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The independent nature of online courses has seemingly driven community college students to sign up for less challenging classes online while taking tough classes in a traditional classroom.
While prior studies have shown that many community college students struggled in web-based courses, new research published this week by the Community College Research Center in New York shows that even as two-year schools have grown their various online offerings, students are hesitant to take “important” classes outside the face-to-face teaching and learning environment.
The flexibility and convenience of online college classes continue to be a primary draw for nontraditional students with jobs and families, according to the CCRC research, but students quoted in a survey said determining which courses to take online boiled down to whether they considered a class interesting, important, easy, or difficult.…Read More
Whether you’re a parent or a high school student researching college options, community college should be high on the list, says U.S. News. With higher education rising to exorbitant levels in the past few years, many students are mortgaging their futures to pay for degrees that may not be worth the investment. Yet despite alarming trends in the student loan debt arena, the competition is as fierce as ever for a seat at top schools. Cost seems to be a secondary consideration at this point, which is all the more reason you should consider a community college and sit out on the degree hunter’s bidding war. As someone who went to a four-year university right out of high school, I can tell you now that I wish I had gone to a junior college first. The decision would have provided an easier transition right out of high school and made much more sense financially. And that was before tuition skyrocketed to where it is today. Since hindsight is 20/20, hopefully young readers and parents will benefit from my experiences. Here are some reasons why community college makes more sense than attending a four-year college at the moment……Read More
More than 400,000 Americans were turned away from community colleges last year not because schools couldn’t keep up with the demand for online courses, but because deep state and federal budget cuts have left two-year campuses without educators to head those online classes.
Community colleges are, by most national measurements, at the forefront of web-based education, with campus administrators looking for any way to keep up with the growing demand for classes that began after the economic downturn of 2008.
But no amount of technological experimentation will compensate for good old-fashioned government investment in community colleges, according to a report from the Center for the Future of Higher Education Policy, which presents a series of arguments against the short-term goal – pushed by President Obama and House and Senate leaders – to arm workers with certificates to fill private sector job openings in the lackluster economy.…Read More
President Obama tabbed $8 billion in his new budget for online and in-person job training programs at community colleges in a move that Education Secretary Arne Duncan says will fill open workforce positions during a time of stubbornly high unemployment.
The budget that Obama is sending to Congress aims to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade by restraining government spending and raising taxes on the wealthy. To help a weak economy, Obama’s proposal requests increases in transportation, education, and other areas.
A key component of the community college plan would institute “pay for performance” in job training, meaning there would be financial incentives to ensure that trainees find permanent jobs — particularly for programs that place individuals facing the greatest hurdles getting work.…Read More
Julie Hong grew up in the sort of leafy Montgomery County suburb where college is assumed, the Washington Post reports. Her parents had saved for the expense since she was a baby. When the time came, they said she could go wherever she wished. She chose a community college. Comparatively affluent students are picking community colleges over four-year schools in growing numbers, a sign of changing attitudes toward an institution long identified with poorer people. A recent national survey by Sallie Mae, the student loan giant, has found that 22 percent of students from households earning $100,000 or more attended community colleges in the 2010-11 academic year, up from 12 percent in the previous year. It was the highest rate reported in four years of surveys……Read More
President Barack Obama on Wednesday unveiled an expansion of an administration program to improve industry partnerships with community colleges, Politico reports. In a speech at the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College, Obama told an audience of about 100 that the administration is committed to helping both employers and job-seekers through programs such as Skills for America’s Future, which helps pair businesses with individuals who have the necessary skills……Read More
A new report documents abysmally low student transfer and completion rates at California’s two-year schools. Two L.A.-area campuses have already begun to make changes, say directors at the University of Southern California. California’s community colleges were envisioned by the state’s Master Plan for Higher Education as a low-cost alternative for students to complete the first two years of college before transferring to a four-year school. They were also designed for students whose ultimate educational goal was to attain an associate’s degree or career certification. But a report issued last week calls into question the success of those missions……Read More
In last-minute maneuvering designed to get the measure to pass, lawmakers eliminated $20 billion in proposed education funding from the student aid overhaul enacted by Congress last week—dampening enthusiasm for legislation that K-12 and higher-education officials had lobbied for over the past year. Of that $20 billion, $12 billion was slated for community colleges to boost graduation rates, partly through the development of open online courses, and $8 billion was pegged for an early-childhood education program.
Community college officials cheered the American Graduation Initiative (AGI) when lawmakers introduced the program last fall, but last-minute compromises and worries over the cost of the student aid bill forced legislators to eliminate the $12 billion set aside for AGI, observers said. The program aimed to help community colleges produce 5 million more graduates over the next decade.
AGI had included $500 million for an online skills laboratory modeled after Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative (OLI). The free, open internet classes were to be created by the Departments of Defense, Education, and Labor, according to a White House announcement.…Read More