Community Colleges

Minding the Gap

Attendees of a recent symposium explored how community colleges are addressing the achievement gap.

Paving the Way for Persistence

Community colleges don't just open their doors. They help make exits-at least those to transfer and degree completion-recognizable to students too.

THE EARLY MONTHS OF 2007 have been a bit treacherous for community colleges. Several reports have concluded that while these institutions must be admired for making higher ed accessible, they aren't ensuring that enough students graduate or transfer.

Beyond Borders

Two-year institutions should build study-abroad programs to help students succeed in workplaces near and far.

The world has changed dramatically in the last decade and business is now more global than ever before. Just pick up the phone at work to call tech support, and the person on the other end of the line might be from India. Join a U.S. firm and it will likely have offices overseas, requiring employees to not only communicate but establish trusting relationships with international workers.

Finding Financial Freedom

With unique financial circumstances, community colleges should follow collaborative and systematic approaches to budgeting.

Learning Laboratories

Out of quests for quality and accountability, two-year institutions are embracing research in many forms.

Mention "susceptibility testing on staphylococcus epidermidis," and community colleges don't quickly come to mind. The same goes for "hydrogen fueling," "protein crystallization," or academic journals about the teaching of English.

Taking Top Honors

Honors colleges and other special programs at two-year schools educate the brightest students while improving transfer rates.

Way to Grow

Skyrocketing enrollment has put many two-year schools in growth mode. The challenge is to handle expansion without getting spread too thin.

In North Carolina, two-year colleges have taken in a vast number of laid-off workers in the last decade. The number of unemployed students in North Carolina's 58 community colleges rose from 40,000 in 1999 to 109,917 in 2004-nearly 175 percent. As the state's manufacturing jobs have dwindled, community colleges have provided much-needed next stops for many people.

Community Colleges: Face Forward

Two-year schools renovate to look and feel more collegiate

'Mission creep' or Mission Possible?

The debate over whether community colleges should grant bachelor's degrees simmers on.

In 1992, a two-year institution then known as Utah Valley Community College set out to launch degree programs at the baccalaureate level. The college already offered many paths to associate's degrees, but Utah County had exactly zero public four-year institutions to which students could transfer.

Coming of Age

Community colleges grow in a time of challenge and opportunity.

This month, University Business kicks off this bimonthly column focusing on the realm of community colleges. Like other parts of the magazine, the column will offer advice and comments from college leaders, data, and real-world examples on issues and solutions of interest to any IHE decision-maker.

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