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  • Time to lend our support to students in community colleges
  • Posted By:
  • Karen W.
  • Posted On:
  • 27-Aug-2015
  • As an American graduate, we all no doubt remember those four years we dedicated to college. Life in college is definitely unmatched with hours of spending enjoyable time with friends studying and whiling away time doing our favorite things.

    Interacting with professors who have your interest at heart advising you in your future career path and carefully preparing for exams and doing challenging project works are highlights of college life. This is for an average Americans with means to fund college education.

    Imagine students who are unable to afford college and are forced to work for at least thirty five years a week to pay for their education. They take up menial jobs like fast food worker or home health care workers and struggle to balance their studies and college work. For those who need to worry about childcare, things are even more complicated.

    These are students who have minimal time on hand even for their necessary tasks and practically no time to make friends. Amidst constant stress and long hours, they find life totally exhausting.
    Statistics show that at least ten million American students fall into this category. These are students attending community colleges. If you look at the community colleges at large, you find that most students there are non-traditional which may include the single mums, returning soldiers and displaced workers.

    Most of them are capable of pursuing certificate or degree program only after taking math and English remedial courses. Their issues are compounded what with studies, family obligations and work. If they face an unexpected problem in the form of a broken car, an ailing spouse or child or work schedule change, they fall apart in their balancing act.

    It is our duty to carefully give attention to their situation and plight and better understand the obstacles they face as they try to fulfil their ambition of expanding their career opportunities. Even though most of them are dedicated and do not shy from working hard, they are unable to reach the standards of traditional students which is evident with the compromised college completion rates.

    Another statistic shows that at least 36% community college students are the first in their families to aspire for a degree. This means, they do not have a prior role model to help them remain motivated to complete their degree program.

    What we have to do right now is to monitor community college student success rate and show our genuine appreciation for those who complete their degrees even if it takes six to seven years. We should interact with students who are planning to drop out due to other pressures and see if anything can be done to retain them in college.

    Our president’s free community college program is indeed the first right step in this direction. This dream is already a reality in Tennessee and Oregon. If it is free, I am sure more people will come forward to obtain a degree and realize their dreams. As a nation, we should all have easy access to higher education. This is the only way people can be lifted out of poverty and given an opportunity to completely transform their lives.







 

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