Essay On Community Colleges

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Article by Ronald L. Trowbridge, Forbes, 3/21/207

Community Colleges Are Not The Minor Leagues Anymore

This article provides an insightful view into the perceived and real status of community colleges in relation to their university counterparts. Once thought of as a place merely for underachievers to attend for workforce training, Trowbridge points out these institutions now have more to offer. They provide an affordable opportunity for students to complete the same courses that are available at the university for a fraction of the cost. Noting the financial savings in comparison to the traditional university, along with the overall quality of instruction, local community colleges have become a viable alternative for those seeking a college education without the incurring unnecessary amounts of debt.

Community colleges were once looked at as institutions only for those who could not get into the university, Trowbridge used the term “second-class academic institutions” to describe
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While they do have a tremendous focus on workforce development and training, the opportunity to take a more active role in higher education exists. By adjusting their focus to act as a bridge for students, the community college has the ability to soften the transition financially and educationally. Community colleges must move beyond their reliance on open acceptance policies and actively pursue students who would otherwise attend universities. By offering comparable course tracks that will challenge and educate they can move even further past the image of being a second class institution. More focus must be placed on both building articulation agreements with the universities and educating potential students about the benefits of making the community the next stop on their education
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