College is free for 5th-year students

Oregon and Colorado students can spend a “fifth year” in high school taking free community college courses leading to an associate degree.

4-year degree isn’t the only path to success

Too many Americans believe a young person who doesn’t earn a bachelor’s degree is a “second-class citizen,” says Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican. “Let’s quit preaching to them that their only path to success is a four-year degree.”

Vocational certificates are growing in popularity, especially those that require a semester or two of community college. “The certificate is a good choice for the low-middle of the high-school graduation class,” said Stephen Rose, a Georgetown professor.

After 12th grade, it’s back to middle school

“A large fraction of students are leaving the 12th grade with a high-school diploma, and they’re about to begin a course of studies at the 8th grade level,” says Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, of community college students.

Too much Spanish = hostile environment?

An Arizona nursing student claims she was suspended for complaining that classmates disrupted classes by speaking Spanish. In her lawsuit, Terri Bennett, 50, said classmates spoke Spanish during lessons — apparently translating for non-English speakers — and primarily spoke Spanish during labs, clinicals and other activities. That made it hard for her to learn and created a “hostile environment,” she complained. In addition, the Pima Community College nursing program director called her a “bigot and a bitch,” she charged, before suspending her on charges of intimidation (arguing with an instructor about a test answer), discrimination and harassment.

Students complained that Bennett was harassing and intimidating them for having private conversations in Spanish, David Kutzler, the nursing program director, told the Daily Caller.  He denies calling Bennett a “bigot and a bitch.”

College plans ‘melt’ in summer

Forty percent of would-be community college students don’t enroll in the fall, researchers estimate. “Summer melt” primarily affects low-income, minority students whose parents lack college experience.

No community college, no future

Without a community college, Erie, Pennsylvania keeps losing jobs and laid-off workers can’t afford to retrain. Industry is disinvesting.

Student aid fuels tuition inflation.

Training for a career in beer

Instead of going to college to drink beer, students at three North Carolina community colleges will learn to make beer. With a growing number of craft breweries, Western North Carolina hopes to become the beer-making equivalent of California’s Napa Valley.

When work disappears

When work disappears for all but the well-educated elite, what happens to society?

Salary Surfer predicts future pay after two and five years for an associate degree or certificate in various fields for prospective California community college students.

Classes are cheap, but you can’t get in

Charging more for community college extension courses during summer and winter breaks is a necessary stopgap, editorializes the Los Angeles Times. While California is starting to restore funding to higher education, it will be years before the state’s community colleges can offer enough courses to meet demand.

Students are having trouble transferring in to the California State University system. San Jose State’s popular animation program accepts only 12 percent of transfers: Students need a 3.85 grade-point average to get in.

Credit creep raises community college costs

Credit creep is making it harder for community college students to complete an associate degree. Instead of 60 credits, many degrees require 70 credits or more. That  costs students time and money and lowers the odds they’ll earn a degree.

After two years at community college, transfers to four-year institutions are just as likely to earn a bachelor’s degree as similar students who started at the four-year college or university, an Illinois study finds.