FCC’s plans a potential boon for community colleges

Community colleges with broadband access could serve not only students, but community members too.
Community colleges with broadband access could serve both students and community members.

Community college decision makers were encouraged by the Federal Communication Commission’s inclusion in its National Broadband Plan of robust high-speed internet networks on two-year campuses, which soon could be a central location for locals who don’t have broadband internet at home.

The FCC’s detailed strategy, released March 16, describes community colleges as “anchor institutions” that could support ultra high-speed networks and make modern web connections available to towns and cities that still rely on low-bandwidth options that don’t support online video and a host of other common technologies.

The FCC asked Congress for enough funding to bring high-speed internet to all public community colleges and maintain the networks. The National Broadband Plan seeks to bring broadband internet to 100 million U.S. homes by 2020. Fourteen million Americans don’t have broadband access, even if they want a high-speed option, according to federal estimates.…Read More

High schools to offer plan to graduate 2 years early

Dozens of public high schools in eight states will introduce a program next year allowing 10th graders who pass a battery of tests to get a diploma two years early and immediately enroll in community college, reports the New York Times. Students who pass but aspire to attend a selective college may continue with college preparatory courses in their junior and senior years, organizers of the new effort said. Students who fail the 10th-grade tests, known as board exams, can try again at the end of their 11th and 12th grades. The tests would cover not only English and math but also subjects like science and history. The new system of high school coursework with the accompanying board examinations is modeled largely on systems in high-performing nations including Denmark, England, Finland, France and Singapore…

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