January 2012

Stop Sallie Mae’s unemployment penalty

Tell Sallie Mae: Stop the Unemployment Penalty demands a Change.org petition by Stef Gray, a recent public college graduate who borrowed at 9.75 percent to pay college costs. I graduated in May with honors, but even with an advanced degree in a technical field, I still haven’t found full-time work. I’m doing everything I can […]


Adult ed, short-term students seek aid

Expand financial aid to part-time, non-credit students seeking job skills faculty and students told U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan at a town hall meeting at Tallahassee Community College last week, reports Community College Times. President Obama wants two-year colleges to help train an additional two million Americans for  jobs. ”I can’t overstate how important the role […]


‘Sustainable’ farming draws students

Sustainable agriculture is motivating young people to seek community college programs in horticulture, turf management, landscaping and other areas, writes Stuart Rosenfeld, in the Community College Journal, reprinted in Community College Times. Less than 2 percent of Americans work in agriculture. However, the environmental movement has rekindled interest in the field. A growing number of colleges […]


Set up to fail

Both intellectually disabled students and their instructors are set up to fail, writes Anonymous, a professor at a commuter college, in an essay in Inside Higher Ed. For the first assignment, Anonymous asked students to summarize the first three chapters of Girl, Interrupted in a few sentences. Jacob filled nearly half the page: “There was a girl. […]


CCs tackle ‘overmathing’

Faced with huge remedial math enrollments — and low success rates — some community colleges are reducing math requirements for non-STEM majors to avoid “overmathing.” Others are trying Carnegie’s alternative pathways, which focus on statistics and quantitative reasoning rather than the traditional algebra-to-calculus track. Here’s how to avoid remedial math.


The death of voc ed — and the middle class

The death of vocational education is hastening the demise of the middle class, argues Marc Tucker in Ed Week. Years ago, almost all the larger cities had selective vocational high schools whose graduates were virtually assured good jobs, Tucker writes. Employers made sure these schools had “competent instructors and up-to-date equipment,” so graduates would meet job […]


Obama: Raise tuition, lose federal aid

College affordability was the theme of President Obama’s speech at the University of Michigan yesterday. He called for spending more on Perkins loans and work-study programs — going from $3 billion now to $10 billion  — but only at colleges and universities that provide “value.” Students at colleges that raise tuition could lose access to […]


Massachusetts will centralize CC control

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick proposed centralizing the state’s community college system in his State of the Commonwealth address, reports the Boston Globe. Patrick highlighted the connection between the often overlooked schools and the unemployment problem. Encouraging more cooperation between schools and local employers, he said, would help the state’s 240,000 unemployed get the skills they need to […]


The workforce development fantasy

President Obama focused on the workforce development mission of community colleges in his State of the Union Speech, calling on community colleges to train two million skilled workers for unfilled jobs. The next day, Education Secretary Arne Duncan flew to Florida to praise job training programs at Tallahassee Community College. Workforce development is the flavor of the […]


Repayment study left out blacks

A U.S. Education Department analysis on the relationship between race and repayment of student loans left out black students, skewing results used to justify the gainful employment rule, reports Inside Higher Ed. For-profit colleges, which enroll many minority, low-income and older students, argue the high-risk demographics explain their students’ higher default rates on student loans. […]


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