Colleges try performance incentives

Community colleges are using performance incentives to motivate students, faculty and staff.

Also on Community College Spotlight:  Helping low-income students with their finances and jobs can boost retention.

Judge strikes ‘gainful employment’ rule

Parts of the Education Department’s “gainful employment” rule are invalid, a federal judge has ruled. The for-profit colleges’ trade association had challenged the rule, which could cut off student loan eligibility to vocational programs whose graduates don’t earn enough to pay off their loans.

Also on Community College Spotlight: High school graduates and their parents are increasingly wary of high college costs, guidance counselors say. More students are starting at community college or living at home to save money.

College for some?

Do too many young people go to college? If so, who shouldn’t go?

Also on Community College Spotlight:  Five percent of job-training programs, all at for-profit colleges, have failed the Education Department’s new “gainful employment” rules. Eventually, students won’t be able to use federal grants or loans to attend career colleges whose graduates have high default rates and low earnings.

A bachelor’s isn’t always better

Texas needs skilled workers with two-year technical degrees, say educators and employers. A bachelor’s isn’t always better.

Also on Community College Spotlight: From jail to a job.

Students hit hard by textbook costs

While community colleges have kept tuition under control, students have been hit hard by rising textbook costs. Increasingly, students say they’re trying to get by without buying all the assigned books.

Virginia’s community college system will help India develop job training centers.

Boomers go back to college for job training

Baby boomers are going to community college for job retraining.

Also on Community College Spotlight: Performance funding may not change student outcomes.

Muslim students force out religion prof

Muslim students disrupted a world religion class and told classmates to be “scared,”  says the adjunct professor, who resigned in protest when Tarrant County College officials sided with two Muslims in the class. A Baptist, Paul Derengowski is biased against Islam — and most other religions.

Also on Community College Spotlight: There are well-paid, blue-collar jobs out there, but Joe Six-Pack needs training and skills to qualify.

Prioritizing ‘success’ comes under fire

California’s community colleges should focus on educating students who are making progress toward a certificate or degree, giving lower priority to “permanent students” and people seeking enrichment courses, recommends a state task force. College newspapers are campaigning against the changes, saying students should be able to explore without committing to completing a “program of study.”

Also on Community College Spotlight:  One out of four students enrolled in community college in fall 2010 was not enrolled anywhere by the following semester, though that includes students who earned a certificate or degree.

$5.3 billion in aid goes to well-off students

Colleges and universities give $5.3 billion a year in financial aid to students from affluent families.

To avoid default, consider technical college, say investors in bonds backed by bundled student loans.

Online learning expands access, cuts costs

An Arizona community college that pioneered online courses has expanded access and success while cutting costs substantially.

Massachusetts community college leaders don’t like a report calling for more state control of the system to facilitate job training. Connecticut is creating a state board to run both the community colleges and state universities.