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January 2022
Three years ago, almost half of U.S. community college students responding to the #RealCollege survey conducted by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice (Hope Center) indicated that they had experienced food insecurity within 30 days of completing the survey (Goldrick-Rab et al., 2019). To help community colleges reduce food insecurity for students and their families in sustainable ways that foster student retention, persistence, and success, the League for Innovation in the Community College (League) launched a two-year project, Innovative Solutions for Hunger Relief and...
January 2022
Students are drawn to the arts through their desire to create, perform, express, and interact with other people. In March 2020, the give and take, central to creating art, was gone. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many students in the visual and performing arts to create in boxes on computer screens with spotty picture resolutions and sound distortions, depending on Internet speed, the weather, devices, and countless other factors. Kirkwood Community College, like numerous other institutions, scrambled to figure out how to get art materials, microphones, speakers, and Internet access to students...
December 2021
Since early 2020, higher education has grappled to ensure academic continuity amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a challenge many experts believe will inform the future use of instructional technologies (Morales, 2019, 2020a). The pandemic necessitated a change of instructional location coupled with measures to transition millions of students from face-to-face classrooms to technology-mediated e-learning environments at a pace never before anticipated or experienced (Hodges et al., 2020). The only prior experiences remotely comparable were “acts of God,” including hurricanes and forest fires,...
October 2021
Johnson County Community College (JCCC) has partnered with Butler Community College (BCC) to offer expanded training in culinary arts. This opportunity allows JCCC to extend the benefits of its Chef Apprenticeship program to more Kansas students. In turn, the collaboration strengthens state and local workforce opportunities. Through this agreement, BCC is offering two additional certificates to students in South Central Kansas. The new certificate options use existing BCC culinary courses with the addition of practicum courses from JCCC. Along with invaluable industry training, students in...
October 2021
College students who are parents, a.k.a., student-parents, have always been enrolled in community colleges, but only within the past few years have they been explicitly recognized as a distinct student group with a unique set of support needs. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (2018), more than one in five postsecondary students in the U.S. is a student-parent. This holds true at Monroe Community College (MCC), where 21.4 percent of students enrolled in 2019-2020 had children under age 18 (DeMario, 2021). Student-Parent Risk Factors Figure 1 shows that MCC’s student-...
July 2021
For decades, Jackson College (JC) has been a U.S. leader in providing higher education access and opportunity to incarcerated students. The town of Jackson, Michigan, has long been known as a “prison city,” and three large correctional facilities are located less than 15 miles from JC’s Central Campus. In 1967, the college offered its first class “inside the walls.” In 1969-1970, a pilot prison education program for the Southern Michigan Prison was launched to provide qualifying inmates an opportunity to further their education. Jackson Community College (as it was then called) was one of 26...
March 2021
Almost half of U.S. community college students responding to the #RealCollege survey conducted by The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice indicated that they had experienced food insecurity within the 30 days before completing the survey (Goldrick-Rab et al., 2019). In response, an increasing number of community colleges are working to eliminate food insecurity for students and their families. Through programs such as on-campus food pantries, community gardens, farmers’ markets, and food scholarships, colleges are finding solutions for students and, in some cases, staff who are...
February 2021
In fiscal year 2019-2020, Sinclair Community College (Sinclair) received $10,000 from StrivePartnership Cincinnati and Learn to Earn Dayton to develop and implement a strategic communication plan to reach students who had stopped out in the previous two years without completing a degree from any postsecondary institution. Sinclair chose to expand their reach beyond the originally funded 2,000 students to include an additional 6,300 students who had stopped out in the previous five years. The communication strategy consisted of a combination of intentional personalized phone calls, email, mail...
January 2021
Rio Salado College is one of 67 postsecondary institutions to be included in an expansion of the U.S. Department of Education’s Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative. One-hundred and thirty colleges in 42 states and the District of Columbia will now be involved in this initiative, which provides need-based Pell grants for people incarcerated in state and federal prisons to pursue higher learning. The majority of incarcerated individuals are Pell-eligible, but they have been banned from applying for assistance since 1994 as a result of the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law...
October 2020
Like many newcomers to Canada, Malvika Mahajan immigrated to Toronto to find a better life for her family. She was anxious about restarting her career in a new country, despite having many years of experience as a supply chain specialist in India, including work for a large multinational corporation. To create a roadmap that would land her a professional role in Canada, Malvika joined the Supply Chain Management bridging program at Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in January 2020, eager to learn as much as possible about how her field operates in Canada and to...
