An open door to debt?

Community colleges provide easy access — to failure and debt, argues a new book by remedial English instructors. Poorly prepared students have little hope of success, they write. Raising admissions requirements would strengthen academic classes for prepared students and redirect the unprepared to short-term job training that might help them improve their lives.

About Joanne


  1. The more CCs – or any schools, from k-12 to universities – cater to the least able, prepared and/or motivated students, the less attractive they become to the able, prepared and motivated. At the schools from which my older 3 kids graduated, none of the top kids would consider taking any regular freshman-level course at a CC – because of the overall student quality, which was reflected in the course content and requirements. There were exceptions, such as the German department at one CC; because it existed on a planet not occupied by the weak students, and could therefore be conducted with serious rigor. Overall student quality is what drives parents to live in the “good” school districts, to send kids to privates and charters or to homeschool – whatever it takes to remove their kids from regular contact with the lower-level students (however that is defined by their students’ needs).

    • Given that upwards of 80% of community college admits directly from high school need remediation, is it any wonder why they don’t succeed.

      They need so much remediation that they’ll usually drop out by the end of the first year, when they realize they still have to take English 101/102, Math and Science just to qualify for admission to a given program of study (all the while going in debt from a few thousand to 10 thousand dollars).

      I’d prefer if colleges would QUIT admitting unqualified students to their institutions, and tell them, come back when you can handle English 101/102, Pre-calculus, and General/Animal/Plant Biology, plus political science and US History.


  2. Admitting unqualified students and loading them up with debt benefits the community college while harming these individuals. It constitutes unconscionable exploitation.

    • I disagree that it is explotation. These student have been offered the opportunity to learn K12 skills while in K12, plus extensive money has been spent on summer school, tutoring, and remedial on their behalf. Having skin in the game means the student will take it seriously. If they need two more years to make up for blowing off middle and high school, they shouldn’t be asking the taxpayers for that money. .