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Community Colleges

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by YankeeFan, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    One of the big proposals that the President will surely mention in tonight's State of the Union address is his proposal to make the first two years of community college free (up to $3,800 per year) for the first two years for students who are in school half-time, are working towards a degree, and are maintaining a 2.5 GPA (which seems low to me).

    The proposal looks dead on arrival in the Republican controlled Congress, but my question is whether or not Community Colleges are even providing the bang for the buck that their advocates would suggest.

    We have something like 1,200 Community Colleges, and enrollment has grown from about 5.5 million in 2000 to nearly 9 million today. But, completion rates are low, and the number of students who go on to attain a four year degree is even lower.

    Increasingly they are offering job training and certificate programs, which don't necessarily lead to jobs.

    Have they proven their value to the degree where we should be investing more money in them?
  2. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    At least in California, community colleges are the greatest thing going, UC has a program that if you go there for two years and get prereqs out of the way, if you get the grades you are automatically admitted to the corresponding UC school for your final two years. You don't even have to be "accepted" to Berkeley or UCLA or San Diego -- if you get the grades, you're in. It means kids are getting prestigious degrees from places they had no prayer of attending after high school.

    It's a few years down the road for us, but that's where our early thoughts would be. It saves tens of thousands of dollars.
    Jeff and Hokie_pokie like this.
  3. SnarkShark

    SnarkShark Well-Known Member

    I'm a California community college and Cal State product. I saved thousands of dollars by going to community college and, at least in my experience, I learned a hell of a lot more in community college than at the Cal State. I don't know if that reflects more on the CC or the Cal State.
  4. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    That makes total sense, and sounds like a great opportunity.

    I'd like to see smaller, more targeted programs, rather than these proposals to just get more kids in the front door.
  5. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Not only did community college help me tremendously, but I likely would not have a college degree without it. I didn't have the grades or the money to get into a state university, but community college allowed me to get my shit together and make it to the university while also saving me a ton of money. And our community colleges have some pretty good two-year degrees for those who don't want to spend so long in school. My best friend is a firefighter, and he wouldn't be doing that either without the community college. He didn't do so well in high school either and eventually dropped out. So the community college was a huge lifeline for both of us.
    Hokie_pokie likes this.
  6. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Cam Newton and Jason Pierre Paul certainly benefited by the JC system,
    Mr. Sunshine likes this.
  7. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    In California, I've seen the community colleges provide a huge asset to the students who would otherwise drop out of the academic system. As those above point out, they had an opportunity to reenter the 4 yr system after initially not qualifying. They also saved money doing so. It makes a college education more affordable. I've also seen students go extended durations at the CC, then finally matriculate to a 4 yr institution and get their degree. They are a great asset to our society.
  8. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    The completion rate is most definitely an issue, and I'm not sure what the answer is. I do know that the incentive programs help you stick with it, though I think 2.5 GPA is a bit low as well. I worked my way through college, and the company I worked for reimbursed my tuition based on my grades. It definitely made me work harder to get as much of my mom's money back as I could.
  9. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    In my perfect world, the tuition waiver would be not a grant but a loan that is forgiven if the person gets a bachelor's degree within five years of the loan.
    bigpern23 and Hokie_pokie like this.
  10. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    I think something like that males sense as well.
  11. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    If LTL gets his wish with regard to this program, that means this program probably doesn't accomplish all that much. The folks who are going to get the bachelor's degree were going to anyway.

    I don't really think this program has even the potential to accomplish all that much, because community college is so damn cheap anyway. My older daughter takes a few fill-in courses here and there, and I'd estimate we'll drop maybe a grand on the 10 to 12 credit hours that will ultimately appear on her transcript. One 3-hour course at my lowly university runs about $1,600 ...
  12. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

    I was a 30-year-old graduate of a community college here in suburban Toronto. Toughest - and best - thing I ever did was go back to school after I was laid off at 27. I was a terrible high school student and never would have been able to get in to - or afford - university. Community colleges are very prevalent up here.
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