undergraduate students choose public and private two-year colleges over traditional four-year colleges and universities.
As the number of community colleges and community college students continues to rise, the greater the effect they have on the American higher-education system. Keep reading to learn about the history of community colleges and how they have changed over the years – you’ll also learn how they have affected higher education in the United States.
In this TED talk, Dr. Hanna Jaff Bosdet explains the importance of higher education.
Understanding the Importance of Higher Education
Before we get into the details of how community colleges have changed the face of the American higher-education system, let’s take a look at the importance of postsecondary education as a whole.
Many people make comparisons between community colleges and “real” colleges, perpetuating the idea that a community college education is somehow less valid than one from a traditional four-year university. Community colleges have long been stigmatized but more and more students are taking to social media to proudly declare their support for this type of education. There will always be people who look down on community colleges and the students who attend them, but the truth is that the line between community college and “real” college is becoming more and more blurry.
Overview of Recent Posts on Social Media
Both community colleges and traditional four-year universities are a type of higher education, but many people make an unfavorable comparison between the two. Though there are many who think that a community college degree is somehow less valuable than one attained at a private college or state university, many community college students are proud of their educational choices. Here are some posts from social media in the spring of 2017 that show a trend toward greater support for community colleges and the students who attend them:
On June 3, Twitter user Alexis Isabel posted, “I hate seeing people be ashamed to be going to community college. College is college. I’m proud of everyone who is trying their best.”
On June 3, Twitter user @TKVSH posted, “Ya’ll shaming people for going to a community college instead of a university?? In this economy?????”
On June 1, Twitter user Brady Bates posted, “Why do people say ‘there’s nothing wrong
- Blended courses
- Online asynchronous courses
- MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
- Blended Courses
Tuition is usually a lot cheaper at a community college than it is at a four-year college or university. You can save money by taking classes at a community college, and even if you transfer on to another college for a higher degree, those first few years of education will cost you less at the community college. Two years at a four-year school could cost you $40,000 but those same two years at a community college may cost half that or less! This option is great for recent high school graduates, adult students, and returning college students who need more education and training