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Community College Proposal Coming from Obama

| 3 Comments

The Obama administration is expected to unveil a proposal to channel more money&mdash$12 billion—into the nation's community college, to pay for everything from construction to the development of online courses, according to the Washington Post.

We're a K-12 publication, and this is at least partly a K-12 story. Supporters of community colleges have always touted them as a bargain, compared to four-year schools, and they say that their role is especially crucial in this dire economy. It can be tough to graduate from four-year universities for reasons that have nothing to do with academic achievement; students often struggle to gain access to the classes they want, for instance. Community colleges allow students to pick up credits and skills and transfer when they're ready. They're also a major entry point for many students with a strong interest in career-and-technical education.

Obama seems intent on elevating the role of these two-year institutions. What impact do you see these initiatives having on high school students?

3 Comments

We need to consider that the highest remediation rates exist at community colleges. 43% of all students take a remedial course at community college. Additionally, 63% of remedial students do not earn degrees. If we want more success in post-secondary institutions, then community colleges must participate in the CCSSI. This voice is clearly absent and must be present in order to achieve more student success at 2-year institutions.

www.usworldclassmath.org

Amy's points represent an oversimplification and a taking of facts out of context. Community colleges serve a very different student demographic than most 4-year universities, and that demographic traditionally includes more persons who might need remediation (older students, displaced workers, new immigrants, high school graduates who were not in the top 10% of graduating class, former dropouts who returned for GED, etc.) Helping more of the students who begin in remedial programs to graduate is a challenge whose solution requires much more than participation in CCSSI.

President Obama is on the right track by increasing the investment in what in most states has been one of the most underfunded but highly used areas of education. Community colleges are increasingly the natural bridge between high school students and higher education; strengthening the community colleges will have immediate impact on both the workforce and the K-12 arena.

Renee states that "Community colleges are increasingly the natural bridge between high school students and higher education; strengthening the community colleges will have immediate impact on both the workforce and the K-12 arena."

However, what "Amy" points out is that the students (who are increasing) are NOT graduating. It is another bridge to nowhere. What needs to be the focus is on reducing the remediation rate via optimizing our K-12 system.

And, take a look at the cost of this remediation. It is estimated to cost billions of dollars (see "Paying Double" on the Alliance For Education site). Is this wise in this current economic time.

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