11.05.2009 Policy Points

Strengthening Community Colleges

Writing in the November issue of The American Prospect, Thomas Bailey and Jim Jacobs of the Community College Research Center ask if community colleges can rise to their potential in the midst of a recession. Among those challenges is a need to pay more attention to non-credit occupational programs. Say Bailey and Jacobs:

Community colleges also need to clarify their role in the changing occupational landscape. What is the future role of a two-year occupational degree or a shorter-term certificate? At least colleges must improve the connections between credit and non-credit programs to widen opportunities for students in the booming non-credit work-force arena. And community colleges need to strengthen their relationships to four-year colleges to make transfer more effective. Some states are allowing community colleges to confer a limited number of bachelor’s degrees, and many colleges have invited four-year colleges to give courses on their campuses ….

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