September 2020
San Diego Mesa College is partnering with San Diego Unified School District, San Diego State University (SDSU), and National University to mold a new generation of K-12 educators from diverse backgrounds who reflect the students they teach. The Teacher Pathway Inclusion Program was launched in April 2019 and includes a bevy of support services to create a seamless route for high school students to earn a bachelor of arts degree and teaching credential, with an emphasis on filling a growing need in science, mathematics, and special education. Mesa College aims to enroll 50 students...
September 2020
Founded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2013, the Center for Laser and Fiber Optics Education (LASER-TEC) faced a new challenge as the spread of COVID-19 impacted LASER-TEC institutions. Headquartered at Indian River State College (IRSC) in Fort Pierce, Florida, LASER-TEC is comprised of colleges, universities, high schools and technical centers, trade associations, and laser and fiber optics companies throughout the United States. The center’s mission is to develop and sustain a strong technical workforce in lasers and fiber optics nationwide. Remaining committed to that goal,...
May 2020
Phoenix College (PC), one of ten colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD), was established in 1920. Located in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona, PC is one of the oldest community colleges in the United States, serves more than 17,000 students annually, and is designated by the Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). The college opened its doors during a period of racial unrest and was one of the only institutions to support a diverse student body at that time. Today, PC remains a staple in the community as a social justice-conscious college,...
February 2020
Leadership at Mesa Community College (MCC) and Mesa Public Schools (MPS) worked together to strategize methods to increase persistence and college attendance for high school students, with an emphasis on populations facing the most challenges. The resulting Mesa Community College High School Advisor Program creates a one-stop enrollment experience and is increasing the number of Mesa public high school students enrolling at the college. Through the partnership, an MCC college advisor is embedded in each of the six MPS high schools to recruit students, provide seamless transition to MCC,...
January 2020
Researchers define a first-generation student as the first member of a family to attend college (Chen, 2005; Ishitani, 2006; Redford & Mulvaney Hoyer, 2017). In the U.S., these students are more likely to be African American or Hispanic (Chen, 2005), come from a lower socioeconomic status (Jenkins, Miyazaki, & Janosik, 2009; Redford & Mulvaney Hoyer, 2017), and have a higher rate of attrition at the collegiate level than their counterparts (Chen, 2005; Lohfink & Paulsen, 2005; Nuñez & Cuccaro-Alamin, 1998). Students who are first-generation as well as low-income are at a...
December 2019
Like most community colleges across the U.S., Kirkwood Community College embodies the widely celebrated educational ideal that it’s never too late to get a college education. This ideal is on display every day at 10 campuses spread out over the college’s seven-county service area in eastern Iowa. In fact, the age range for enrolled, degree-seeking students at the college is from 16 to 74 years old, and that range grows even wider when dual enrollment numbers are considered. When Kirkwood first opened its doors in 1966, the educational delivery format was the same for every student, no matter...
August 2019
Made possible through a new partnership between the Maricopa County Community College District and GED Testing Service, Rio Salado College students can now use their GED scores to demonstrate college readiness and college-level skills. The GED College Ready and College Ready + Credit scores are based on recommendations from the American Council on Education (ACE) Credit Program, the same program that backs CLEP and other advanced placement testing college credit recommendations. As is the case with these other programs, students may be eligible to receive college credit for courses aligned...
July 2019
Students in the Mesa Community College (MCC) Everyone Can Code iOS Apple App Development program decided that a joint project was a perfect opportunity to put their knowledge to use. The outcome? The Resource Information Services for Everyone (RISE) app. The development team of faculty and nine students from advanced and introductory classes were assigned roles that highlighted their skills. The team researched the existing app market, developed a plan, and began developing a proof of concept. Initially, the app contained helpful markers for on-campus resources such as registration,...
December 2018
Community colleges enroll over half of the undergraduate students in U.S. higher education and increasingly serve as the gateway to a postsecondary credential, particularly for first-generation and underrepresented students. As noted by researchers (Astin, 1984; McClenney & Marti, 2006; Tinto, 1993), student engagement within and outside of the classroom setting remains central to an institution’s ability to advance student success. At the same time, the growing demographic diversity of community college student bodies means there is no one-size-fits-all institutional approach to...
October 2018
Historically, community colleges have lower completion and retention rates than their four-year counterparts. Hongwei (2015) suggested that this is in part due to the fact that leading retention models were designed for four-year institutions, not community colleges. Community college students often face unique nonacademic barriers which impact their retention and persistence rates (Goldrick-Rab, Broton, & Eisenberg, 2013; Goldrick-Rab, Broton, & Gates, 2015; Hongwei, 2015; Troester-Trate, 2017). Such barriers include, but are not limited to, a lack of resources such as food,...

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