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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Why the Male Population is Spiking at Community Colleges
Learn about the changing tide in male enrollment at community colleges, as well as the catalysts behind the increase in men on campus.
Although women were at one time excluded from many institutions of secondary education, in recent years, they have established themselves as a majority presence on two-year and four-year college campuses. According to a December 2009 Washington Post report, women make up 60% of higher education students nationwide, primarily because men are more likely to drop out of school, join the military, or go to prison.
 
However, the tide may be beginning to shift at community colleges, where male enrollment has been on the increase. Inside Higher Ed reports that for the first time in years, community colleges have experienced enrollment of male students either equal to or above their enrollment of female students. 
 
A Spike in Male Students
 
Randolph Community College, in North Carolina, experienced an increase of 68% in first-time full-time male enrollment from Fall 2008 to Fall 2009, bringing the current male population at the community college up to 37%. Meanwhile, in Washington State, Lower Columbia College noted that full-time male student enrollment was 36% higher in Fall 2009 than it had been in Fall 2008.
 
This video offers ten tips on how to succeed in college.
 
 
Inside Higher Ed reports that Kent Phillipe, the director of research at the American Association of Community College,  notes that the group’s recent studies show that the number of male students at community colleges has grown from 41.7 percent of the total two-year college population in Fall 2007 to 42.9 percent in Fall
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Community Colleges and the Global Economy
Learn how community colleges have evolved to prepare students for the global economy.
Community colleges play an integral role in our country. In fact, according to the Community College Journal, almost one-half of the nation’s undergraduates start their post-high school educational careers at a community college. 
 
As community colleges continue to evolve, they address the importance of a global perspective for students and faculty. Globalization present in today’s economic environment means students must be prepared to face international competition. Not only have many U.S. jobs moved overseas, but also jobs available in this country require a higher level of skills than was necessary a decade ago. 
 
Educating the workforce and preparing students for this new global environment is now one of the primary goals of many community colleges. As you will see, they are embracing this challenge with innovative ideas and remarkable passion.
 
The Importance of a Global Perspective   
 
If community colleges want to prepare students to work and to succeed in the global marketplace, the first step is to build a global perspective at the school itself. That is exactly what a number of community colleges are doing. For example, Southeast Community College in Nebraska surveyed its faculty to ascertain how syllabi reflected a global perspective. For example, did English courses incorporate literature from around the world? 
 
In this TED talk, Heather Wylie challenges us to change the conversation from community colleges as places of last resort to institutions of innovation inspiration and social change.
 
 
Southeast Community College also expanded its mission to include diversity education, and it now requires every staff person to complete
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Can Community Colleges Cure the Economy?
Learn about recent government recommendations for community colleges and their role in our nation's competitiveness.
Do community colleges hold the key to curing an ailing U.S. economy? That is one conclusion in the Report of the National Commission on Community Colleges entitled "Winning the Skills Race and Strengthening America's Middle Class: An Action Agenda for Community Colleges" (the Report). The Commission took a comprehensive look at the fundamental role of community colleges in maximizing our nation's ability to compete in a global economy. The Commission's findings and recommendations are discussed in this article.
 
Background
 
In 2005, the College Board established the Center for Innovative Thought (the Center) to identify challenges to America's education system and recommend solutions. Convinced that community colleges are the nation's overlooked asset, the Center formed the National Commission on Community Colleges to investigate means for improving and expanding the role of community colleges in the future. The Commission is composed of chair Augustine P. Gallego, Chancellor Emeritus of San Diego Community College District, and ten community college presidents or immediate past presidents. The Commission released its Report in January 2008. The Report looks at the present state of community colleges, identifies numerous challenges facing the U.S., and recommends taking action that will place community colleges at the forefront of meeting these challenges. The College Board applauded the Report and pledged to contribute the Board's expertise in implementing the Report's recommendations.
 
This video reports on the National Symposium on 21st Century Community Colleges held in New Delhi, India in 2011.
 
 
Present Status of Community Colleges
 
The 1,202 community colleges in
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Trends and Current Issues