Sunday, 13 January 2013

Community college in US: An overview

From policy makers and researchers perspective
In the United States of America, community college refers to public institutions imparting education at a plane beyond that delivered by schools. Associate's degrees, certificates, and diplomas are granted by such community colleges. After graduating, some candidates enroll to a four-year liberal arts college or two to three years in university to secure a bachelor's degree. Community colleges have open door admission policy which is appealing to students seeking associate's degree or who have plans to enroll later to more expensive four-year schools.

An important thing that distinguishes community colleges is the fact that such colleges are funded by the state from revenues earned through taxes and other fiscal measures. As a consequence, community colleges are least expensive and designed to be made available for anyone willing to learn.

Problem of overcrowding

Practical, down-to-earth counsel for students
Although community colleges have traditionally attracted young college students, today large number of older adults also enrolls. The recent economic recession that started with the fall of Lehman Bros in 2008 has added to the problem of overcrowding. It is reported that classes in community colleges in Farmington are organized not only in junior and senior high schools but also sometimes in the conference room of a proximate hotel! 

One of the reasons why community colleges are overcrowded is because existing resources do not meet the investment required to expand space capacity. New challenges such as current economic recession and falling value of the dollar have only made the problem worse. According to a Blue Ribbon Commission report, United States of America urgently requires to reorganize its higher education system or lose its unique position of strength and competitiveness.

Interest of students at community colleges be properly safeguarded while accepting favors from capitalist entities

Capitalism has been the hallmark of US society. But its impact on education has never been so pervasive. Supplying computers in schools and universities to taking a right to run and own a private university, it can be a huge bonanza for capitalists. What appears as an act of benevolence for community colleges is often just to get tax benefits for huge profits that many private corporations earn. It is important to make sure that interest of students at community colleges are properly safeguarded while accepting favors from capitalist entities.

Leveraging state-of-the-art computer technology

The internet has become a new platform for new-age learners through which it is easy to create, upload, and share information on the Web. Cutting edge web computer technologies are a catalyst which increases capability many times at all stages. At a time when there is greater thrust towards e-Learning, it is not the space that should now make any community college overcrowded in real terms. What is needed today is a smarter application of Web 2.0 computer technologies that makes learning accessible to students anytime, anywhere with a laptop and an internet connection.

Steps are taken to address bureaucracy that even engulfs an open capitalist country like US. Amendment #3 removes the option to tender proposals through for program elements with effect from June 27, 2009. Amendment #3 has reduced the cost of grants because of better electronic proposal submission. 

Community college serves as one of the most important tools through which state can impact higher learning and create better human resource through its endeavor. Just to recollect, White Americans have 7 times more wealth than their black counterparts. Community colleges are sites where such inequities can be addressed in a meaningful manner.