Home > Adult Education, Community Colleges, Educational Leadership, Higher Education > Popularity Offers Challenges for Community Colleges

Popularity Offers Challenges for Community Colleges

By Caralee J. Adams

Community colleges are front and center in national debates over whether K-12 educators are putting too much emphasis on four-year colleges in the drive to persuade more students to enroll in postsecondary studies. To be sure, having an economically productive life will require some training after high school, but experts say companies are looking for an array of skills and competencies–and not all require a bachelor’s degree.

“In terms of the job market today and increasingly in the future, research shows there are more jobs open to someone with an associate degree or certificate than someone with a bachelor’s degree,” says Elisabeth Barnett, a senior research associate with the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University.

More students than ever are going to community colleges—and their numbers account for nearly half of all the college undergraduates in the country. Nationwide enrollment at community colleges grew by 15 percent from the fall of 2008 to the fall of 2010 with an all-time high of 12.4 million students that year on 1,167 campuses, according to the American Association of Community Colleges, and the institutions are key to President Barack Obama’s goal of making the United States first in the world in the percentage of citizens who are college graduates.

Continued at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/06/09/34community.h30.html?tkn=POBFtk8eWS73AYVeF1lODkK9YGqg%2BQz6EwpC&cmp=clp-ecseclips

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