Community colleges try to polish image

Despite record enrollments, community colleges don’t get much respect, notes College Bound.  In a recent Gallup Poll, only one in five people “strongly agreed” that community colleges offer high-quality education.

Community college leaders can improve the sector’s image by taking responsibility for student outcomes, writes J. Noah Brown, president of the American Association of Community College Trustees, in First in the World: Community Colleges and America’s Future. Brown calls for measuring the success rates of a variety of students, including part-time students.

Brown also encourages community colleges to communicate their results and better orient new students. If schools are indeed good stewards of the public dollar, he writes, their success should be rewarded by the government. The new Voluntary Framework for Accountability is part of that effort.

Government funding for community colleges is at the lowest point in 20 years, notes College Bound.

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