April 2011

Symposium: Collaborate for completion

To ensure high school graduates are ready for college, community college leaders must collaborate with high school educators on common standards, said panelists at a “virtual symposium” at Maryland’s Montgomery College. Jill Biden, a community college instructor and the vice president’s wife, led the session, which was designed as a cap to the four regional […]


Lots of praise, not much money

President Obama will speak at Miami Dade College‘s commencement today.  Community colleges are getting lots of praise, but not enough money, writes Michael Vasquez in the Miami Herald. . . .  it’s a sign of community colleges’ enduring second-class status that Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padrón dreams of one day receiving even half the […]


Failing students get federal aid

In California’s Central Valley, 10 percent of Pell Grants went to students who lost aid eligibility for dropping out, failing their classes or earning low grades, reports the Fresno Bee. As many as 25 percent of Pell recipients at community colleges fail to make “satisfactory academic progress” in a typical semester. Low-income students get up […]


Teens take risks if college is costly

As community college costs rise, teenagers are more likely to engage in risky behavior such as heavy drinking, abusing drugs, smoking and having sex with multiple partners, concludes a study by Washington State economist Ben Cowan. Teens see college attendance as an achievable goal if costs are low, Cowan writes in the Economics of Education […]


Rehberg: Pell is 21st-century welfare

While the $5,500 maximum Pell Grant survived the budget battle, the increasingly costly program is facing growing hostility. Pell Grants for low-income college students are “turning out to be the welfare of the 21st century,” said Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Montana, on Blog Talk Radio earlier this month.  Students can collect grants for nine years without […]


Aspen picks the ‘best,’ annoys the rest

The 120 “best” community colleges will compete for  the $1 million Aspen Prize for community college excellence. The contest roll-out Monday was attended by Education Secretary Arne Duncan and other administration officials. But the top college list has raised hackles, reports Inside Higher Ed. “The selection process unfairly attempts to rank and compare community colleges […]


Employers teach basic skills

When adult education classes aren’t available, employers are stepping in to teach reading, basic math and English fluency to low-skilled workers, writes Sarah Butrymowicz on the Hechinger Post. Mya Maw, a 52-year-old Burmese immigrant, longs for a stable office job in Boston, where she’s raising twin teenage daughters and washing dishes at a hotel. To […]


Visibility means accountability

After years when policymakers weren’t paying much attention, community colleges are on the political radar, writes Rob Jenkins, an English professor at Georgia Perimeter College,at the Chronicle of Higher Education. That’s good — but there’s a risk that community colleges will be judged unfairly by the same standards as selective four-year colleges. An institution with […]


Aspen names 120 top community colleges

The Aspen Institute has named 120 top community colleges in 32 states that will be considered for the $1 million Aspen Prize for community college excellence. These colleges already have shown high student success rates, consistent improvement over time and “equity in outcomes for students of all racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.” There are 14 Florida […]


Community college boosts earnings

Community college attendance increases earnings significantly, concludes a Community College Review article by Clive Belfield and Thomas Bailey.  There’s not enough research to establish that community college attendance affects health, crime and welfare reliance.    


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