Three powerful headwinds are pushing back at community college leaders: the all-too-familiar “do more with less” arctic blast; the “It all comes down to completion and numbers” storm; and the business and industry jet stream: “Completers must demonstrate a set of skills, knowledge and discipline that will enable them to perform effectively in an increasingly changing and sophisticated workplace.”
The year 2012 has been a big one for adjunct awareness.In January, Michael Bérubé, newly elected president of the Modern Language Association, went before the New Faculty Majority to recommend that minimum compensation for teaching a standard, three-hour course be $6,800.
In an election year that’s heavily focused on jobs and the economy, one of the few things both parties seem to agree on is that the nation’s community colleges have a key role to play in developing the higher-skilled workforce that’s needed to keep the U.S. competitive.
In our 110-year history, the community college has evolved through many stages, and each stage has required a different kind of leader — leaders who build, leaders who consolidate, leaders who negotiate, leaders who partner.
A college education is an expensive venture. Students can face a $50,000 annual bill at an elite college or something more reasonable, like about $3,000 a year at a community college. But reasonable is a relative term. The working single mother with several children may find each and every dollar to be extremely precious. The young adult working in an entry-level job while supporting himself finds even the most inexpensive educational experience a financial struggle. Many families simply see higher education as financially out of reach.
As we focus our attention on student success and completion around the nation, and search for proven best practices to increase graduation rates, it has become clear that we are in need of systemic, revolutionary, change. We must adapt from segmented organizations which are reactive and embrace our identity as living systems and become proactive about helping students achieve their goals.
Concern lately about rising college tuition and the question as to the necessity of a postsecondary degree has driven a good deal of inquiry into higher education. More specifically, the question has arisen as to whether a postsecondary credential is worth the investment. On one hand, the answer is easy to see.
We’ve all been hearing about the importance of education in America. You may have heard that the United States is failing on the global education front. You may have also heard that many students who start a college education don’t finish. What you may not know is everything that San Jacinto College is doing to change these statements in our corner of the world.
The 92nd convention of the American Association of Community Colleges unfolded at Marriott’s Orlando World Center and Resort, a hotel and convention center sprawling over 200 acres and featuring a nine-story atrium, more than 2,000 rooms and the largest pillar-free ballroom in the country.
Even in the midst of high unemployment, employers are having difficulty filling middle-skill positions, those that require an associate degree, postsecondary certificate or vocational credential. And the high demand for middle-skill workers is expected to continue.
From the very first day of class, I feel a simultaneous connection and disconnection with my students. We’re both nervous wondering how this class is going to go. But we have two completely different perspectives.
Many professionals in the community college sector are talking about a new normal. It is a realization that the model that has prevailed for over fifty years – providing prosperity to generations of middle class Americans along the way – will struggle to sustain itself in its current format given the emerging social and economic realities.
In today’s world of virtual course delivery, we are finding that what works for students is both easy to use and free, or if not free, then easily affordable. We live in a time of 99 cent apps and $20 software, and we no longer tolerate products that are difficult to use, expensive, and quickly outdated.
David (not a real student) wants to go into teaching. He decides he is going to attend a community college to ease into the college climate because he has been out of school for many years. He contacts his local community college and makes an appointment with an advisor. As he sits down with his advisor, he is asked what four-year university he wants to attend. David has no idea at this point. His advisor tells him he needs to know where he wants to transfer because his program and courses will be based on the four-year institution he wants to attend. David asks about his choices.
In the 1970s, I began what was three decades in the automotive industry. It was a good place to be at the time. U.S. automakers had enjoyed decades of growth and profitability, and it seemed like history would continue to repeat itself.