Community college is often perceived as the underdog in American higher education. Many are plagued by treacherous drop-out rates, poor teaching standards and dismal job prospects. And that’s if you’re lucky enough to graduate.
But inside some of these institutions, revolution is stirring. A lack of opportunities for ordinary Americans is driving colleges to rebuild and rethink. Many of them are finding innovative ways to help their students buck the trend by staying in school and succeeding.
“One of the first things that impressed me about community colleges was the passion that so many instructors and administrators have about the mission to help so many low income students succeed and move forward to success in their lives,” says Shanna Smith Jaggars, assistant director of the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College.
Jaggars, who has co-authored a book called “Redesigning America’s Community Colleges: A Clearer Path to Student Success,” sees community colleges as gateways of opportunity for students. Still, she thinks the schools have a lot of room for growth. <Read more.>