Trends and Current Issues

Get information on the latest trends and issues affecting community colleges today. Explore the impact of community colleges on the global economy, get information on how community colleges have changed over the years, and see how the latest technologies are being employed on campus.
View the most popular articles in Trends and Current Issues:
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How Have Community Colleges Changed the Face of Education?
Community Colleges have existed for more than 100 years. They have changed significantly in that amount of time. Here is the history of community colleges and how they've changed the face of American public education.

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.

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Overcoming the Stigma of Community College
There are a number of myths and misconceptions out there that lead people to believe that community college is somehow less valid than a four-year school. Keep reading to learn why this stigma against community college is unfounded.

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

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Online Options At Community Colleges
Community colleges have responded to the needs of working adults with online options.
Working adults have long struggled with the challenges of balancing their careers, their families, and their educational goals. Community colleges offer traditional and non-traditional students the opportunity to work toward their educational goals without the lifestyle changes that come with traditional four-year college experience. But, even with the flexibility of early morning, evening, and even Saturday classes, adult students can find it difficult to attend even local college campuses.
 
Convenient, Expensive, Private On-line Universities
 
Private online universities, sometimes called for-profit universities, actively market the convenience of attending college courses online, anytime, from anywhere. While online universities offer a convenient option for working students, they are typically far more expensive than public community colleges. For example, the total cost of a two-year degree at the online University of Phoenix is approximately $22,000, while the same two-year degree from a community college in New York would cost an in-state resident about $9,000. Community Colleges Respond to a Need for Convenience
 
Richard Lock explains the 7 top benefits of online learning in this video.
 
 
Community college administrators understand that students often choose much more expensive college options because of convenience. As a result, they are taking steps to make community college more accessible to all students by introducing new modalities for online learning, including:
  • Blended courses
  • Online asynchronous courses
  • MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
  • Blended Courses
Sometimes called hybrid classes, blended classes combine traditional on-campus classroom instruction with online components, such as project groups, discussion boards, or recorded lectures. Students still attend scheduled on-campus
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How to Know if Community College is Right for You
Figure out if community college is the right move for your education, your career, and your life.
How to Tell if Community College is Right for You
 
So you’re ready to make a big decision about your next step in life – is community college the right choice for you? A community college offers students a wide range of benefits and is a good choice for many people. Some students go through a lot of preparation to determine what they want to do after they graduate and where they want to go in life. Adults too may find themselves at a crossroads where they have the option to return to college for a degree or further training. Thousands of students, in every state, enroll in community college and find the experience to be very worthwhile. Community college might be especially good for you if you can answer yes to any of these points.
 
1. Cost is a major factor in your decision. 

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
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6 New Features for Community College Students
Check out the new features waiting for community college students heading back to school, from new security procedures, to campus housing, classes and degree programs.
Students heading to community college this fall may see some new features at their otherwise familiar campuses. Many schools have spent the summer months getting ready for the next academic year adding a wide range of options designed to attract students from all demographics. Check out five new features community college students may discover when they head back to the ivied halls this fall.
 
New Technology
 
As community colleges strive to bring their training in line with 21st-century workforce needs, more technology is coming to schools across the country. For example, Diverse Issues in Higher Education reports that Prince George’s Community College has added innovative technology to the school’s state-of-the-art nursing program. The school invested $43 million into a new Center for Health Studies in an effort to accommodate a growing population of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) students at the school.
 
Simulated mannequins are now used inside the center to teach nursing students the finer points of diagnosis and patient care. The nursing lab also boasts transparent mirrors where professors can observe students during diagnosis trials. Updated equipment, including sonography and surgical tools, are similar to those used at nearby hospital facilities in the Prince George area.
 
This video describes the STEM program at Holyoke Community College.
 
 
“Since nursing and health fields, in general, are among the fastest growing jobs, we really wanted this building to help make room for more health science students,” Angela Anderson, dean of the division of Health Sciences at Prince
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Recent Articles
Learn about the growing trend of obtaining your bachelor's degree in community college.
In recent years, community colleges have been granted permission to offer four-year degrees. For some, this represents a great opportunity to get an education at an affordable price. But for others, worry with regard to the quality of these newly established programs is a point of concern.
Choosing a college major can be tough, but you also need to think about choosing the right type of degree. Keep reading to learn about the five different types of college degrees and your earning potential for each one.
Why Community College

Trends and Current Issues